Planning the Perfect Release Marketing Tip Monday Part 8

Planning the Perfect Release Marketing Tip Monday Part 8

JA Huss

VIDEO ONE – INTRODUCTION: FIND IT HERE

VIDEO TWO – COVER REVEALS: FIND IT HERE

VIDEO THREE – PRE-ORDERS: FIND IT HERE

VIDEO FOUR – GIVEAWAYS: FIND IT HERE

VIDEO FIVE – ARC LISTS: FIND IT HERE

VIDEO SIX – NEW RELEASE: FIND IT HERE

VIDEO SEVEN – DISCOUNTS/BOX SETS: FIND IT HERE

We made it to the end! I hope you guys got something useful out of these videos and I hope this last one helps you plan the next year of releases and marketing. I have been doing this for several years now and It’s really helped me with the whole desire for “stability”.  I put together a little “organizer” for you to print out if you want. It’s nothing special, just a few pages with headings. You can print one out for every book, staple the pages together, and keep all your marketing in one place.

DOWNLOAD THAT HERE

And in two weeks I’ll be starting a new video course series (also FREE) called The Perfect Story. It’s just one perspective on story structure and how my brain works out a plot.  Of course no method is perfect for everyone, so this will only be useful if you and I have a similar idea of what it takes to prepare a proper story. Anyway, they’re free, so no loss if you get nothing from those.

Thanks for stopping by and watching. See you soon!


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About JA Huss

JA Huss is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty romances. She likes stories about family, loyalty, and extraordinary characters who struggle with basic human emotions while dealing with bigger than life problems. JA loves writing heroes who make you swoon, heroines who makes you jealous, and the perfect Happily Ever After ending.

You can chat with her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/AuthorJAHuss), Twitter (@jahuss), and her kick-ass romance blog, New Adult Addiction (www.newadultaddiction.com).

If you’re interested in getting your hands on an advanced release copy of her upcoming books, sneak peek teasers, or information on her upcoming personal appearances, you can join her newsletter list (http://eepurl.com/JVhAr) and get those details delivered right to your inbox.

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41 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this JA. This has been some of the best material regarding the biz that ive ever seen and I plan on re-watching until its ingrained in my head. Much appreciation. xoxoxoxo P.S- Monday’s won’t be the same lol

  2. I got so much out of this. You have a good month / a great release & you’re on top of the world and then you have another not-so-good month & it can be discouraging and that can lead to inaction and crippling fear that puts writer’s block in front of your face.

    I’m now on fire for the upcoming year and plannin’ my plan. Thank you so much!

  3. Thank you for a wonderful few weeks of marketing tips. I’m a slow and steady 2 books a year writer (still have a day job) and I’m adding novellas and audiobooks to the mix to bulk up my year. This has been an incredibly helpful and clear look at what a production schedule should look like to achieve steady sales, so hugs and kisses for doing this! XOXO

  4. Thank you Julie! The Perfect Year series has been great. I can’t tell you how much it is helping me plan my book release schedule. I had to take a year and a half off of publishing for personal reasons and planned on coming back this year. I wanted to publish 3 books this year, but end up having to scale it back to 2 books. Even though I knew I will increase my book releases to 4 books come next year, I was a bit down in the dumps because I thought I had to hold off until next year (when I am releasing 4 books instead of just 2) putting what I learned here into action. So, I am so thankful you broke down the year for people who publish as little as 2 books a year. I will be doing the 2 book release calendar this year and the 4 book release calendar next year like you showed and can’t wait to tell you how it all works out for me.
    I am super excited for The Perfect Story series! You are an amazing writer and so helpful to everyone out in this community (I have even had your reader fans tell me how generous you are when I mentioned that I get my author tips from you). So thank you for everything!

  5. Hi JA,

    This has been a wonderful series. Thank you so much.

    My question is this, I’ve released a ton of books (about 30 over 3 years) but they’re all priced at 99c. When I increase my prices to $2.99, ALLLLLL my sales dry up. How do I get out of this cycle? Thanks 🙂

    1. Change them all to $2.99 or $3.99 and then box them up, release one box set at a time, put one up for a Bookbub (either free or 99c) and then do that over and over again until they are all out there as box sets. Meanwhile, start releasing new books at $2.99 or $3.99 and the box set sales should carry you through until people get used to it. Never release at 99c again (unless it’s a novella or you just have a one-off strategy for it).

    2. Also, if you already have box sets, still works. Just put one on sale at a time and try for a Bookbub. Keep the boxes at full-price (or close to it when you don’t have them actively on discount)

  6. This has been fantastic! Thank you so much. I’m about to release my first series and this has really helped to put things into perspective and actually think properly about a system. I’m gonna miss Mondays! 🙂

    Just a question about the pre-order vs cover reveal thing:

    I planned to put a link to the second book in the back of the first one so people can pre-order, but if the cover isn’t yet revealed, would they still buy? I’m doing a cover reveal for the first book but wasn’t planning to with the second or third. I’m brand new so not sure it matters more about the reveal at this stage than people buying the next one…? Whaddaya think? Thanks!

    1. Yeah, it’s tricky. You kinda have to give up that “big cover reveal” idea in place of putting that new cover in your current-release blitz and getting that pre-order up for that link in the back of the first book. (or whatever book it is in the series). I know it seems like you’re losing out on the “big cover reveal” when you do it this way, but it still gets shown all over if you put it in the current-book release blitz and it’s worth it to have the link in there. When I did it for the Mister series I quietly put the pre-order up the week before release, put smartlinks in my media kit for the release blitz, and then just updated the smart links as they went live. Because you have to send that media kit to your bloggers or PR person the week before, right? They need it early. So it’s kinda stressful. I will do a comprehensive video on this when we get to The Perfect Publisher (this summer probably) because it really is confusing and stressful. Even for me and I’ve done it dozens of times.

    2. Here’s a little flow chart for now though Zoey – because I think I confused myself when I re-read that answer:
      (1) Put up pre-order for book two
      (2) Make smart links (https://manage.smarturl.it/) and put your website as the “default” link.
      (3) Make your media kit for Book One release Blitz
      (4) Add your cover reveal to #3 Book One release Blitz using your smart links as the buy links.
      (5) When the pre-order goes live (with the cover) Go back to https://manage.smarturl.it/ and change your default link (your website) to the new actual buy links for your pre-order.
      NOW – if this is all happening and you have to UPLOAD book one before your pre-order links go live, you put that smart link in the back of the book that’s releasing.
      Confusing. I know. But it works great.

      When I released Taking Turns I had the cover up for Turning Back on all my distributors. It was so worth it. And I still have the link in the back of Taking Turns pointing HERE to this site, for the page I made for Turning Series using My Book Table Plug-in for WordPress. This has sold more books than any other pre-order I’ve ever done. So it was a good idea. 🙂 BTW – My Book table i s the BEST money you will ever spend on a plug-in. All my book pages are made with that plug-in and it has reviews and buy links and everything all built in.

      1. Ok, I think I got it.

        So the idea is to add the cover reveal for Book Two to the blitz for Book One. But if I’m doing a three or four book year, it’s quite a gap between the reveal and the release, so therefore have a link that refers people back to the website until the pre-order for Two is live. But then you lose the people who would have one-clicked at the end of Book One. So it’s best to release quicker really…Okay.

        Thanks so much for the detailed response. Sounds like there’s even another course later on, yay! I have Book Table but only the free version. Will definitely look into the full one.

        Thanks again!

        1. The other option is to do a short pre-order for book two and skip the link at the back of the book when you release book one. That probably works better for 3 books a year.

  7. Thank you for all you’ve put together. I was a bit saddened that this was the end…but you came through with that one. I can’t wait for your next webinar.

    I’m a balls to the wall type of woman but I’m writing in two genres Leela Lou Dahlin writes spicy romance with a side car of sweet and LL Dahlin writes MM contemporary. I’m thinking I’m going to write 4 a year for Leela Lou and 2 a year for LL. I’ll work it so that it works together.

    I had a novella that was in an anthology that I just brought out alone last month. I made it .99c because the whole anthology was that price…granted not a lot of people saw it but it was really short.

    I never expected to get so much information from this but I’ve gotten more free from you than I have paid to get from anyone else. Thank you again.

    ps. I just started listening to the Mister’s series and I wasn’t sure how it was going to go…I started with Mr. Romantic. Now I’ve got to listen to all of the rest. Amazing job!!!

  8. Thankyou so much for our generousity in sharing all this valuable information. Most writers just say ‘write every day’. Which is good advice, but not that helpful! As a newbie writer it’s hard to work out exactly how to tackle things for the long term. You’ve broken it down and given me hope that If I do the work (and write good books) I can make a living doing what I love.
    I appreciate this more than words can say!
    Plus, as one of your biggest fans I’ve now got the lowdown on what delicious books I can look forward to from you this year 🙂

  9. Thank you so much for the videos and love your pretty swag. Do you have any recommendations for retailers that I can purchase Author Swag (buttons, magnets, stickers, etc.) from?

  10. This was such an awesome series. Thank you so much! My question this time is about Bookbub. I had one successful one which was for Book 1 of a three book series. It was priced for a long time at .99 and I made it free. Tons of readers bought books 2 and 3 which are priced at 2.99 each. That was June of last year. I tried to do it again for the same book in November and I think December. Denied twice. Since starting this course I have raised the price of book 1 to 2.99. I realize I was shooting myself in the foot with that .99 price for so long. I have tried other promotions but nothing compares to the results of that Bookbub, so my question is this:

    Can you do bookbubs for other books in your series besides book 1 if it’s not a standalone. My book 1 ends in a cliffhanger. Would that make sense?

    1. Some people do Lisa. But I don’t. So you can if that’s your only option and you need to get a BB to stay afloat. If you’re OK for now with sales and income, then just wait it out and keep producing new books, release at full price, and then you can count on those books for future Bookbubs.

  11. You are a total Rock Star, Julie. Thank you so much for sharing this information, for taking the time to make the videos, and for being so candid. I really appreciate it, I think we all do, and I can’t wait for the next series. 🙂

  12. Julie, first, thank you so much for these videos. Spider dreams notwithstanding, you definitely made me feel that I can have more control over my career, and don’t have to be as vulnerable to all the little earthquakes that go on in this industry all the time. So even though this is going to be a ton of work, and I need to rethink things and adjust from some bad marketing decisions in the past, I feel really hopeful for what I can build over the next couple years. So thank you so much for that.

    I’ve watched all the videos at least twice, and taken diligent notes. I have a couple questions, and hope this isn’t too much.

    1. I have one full series in KU that released spring and summer last year, which I will let expire naturally and then go wide. I’m in the middle of my second series, also KU. The third one releases this month, and the last one in May. In terms of transitioning away from KU, do you recommend that I release the rest of this series in KU, to be fair to those fans who have found me that way, and start with the new series in July going wide? If so, should I renew the first two in the series until the entire series is out and then let it all expire? Or just let everything that’s in there expire when it happens?

    2. Relatedly, I’ve decided to put new covers on this current series, as I think the current ones don’t properly reflect the kind of stories they are. Should I wait until the series is complete to do that? I feel weird about changing it right before the last book releases, but I also feel like I’m missing my target market with the covers that I have.

    3. Should I let fans know I’m going to be moving away from sales so they know not to wait for that, or just do it?

    I’m crazy excited that you have more courses coming out. As a book editor, I’m always curious to see how other writers put their stories together, so it’ll be fun to get a peek inside your brain on that. And I’m stoked about your Perfect Publisher course, because I’m kind of obsessed with organization and systems. They make life so much easier. I’m sure there’s going to be way more than that, though. I’m looking forward to everything you have to share.

    Thanks again! You’re a rock star.

    1. 1. Yes, I’d release the rest in KU to keep those readers happy. So you gotta suck that one up and do the right thing. I would not renew the first two. Let them all expire so when that last book comes out, you’re ready for phase 2. It might be painful, but look at it this way – use that time where half are in and half are out to build up the series again as a non-KU series. Even if you don’t spend money on ads – you can PLAN stuff for when they all come out and be ready. Or make #1 a permafree (I know, I know, I hate them too) but it’s still a fairly good strategy if you have limited options.

      2. Change covers now if you can; There is no real good time to do that unless you want to do a WHOLE NEW RELEASE CAMPAIGN – treat it like a new release with a blitz and stuff. Announcing the new covers at the same time. If you have time and money to do the latter, do that. If not, just move forward.

      3. Nope, not necessary to announce a move away. Just quietly change. They will either follow you or not. And either way, you’re in a whole new stream of readers. So it’s OK.

      1. That is perfect, thank you. I really didn’t want to screw over my KU readers, so that answer makes me happy. And it makes sense about building up a new readership while the series is half in and half out, so thanks for explaining that. Thanks so much for taking the time to answer all my questions!

  13. Thank you so much for these. I got a lot out of them and will probably go back and watch again. You’ve nailed down a process I sometimes think is totally out of my control. Especially like your closing – we control the words. I’m writing that down and sticking it to my desk where I can see it daily! Thank you, you rock and I’m looking forward to learning more about story from you!

  14. I have a question JA: I’m new, so no where as successful as some of the others on here, and im feeling like im in some sort of limbo hell. I released my book on Valentines Day, no following really, but I did do a pre-order a month before release and got a few sales. They have of course dipped into that valley you mentioned, although my valley is in the single digits (not complaining either as im just blessed anyone is buying and supporting me) but what do I do to get out of those single digit sales numbers, with no budget for ads, social media is filled with other authors trying to accomplish the same thing I am, and there aren’t “fans” to really interact with? I don’t want to spam the hell out of twitter and personal facebook all the time, with “buy my book pretty please” messages, because that sucks for those who see it constantly and I feel if i do a discount, it’ll piss anyone off, who bought it just 3 short weeks ago. Should I just ride it out until the next book releases, am i freaking out about nothing? I’m sorry if I turned this into a “Dear Annie” situation but you’re one of the only people I see who actually gives a shit and is willing to impart some direction, lol.

    P.S: I SO wish I had found you BEFORE I published

    1. You have to do everything I just told you in the video series.
      #1 priority – writing the next book
      #2 priority – finding fans.

      There’s a lot of way to find fans – see video 4 and video 7. But they won’t magically appear. You gotta get out there and make some friends. You have to find a way to get people interested in you and your book without pasting your buy links in every post. Try a giveaway (in which case you will want a buy link). Write the next book then make book one free. It’s not easy. You can equate becoming a successful author with becoming a successful musician. Or actor, or any other creative job. It’s really hard to do and talent isn’t enough. When you hear people say “you gotta want it” that actually translates to “you gotta work so hard you have no life”. 😉

  15. There a lot of steps in the perfect year, but I just wanted to share with everyone that listening to Julie about price point and going broad was the first step in the right direction for me. As my books roll off of KU, I have put them in B&N, Kobo and iTunes and my last release is now a bestseller in new adult over in iBooks. For the last few days I have been making more money over at Apple than I do at Amazon. Honestly, I didn’t think it was possible. Thank you JA Huss!!! I can’t wait to see what happens when I put everything into place this year.

    1. Amazing Lisa! Congrats on the success! I know KU pays well (for some) but building your fan base is something you can keep forever. 🙂 It’s a smart move when the time is right. And everyone’s time is different.

  16. Hi Julie, I’m not usually a big commenter but I had to say THANK YOU for doing this series! Amazing to see your strategies at work, and I can already see ways to lift pieces of it for mine. The long term philosophy definitely resonates, and so does your pragmatic approach to self-management. LOL. Keep yourself sane and your readers happy, right? Makes perfect freaking sense. Thanks again, can’t wait for your craft series 🙂

  17. Hi JA. I’m a Cape Town based Indie Author. To put the buying market in South Africa in perspective, of a population of 50 million people only 1% are regular book buyers and 4000 copies sold is considered a best seller. I’m sure you can imagine how tough it must be to make a living as an Indie Author here. But hey…we carry on and especially now that I’ve discovered you and your “Perfect Year” blog. Thanks for the amazing info on how to plan a perfect year and market books. I’m super excited from a marketing perspective 😉 moving forward. Thanks for taking the time out to share. Very best to you. Gary Hirson.

  18. Hi Julie! Thank you so much for sharing all this! So amazing and helpful! I’m a new author with no platform, launching my first series (mystery). So I have a few extra questions… 🙂

    My goal is to release four books per year and achieve steady money for a modest full-time living. I don’t care about rank or lists right now, only sales. I have enough money to use the modestly priced Xpresso Book Tour services for my initial cover reveals, book blitzes, and reviews.

    1. How should I price Book 1? I love your advice to avoid free and KU if possible, and focus on readers who will pay for your work. But I’m also new. Should I do 99 cents? Will this mean I can’t try for a Bookbub at 99 cents?

    2. If I price Book 1 low, how should I price Book 2, 3 and so on? $3.99? $2.99? All these books are novel length (70,000+ words).

    3. I like the idea of always combining a NEW RELEASE with the COVER REVEAL/PRE-ORDER for the next book in the series. Since I get my covers made way ahead of time, can I have each pre-order be live for the three whole months between each release? Would that lengthy pre-order be a problem? Again, I just want sales, not rank or lists.

    4. If I do combine the cover reveal like that, then what would I do instead for the three months in my “Perfect Year” schedule that are slated for COVER REVEAL? Some of the “Tour Packages” from Xpresso (http://xpressobooktours.com/services/) seem like you can do them any time, not just a cover reveal or a new release. Especially if you have a GIVEAWAY. Would you suggest doing one of those tours? If you did do a tour instead of an official COVER REVEAL, would you promote the PRE-ORDER for the book that was coming out next month? Basically, act *as if* it were a cover reveal, even though it technically isn’t? Or would you promote the previous release from two months back?

    I know you are super busy and you’re already posting your next course, so I really appreciate any comments you have. Thank you, Julie!

    1. 1. It will mean you can’t apply for a Bookbub if you use 99¢. I’d try $2.99 at first. It’s a pretty entry-level price.
      2. Book Two should be same price as Book One. 🙂 At least that’s how I do it. I don’t do sales or discounts. I have regular price and regular price only until the book is a year old.
      3. Yes, you can have a 90-day preorder with Amazon. you can put it up earlier at the other retailers if you want. Everyone has their own opinions on preorders and you won’t formulate one until you try out all the ways to use them (or not). So you just gotta give it a whirl.
      4. You have to be original and creative and come up with ways to find fans. 🙂 Sorry, I have no magic answer for that. This is one of the hardest things to do as a new author and it just takes a lot of time and effort and creativity.

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