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February 26, 2015

Boom! Publishing Like Beyoncé

Firework explosion with text: Boom! Publishing Like Beyoncé

A bit over a year ago, Beyoncé surprised the music world by secretly dropping a new album onto iTunes with zero advance promotion. Her release made news a) because it was Beyoncé and b) because the strategy was something new and different.

Recently in the publishing world, there’s been grumblings or suspicions that traditional marketing events like months-in-advance cover releases weren’t generating the excitement they used to. Some book bloggers have flat-out said they’re no longer interested in hosting cover reveals. “What’s the point,” others said, “when there’s no way to take advantage of that attention with a buy link yet?”

Good question. What’s the point of gaining eyeballs if there’s no “call to action”?

I don’t know about you, but with ebooks so cheap, I tend to purchase a story that interests me when I first hear about it, and I have a hard time remembering whether I’ve already bought a title or not. (One of my main reasons for buying from Amazon is because of the “You purchased this product on…” banner. That’s saved my wallet more times than I can count!) So when a book is mentioned that I know I’ve heard of before, I might not check it out, thinking I’ve already grabbed it.

That’s the danger of promoting in a long run-up to release. By the time we have buy links, people might think our book is old news.

So with that in mind… *smile*

Boom! I’m a Published Author!

Some of you might have heard the news when I announced this yesterday, but for the rest of you, I know what you’re thinking. Half of you are probably going, “Wait, weren’t you published already?” And the other half of you are saying, “Geeze, it’s about time!”

Believe me, I know. *grin* It took me a long time to get to this point, and I’ll be sharing the details here on my blog in the weeks to come, but let’s get to the announcement stuff first, and then we’ll talk results down below.

I decided to go into stealth mode about my publishing plans and not even hint at what I was working on. No buy links—no point in mentioning it. Now I have two books out in some shape or form now, and they’re both part of…

The Mythos Legacy Series: Real Love for Real Myths

Paranormal Romance / Contemporary Fantasy Romance

Each standalone story in the series can be read in any order and ends happily(!), as mythological beings—from shapeshifting gryphons and dragons to unicorns and gargoyles—find their perfect match (who are more than up to the job) among humans.

  • The series kicks off with a short story, Unintended Guardianavailable for free at some retailers.
  • The first full-length novel, Treasured Claim (winner of 3 Grand Prize/First Place RWA chapter contests), is available for pre-order at a special sale price.

First Up… Unintended Guardian (Out Now!)

Unintended Guardian Book CoverCursed to darkness,
he makes a wish for freedom.
She shows up instead…

A shapeshifting gryphon cursed to eternal darkness…

Sunlight shouldn’t be deadly to Griff Cyrus. Determined to break his curse, he follows an oracle’s bizarre instructions to have a magical package shipped to his apartment. Since when do brown trucks deliver mystical cures?

A lonely woman craving the spice of life…

Kala Kaneko’s social life couldn’t be more bland. When a strange parcel arrives at her door by mistake, she seizes the excuse to introduce herself to the intended recipient, her mysterious neighbor.

Fate has a twisted sense of humor…

Griff expects the package to free him from the curse, but opening the box unleashes a mythical creature bent on Kala’s death. Yet if Griff follows his instincts to protect her, he could sacrifice his last chance at freedom.

*****

Welcome to the Mythos Legacy!

Unintended Guardian is the short story introduction to the Mythos Legacy series. An excerpt of Treasured Claim, the first full-length novel in the series, is included at the back of this book!

Available at:

Amazon | Apple iTunes | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | Kobo | All Romance eBooks | Smashwords

(Click here for the latest links)

To give you a taste of the Mythos Legacy world, Unintended Guardian is listed for FREE everywhere except non-U.S. Amazon stores. I’m still working on the Amazon international stores, but if you live outside the U.S., feel free to “report a lower price” to them. *grin*

Next Up… Treasured Claim (Pre-Order Sale)

Treasured Claim Book CoverDesperate for treasure,
a dragon resorts to thievery,
but a knight steals her heart…

A shapeshifting dragon on the verge of starvation…

For Elaina Drake, sparkling jewels aren’t a frivolous matter. Without more treasure for her hoard, she’ll starve. On the run from her murderous father, she’s desperate enough to steal—er, acquire.

A modern-day knight seeking redemption…

Disgusted by his father’s immorality, Alexander Wyatt, Chicago’s biggest corporate titan, is determined to be a man of honor. Yet the theft of a necklace, stolen by an exotic beauty at his latest fundraiser, threatens to destroy all his charitable work.

A predator made prey…

Passion ignites between thief and philanthropist, sparking a game of temptation where jewelry is the prize. But when Elaina’s exposure jeopardizes Alex’s life, she must choose: run again to evade her father—or risk both their lives for love.

*****

Available at:

Amazon | Apple iBooksBarnes & Noble | Kobo

(GooglePlay and a print version coming soon—click here for the latest links.)

Treasured Claim is currently priced at $0.99, just for the pre-order sale. Its normal price will be $2.99, so order your copy early. *wink*

The Results: How Did a No-Teaser Release Work?

I’m not a numbers person (hence all my auto-math beat sheet worksheets *smile*) because numbers like those are easy come, easy go. I don’t want to become obsessed with checking my sales figures or ranking.

(In fact, my beta buddy Angela Quarles teased me about being the first author she knew who didn’t check their sales numbers. Impatient for me to “get around to it,” she looked up my numbers for me. *grin*)

I’m sure the numbers I saw last night aren’t going to make it through today. (I might be a Pollyanna, but I’m also pragmatic about reality.) But what I saw yesterday convinced me that I didn’t hurt my release by not talking about it in advance ad infinitum.

When I braved looking at the Amazon rankings last night, Unintended Guardian was at #28 in Kindle Short Stories, #60 in the Hot New Releases for the Fantasy and Futuristic Romance category, #94 in the Hot New Releases for the Paranormal Shifters Romance category, and broke below 8,000 in the overall Kindle Store.

Treasured Claim landed somewhere in the Top 100 of the Hot New Releases for Fantasy and Futuristic Romance too. I saw it at #75, but it was lower earlier, when I didn’t have a clue yet how to look it up to know the actual number. As a debut “nobody” with no promotion other than my friends from here, Twitter, and Facebook, I’ll take all of that. *smile*

I’m extremely lucky and blessed that my nearly 5 years of blogging and being on social media gave me a platform that most don’t have. If I didn’t have that support, no strategy would have made a difference.

And that’s what I really took away from the chaos yesterday: Either people are excited about our book and/or about supporting us, or they’re not. No amount of false rah-rah promo is going to get someone excited about our release.

Might we be able to create an image of excitement? Sure. But that sounds like too much non-writing time and effort to me.

Others’ mileage may vary, of course. As we’ve often mentioned here on my blog, the right choices for us depend on our goals. For me, I’d rather get back to the work of writing than spend time pasting promo onto Facebook every other day.

Speaking of getting back to work, I want to share two events with you:

So… Do I have any grand advice based on my one measly, less-than-24-hours experience? Nope.

However, as I mentioned at the outset, the high rate of information turnover online might mean that if we talk about a milestone too much in advance, the news might “sound” old by the time the event comes to pass. Besides, with how busy I was, trying to get two books ready at once, I didn’t need the stress of pre-release promo too. *smile*

Do you still get excited by cover reveals? Do you tend to think news is old if you’ve heard it before? Has this impression affected how you think of book releases? What do you think would be the perfect release strategy—and why? If you disagree with my perspective about pre-buy-link promo, please share your thoughts!

P.S. If you want to hear about my next release as soon as I announce it, make sure you’re signed up for my New Release mailing list. Sign up for one or both of my newsletters (New Blog Posts and/or New Releases) on the sidebar, or if you already receive my blog posts by email, click the “Edit your subscription” link in the footer to add the New Release list to your subscription.

P.P.S. If you’re super excited about my releases and want a Backstage Pass, request a GOLDen Ticket here to get access to exclusive content and information.

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43 Comments on "Boom! Publishing Like Beyoncé"

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Carradee

the high rate of information turnover online might mean that if we talk about a milestone too much in advance, the news might “sound” old by the time the event comes to pass.

Or it might actually BE old, particularly if life kicks the author in the teeth and throws the person off-schedule.

Those combined items seem to nail what’s been niggling at me, lately, regarding announcements and news. Thanks for helping me ID that. 🙂

Angela Quarles

Congrats!!!

I’ve been wondering lately too about announcing things too early. I, unfortunately, didn’t start seeing that advice until AFTER I’d set up a 3-month pre-order for my 2nd book. I was just so excited to have a cover and I did have links to buy, but still, I think it might have hurt me. I think having the pre-order links helps mitigate it somewhat, but I might narrow that time down next time around.

I saw someone take an informal poll and it seemed to land on about a month out before people forgot that it wasn’t a pre-order and then started assuming the book was already out when they saw the cover again at launch time…

Kerry Meacham
Kerry Meacham

Hi Jami,

Got both books. BTW, I certainly didn’t mind paying $0.99 for Unintended Guardian. I know you’re a great writer, so I fully expect more the $0.99 of short story goodness!!! 🙂

Good luck,

Kerry

Dani Jace

Double congrats! And yes I thought you were published. I’m facing the dilemma now with an upcoming June release. It’s already up for preorder. I’ve posted the cover on my website and social media but don’t want to over saturate people so that they’re over it by the time the book releases. Yet it’s hard to know who many people even see what I’ve posted. One of the FB blog groups I’m a member of only shows half of the forty members saw the post. Best of luck! I’ll be checking out Unintended Guardian 🙂

Robert Doucette
Robert Doucette

Congratulations! I was surprised your entry into the rank of published authors is so recent. Mostly because I think your writing and your knowledge of writing is wonderful, but because I already saw your books on Amazon. I regularly check to see if people who talk ABOUT writing actually practice what they preach. (Such as avoid cliques.) And yesterday, after reading your blog, I looked up Jami Gold in Amazon and THERE YOU WERE!!! (Also, avoid all caps and exclamation marks.)

Well done. We are all very happy for you.

Taurean J. Watkins (@Taurean_Watkins)
First off, congratulations Jami! I knew something had to get you to the next step eventually. For me, unless I was contractually obligated, there was no way I could keep selling “GABRIEL” in 2012 to myself for too long after I signed the contract with my publisher, that was nearly a decade of my life, and I do think sometimes the pre-release build can help, especially if in my case you’re going to launch a crowdfunding campaign to aid in upping the quality of the publication process. I want a really nice cover and illustrations for my book (Children’s) and since neither my publisher nor I alone can fund it, I’m turning to crowdfunding so I can hire a great illustrator and have my character visually depicted which I can use for PR down the road as I near launch. I have a plan b if I need to use it, but as scared as I am to do something like this, having been part of other campaigns where I not only contributed money but also helped with the PR as much as I could, I know how it feels to help be part of something that might not exist without you and countless others. I knew in my heart that if I didn’t do this, even if I don’t succeed, I’d regret it, and while I’d intended to do it sooner, I needed to better build my community, I wanted to have enough support before I launched that I… Read more »
Ava Louise

Jami,

It was an honor to introduce your stories to my readers! Thank you so much for guesting on my blog. I agree with you wholeheartedly about liking Amazon’s message that I’ve already purchased a book! It has saved my wallet, too. With it possible to list books MONTHS in advance, I forget which books I have pre-ordered. If my To Be Read “stack” was in paper form, I’m sure I could wipe out a few acres of forest! Thank goodness for e-readers. Your book has been moved to the top of my stack though, and I’ll be sure to leave a review when I am finished. Congratulations on a successful launch.

As always,
Your Faithful Reader,
Ava

ChemistKen

Congratulations, Jami. You really did tighten up that query of yours into a nice synopsis. And sometimes, cover reveals are also good for lifting your own spirits too.

Jennifer Rose

Congratulations, Jami!

I’ve learned so much from you and so grateful that Kristen Lamb digitally introduced me to you, that I’m excited to read your books! 🙂

Interesting marketing idea! I keep hearing that ‘traditional marketing’ for books isn’t as effective anymore. However, us Indies seem to be trying to duplicate the Traditional marketing methods anyways…

Laurie Evans

Congratulations! Off to check it out…

Sarah
Sarah

First off congratulations.

Second, i have just read unintended guardian. I never usually read romance. But, I’ve followed your blog for a while and wanted to see your amazing writing advice reflected in your own work. I was so gripped by Griff, that I just enjoyed reading. I really hope there is more from Griff later.

I’ve pre-ordered your novel and cannot wait to read it.

I wish you all the best Jami. Your work is brilliant, thank you for sharing your world. 🙂

Tracy Campbell

Congratulations, Jami! 🙂

Julie Musil

OMG Jami!! I’m SO excited for you! Now it all makes sense. When you tweeted that Lisa Green shared your book birthday, I wondered what the heck you meant. Congratulations!

J'aime
J'aime

Jami, congratulations! I am a day late to the party, but I saw that Amazon still hadn’t got a clue as far as price-matching your story, so I handed them one. LOL. Hope it helps. I’m looking forward to reading it.

By the way, as a non-Kindle ebook reader, I appreciate authors that go multi-platform instead of Amazon exclusive, so thank you. 🙂 All Romance is an especially fun place to shop. I only discovered it recently.

Melissa Maygrove

Congratulations! 😀 Got my copies. 🙂

I did it up big for my debut, ’cause you only get to do that once, but for the next book it will be a much softer release. All that cover revealing and release announcing was fun, but it was a LOT of work that didn’t net me many sales.

Julie Glover

Woo-hoo! I’ve been looking forward to this, so a big congratulations on publishing.

I’m also one who does not check sales numbers. I wish there was some program that would just aggregate it all for me and shoot me the highest ranking I got to. (Anyone know of one?) Besides, I’m personally a fan of what I call the snowball release more than the splash — that is, the most successful books (and writing careers) seem to build like a snowball gaining more and more momentum, whereas big book launches can make a splash and then fizzle. (Of course, the splash-and-snowball would be perfect, but if made to choose…)

All the best, Jami! Keep writing great stuff.

Gloria Oliver

Congrats on the releases! Way to go!

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Denise D. Young

Congrats, Jami! I pre-ordered Treasured Claim. Can’t believe I have to wait until May to read it, but I’ll just have to be patient. 🙂

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