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 Guardian, available 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!)
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!
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)
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.
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:
- A couple of days ago, Ava Louise interviewed me for her The Road to a Dream blog. Come see me admit how messy my desk is and what stage of editing drives me the most crazy.
- This upcoming Sunday (March 1st) at 7pm Eastern (4pm Pacific), I’ll be hosting a Twitter chat on “Structuring Your Story” at the hashtag #RWChat. We’ll be talking tips and advice about how to reliably create well-paced, interesting stories. (If you’ve never participated in a Twitter chat before, they have a Chat 101 post too.)
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.Pin It