Marketing is crucial to the success of any book. It’s imperative when you’ve written or are planning on writing a book series. It’s tempting to think that the second book in a series (and any after that) will readily sell to the people who read your first book, but this doesn’t happen automatically. If there is a lag between the publication of the first and second book, some readers will forget to look for the next installment. Others may not realize your book is part of a series. Proper marketing that focuses on both the stand-alone books and the series as a whole is critical to establishing loyal readers who will follow you through to the end of the series.
Keep the Momentum Going
Don’t slack off on marketing with your second or third book in series. You can gain new readers and remind current readers by pulling out all the stops when marketing sequential novels. If it’s the first a reader has heard about you and they’re intrigued by the premise of book two, they’ll probably purchase the book series from the beginning. This gives you two sales instead of one. There is never a good time to rest on your old sales, hoping they’ll lead to new ones.
Tie Your Titles Together
You know your books are part of a series, but you need to make this clear to readers. They need to know to look for the next installment or purchase the series all at once. Each of your books will have its own title but consider having an overarching title for the series as well. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy comes to mind as an example. Another is the 1970’s fantasy book series The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever. You can also tie the books together using similar formats for the titles of each book. For instance, the Alphabet Murder Series by Sue Grafton has titles like “A is for Alibi,” and “B is for Burglar,” and so on. Be consistent with cover art as well, using the same artist and style throughout the series. This make it easier to spot your books on bookshelves.
Make Sure Everyone Knows It’s a Series
When you sell your books on a website like Amazon, be sure they are listed as a series rather than stand-alone novels. When potential readers click on a title, they should clearly see that any one of the books is part of a series (Book 1 of the Wrongful Conviction Series by Janet Heijens, for example). Provide links to all the other books in the series. Any time one of the books in a series is reviewed or mentioned online, ask the reviewer or website to mention the series.
Bundle Your Book Series
There are a few ways to make purchasing the whole book series more enticing for readers. If you already have at least the first two books in a series complete, consider discounting the price of the first book to hook readers. If the first book’s conclusion is a cliff-hanger that naturally segues into the second one, you’ll, in effect, guarantee higher sales on the second book by discounting the first one. Another approach is to offer the series as a complete set. If you offer your trilogy at a price that’s 15% off the price of buying each book separately, many readers will buy the series rather than spacing out the purchases. As a bonus, they are less likely to lose interest or get distracted from committing to the entire series.
Don’t Be Afraid to Repackage Your Book Series
What if your book series is published over a long period of time? If there is a lag between each book hitting the market, don’t be afraid to rebrand the series when it is complete. Overhauling the book covers and remarketing is a great way to keep things fresh and introduce new readers to an older book.
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