Today, I’d like to reflect on the launch of my new book, Hiss, Rattle and Bite (aka HRB).
I wrote Hiss, Rattle and Bite for fun. Originally intended to be a short story included in a free, holiday anthology, HRB ended up being a $0.99 book. I kept missing the deadline, because the main character named Marigold had more and more to say. I kept adding flashbacks, foreshadowing and internal dialogue because the story called for it.
In the middle of November 2020, I had a solid short story that I was happy with. Instead of 5,000 to 10,000 words, HRB is complete at about 15,000 words, making it a novelette. When I thought about all the time, effort, creativity and money I put into creating Hiss, Rattle and Bite, I just couldn’t make myself give it away for free. I worried that readers wouldn’t value a free indie published book. I worried that either no one would download it or that plenty of people would toss it at the bottom of their to-be-read pile and forget about it.
I wanted my book to have an impact. At $0.99, I thought people would think about it and make a more conscious decision to buy my book. That thoughtful decision might lead to a higher chance of HRB being read, and reviewed. Ultimately, Hiss, Rattle and Bite is a holiday-themed, vampire, urban fantasy, short story meant to entertain fantasy readers during the 2020 holiday season. We could all use a little escapism into a new paranormal world this month, holiday season, and year.
I had high hopes for HRB and still do!
- Catchy and unique book title. ✔
- Striking book cover. ✔
- Priced low to encourage new readers to try my books. ✔
- Sold widely to reach new readers, especially those elusive Barnes and Noble/Nook, Apple/iBook and Kobo readers. ✔
- A short pre-order to generate book buzz ✔
My first goal was to capture more pre-orders than ever before. You see, I’m trying to improve my author business by comparing and besting my previous successes. I don’t feel the need to compete or overly compare myself to other indie authors, and especially not traditional published authors. There are enough readers for us all and, as an avid reader, I know that there is no such thing as too many good books.
My second goal was to see an increase in book sales for my older books, the Nadira Holden, Demon Hunter book series.
My third goal was see an increase in pre-orders for my next book before I started advertising it’s upcoming release.
Lastly, I wanted to see more book reviews, and sooner, than ever before.
One week later, I can draw some early conclusions about how well Hiss, Rattle and Bite launched. Please note that I will ultimately look at the data from the first 4-6 weeks that a new book is live to determine the final results.
Hiss, Rattle and Bite …
- gained more pre-orders than any of my other books.
- earned more book sales than any of my other books did one week after their release.
- has more book reviews than my other books did one week after their release.
- I’ll also add that I had more beta readers and ARC readers for this vampire short story than I did for any of my other books.
Who? What? When? Where? How? Why? Can this be replicated?!?!
I think I owe my success to a growing fan base, a professional website, a decent following on my social media platforms, a better understanding of book marketing techniques and … all of my valuable connections to book bloggers and fellow authors. I’m also getting fantastic engagement on Instagram these days, and I find several book promotion and cross-promotion Facebook groups to be extremely helpful.
I must say that the amount of people freely willing to beta reader, write an honest review, tweet, and/or blog about my book has been outstanding! I simply asked, knowing that the worse thing they could do was say no. And so many people said yes. Not all of them have followed through yet, and some never will, and that’s okay too. When possible, I return the favor with beta reading, honest book reviews, blog spotlights and sharing their bookish content when I see it on social media.
Last, but not least, paid advertisements for books are necessary. I may not gain 1,000 or even 100 new books sales per paid promotion, but each and every book sale counts. I usually see an increase in sales on the days I schedule paid promotions. I try my best to keep track of which ones work for my books and which ones were not worth the cost.
Now that I have successfully launched my third published book, I’m busy writing the next one! Book marketing is an ongoing effort and I promote my books in free ways each day/week/month. My book marketing plan for Hiss, Rattle and Bite spans six weeks of focused effort.
After a short TV watching and book reading break, I am back to writing several nights a week. These are my next two releases:
- Jilted, book one in the Never Marry a Shifter duology, releases on 1/12/2021! Jilted is a thrilling paranormal romance novella. Once included in the limited edition Soul’s Day Boxset, this novella is ready to stand on its own as a highly entertaining and highly rated fantasy book.
- Just a Little Wicked is a witch themed anthology that releases on 3/20/2021! It’s time to get wicked with over a dozen tales of magic, mystery, and mayhem from New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors. Marigold and the new world introduced in Hiss, Rattle and Bite will make an appearance in this anthology!
Comment below with your thoughts and questions!
I’m happy to answer any book release, book launch, book marketing questions you may have!