It is Sunday and I’m sitting on my bed and listening to smooth jazz. The sunshine is coming in through my windows so strong that I nearly can’t see out of my right eye. But I won’t close the curtains. I love the sunshine. It makes me happy. What’s more, I have reason to be happy.
It’s going on mid-November and I’m in the midst of NaNoWriMo, but I’m also finishing up my edits on the third Bridgeport Mysteries book. I’m feeling a bit of pressure to publish it in December, which means I have to get to cracking. Why December? Well, I’ve learned something about publishing books. It’s something other authors have stated, but I’ve never seen work in my life. Writing series books helps sell books. Did that make sense? Let me try again. Writing a series is a good way to increase book sales.
Why? Because when readers enjoy stepping into a world, moving around that world’s characters, and solving mysteries with the protagonists, chances are they’ll want to step into that world over and over again. As a reader, that’s true for me. I inhaled Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta books when I discovered them. I’ve read and re-read Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles books. I purchased the Black Winter books by Darcy Coates as soon as they released. I can tell you how many Nicholas Sansbury Smith Extinction series zombie books I have. ALL OF THEM! I love those worlds. They are guaranteed great reads for me so not only do I buy them, I don’t mind paying more for them if I have to.
Series books sell!
The series I’ve been trying this out with are the Bridgeport Mysteries books. So far two are published and I sell several copies of those books every day. I should add that it’s not just magically happening. I’m doing promo to get those books in front of potential readers. Then, once the readers buy the first book, they consistently seem to buy the second. I had special sale pricing on both books, to give new readers an incentive to buy at low risk, and that worked, too. Now I’ve increased the price of the second book. I was a little nervous that sales would drop off, but that hasn’t happened. It’s still selling. I have one more price increase, but I’m going to do that after I release the third book. Once the third is out there I’ll get to see if it sells as much as the first two. By the third book I should have whittled the readership down to true fans of the series. The third book is the next step in testing.
Why am I testing things out when it comes to book sales? Because writing books is my business and I want it to be a lucrative business. My previous method of throwing spaghetti (books) at the wall and seeing what stuck was not successful. If one book sold well, I had no idea why it was selling well. Because I had no idea why, I could not repeat whatever it was I’d done to increase sales. To have a lucrative career as an author I have to have a plan, understand that plan, have goals in place, be able to analyze if the plan is working, determine whether or not I’m hitting my goals, and be able to re-work the plan if necessary. Right now I’m building a foundation. It’s something I should have done a long time ago. I spent a few years researching successful indie author business practices and now I’m implementing them (fingers crossed). It’s so exciting to see that writing a series is indeed a good way to sell books.
So that’s what I’m working on in regards to book sales. A lot of things come into play when it comes to book sales in addition to selling a series, but having a series is turning out to be a biggie for me. If things go with the third book as I expect, I’m going to continue to put emphasis on this series. At least until I have six books out.
That’s all for now. Until next time, happy reading!