Post-Launch Inventory: What Happens On Tour

sof3_whot_teaser01_08232016I so didn’t mean to skip my July post, but things got super busy. Between writing my next book and preparing for August 19th, I totally forgot.

I wrote a recap of my launch plan over on the Kboards Writers’ Cafe, if anyone’s interested. I released this book on less than $200 out of pocket—with special thanks to everyone who participated in my GoFundMe for the What Happens On Tour cover design.

The release party on the 19th went extremely well. I had a full lineup of author takeovers, plus lots of door prizes. Here are the attendance numbers:

  • Interested: 30
  • Went: 78
  • Invited: 690

Not my best attendance rate, reader participation was the highest I’ve ever had.

What Happens On Tour was on pre-order for $0.99 for a week before release; I left it at the sale price over the weekend after launch. This resulted in 20 sales across Amazon, iBooks, etc (and there’s still another week left in the month). I also made the first book in the series permafree, which has so far resulted in over 130 downloads across the board. I have several promotions advertising the free first book coming up in September, so I’m optimistic for next month’s sales too.

Post-party, my social media numbers are as follows:

  • Newsletter: 251 subscribers
  • Twitter: 1,370 followers
  • Facebook: 503 likes
  • VIP Facebook reader group: 93 members
  • Romance Readers Anonymous: 123 members
  • Wattpad: 155 followers

Speaking of Wattpad, each of the books I have available there are doing well, too:

  • Sandpaper Fidelity (full): 39.6K reads / 1.2K votes / 26 comments
  • SOF1—Diving Into Him (full): 316 reads / 3 votes / 2 comments
  • SOF2—Savannah’s Song (excerpt): 132 reads / 4 votes / 0 comments
  • SOF3—What Happens On Tour (excerpt): 6 reads / 0 votes / 0 comments
  • The Nanny with the Skull Tattoos (excerpt): 8.4K reads / 149 votes / 5 comments
  • Playing for You (excerpt): 97 reads / 0 votes / 0 comments
  • Becoming Natalie (excerpt): 103 reads / 1 vote / 0 comments

So far, all reader feedback has been excellent (with the exception of one message from a reader asking why my books aren’t all free).

My plan was to submit Diving Into Him to be featured once it was complete, but unfortunately Wattpad has closed their featured submissions for the time being due to overwhelm. I’m hoping there will be enough crossover from Sandpaper Fidelity to get the SOF series going.

Today I sent an announcement to all followers letting them know that I’d like to give them free copies in exchange for their honest review on Amazon.

Speaking of reviews, my Amazon reviews are growing too!

  • CIT1—Crazy Comes in Threes: 0
  • CIT1.5—”The Santa Pact”: 0
  • Becoming Natalie: 2 (4.0 average)
  • Sandpaper Fidelity: 0
  • Playing for You: 0
  • The Nanny with the Skull Tattoos: 45 (3.6 average)
  • SOF1—Diving Into Him: 8 (4.2 average)
  • SOF2—Savannah’s Song: 1 (5.0 average)
  • SOF3—What Happens On Tour: 3 (5.0 average)
  • Sade on the Wall (writing as Kaylene Campbell): 10 (4.5 average)

I had Playing for You in KU for 90 days to no avail; its last day is today and it only got a handful of readthroughs. Tomorrow it’s going wide again and eventually I will be rebranding it as the prequel to the South of Forever series (possibly with a better title).

I have a campaign beginning in September to increase reviews. A reader recently messaged me and posted to my VIP group asking why my books don’t have more reviews, saying she loves them and they should have more. I went so long being too shy to ask and, though I’ve asked my reader group a couple of times, I didn’t get much response. The only thing that’s worked well for me in the past was offering incentives; that and NetGalley was how The Nanny with the Skull Tattoos got to 45 reviews since its re-release in January (previously it had like 10).

Going forward, I plan to keep doing what I’ve been: leveraging my free tools and advertising when I can. When the South of Forever series is complete and I’ve begun my next series, I may pop SOF into KU to see if it does better. (From what I’ve gathered, standalones don’t tend to get much traction in KU.) I’ve been thinking of putting my duology in KU from the get-go, but I’m not sure yet.

Speaking of my duology, the first book, Just One More Minute, comes out sometime in November. (I’m aiming for the 18th but it’s not set in stone just yet.) Then, in January or February, I’ll release the fourth and final book in the SOF series.

As soon as I can afford it, I plan to start listing all of the SOF books on NetGalley, too. Reviews and releases are my main focus right now.

That’s all for now! I’ll try to update here more regularly in the coming months.

CHECK OUT THE SOUTH OF FOREVER SERIES

Diving Into Him (South of Forever, Book 1), by Elizabeth Barone Savannah's Song (South of Forever, Book 2), by Elizabeth Barone What Happens On Tour (South of Forever, Book 3), by Elizabeth Barone

Buy Now »

Launch Plan Inventory: Wattpad (June 2016)

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 5.58.52 PMFor the release of What Happens on Tour (South of Forever, Book 3), I wanted to go hard with Wattpad. Not only have I been posting chapters from Diving Into Him (SOF1) twice a week, but I also have several other works available.

Wattpad has an incredibly large audience that loves to read. And the readers there are dedicated. They will gladly comment on and vote on stories they love. I think Wattpad is a fantastic way to test a concept or to beta a novel. It’s also a great way to bring new readers to a series—whether it’s already selling well or mostly unknown.

Check out author Lindsay Buroker’s posts on leveraging Wattpad:

I’m a little bummed that I didn’t record stats from all of my Wattpad books when I posted my launch plan for SOF3. Things are going really well, though, so I figured I’d do so now, that way I can compare in July, August, and onward.

Right now I have six books on Wattpad. Most of them are excerpts, but Sandpaper Fidelity is available in its entirety. Diving Into Him will be, too.

I’ve had my Wattpad account for a while, but haven’t done much with it before. As of today, I have 85 followers. However, none of my books include a call to action (CTA) to follow me. I’ve rectified that.

Here are the numbers (and some notes) for each book.

Sandpaper Fidelity
Length: Complete
Currently featured in ChickLit
Reads: 17K
Votes: 606
Comments: 15

The feedback so far is very good. People really like this book, even though it’s super hard to market because it doesn’t really fit into any particular genre. This was my soap opera-esque serial that I published in bite size pieces back in 2012.


The Nanny with the Skull Tattoos
Length: Excerpt (5 chapters)
Reads: 4.5K
Votes: 80
Comments: 4

Because it’s not the full novel, it likely won’t get featured, so I didn’t even bother submitting. Still, it does pretty well organically—similar to the complete book’s sales across Kindle, iBooks, etc.


Diving Into Him (South of Forever, Book 1)
Length: In progress
Reads: 75
Votes: 0
Comments: 0

I’m posting a new chapter every Tuesday and Thursday, until the entire book is on Wattpad. Then I’ll submit it to be featured in the Romance category.


Savannah’s Song (South of Forever, Book 2)
Length: Excerpt (5 chapters)
Reads: 70
Votes: 0
Comments: 0

I don’t have any plans to post the whole book, so it probably won’t get much attention until Diving Into Him is complete.


Playing for You
Length: Excerpt (5 chapters)
Reads: 34
Votes: 0
Comments: 0

This one is floundering, but it’s an older book. It’s sort of a sequel to the South of Forever series; originally it was a series of six novelettes, but I combined them all into one book to market more easily. It’s not really a romance in the traditional sense, though it is a love story. It’s kind of hard to market and I’m thinking of eventually just branding it as an SOF sequel. Currently the full book is free for Kindle Unlimited readers.


Becoming Natalie
Length: Excerpt (7 chapters)
Reads: 58
Votes: 0
Comments: 0

This is another one that initially was a series of shorter books. It was a trilogy of novellas. To make things easier on myself, I combined the three into one standalone. Honestly, I’ve been wondering if this was really a smart move. My concern is, if I go back to separate books, it might confuse people. So it’s basically been relegated to a dark corner of my backlist. It’s ChickLit and pairs really well with a day on the beach. Eventually I may do something with it, to get it more eyeballs in general. Right now, the excerpt on Wattpad is the seven chapters from the first novella.


By far, Sandpaper Fidelity is my most successful. It’s on the dark and gritty side, so I’m surprised that it’s doing so well in ChickLit. But I have no complaints! People really seem to like it, and I’m leveraging it to grow my readership.

I’m sure I’m not using Wattpad to its maximum potential, but I think I’m doing all right!

Do you use Wattpad? Comment and tell me what you’re doing!

Marketing Plan for South of Forever, Book 3!

via Unsplash
via Unsplash

For better or worse, this is my battle plan.

Now that I’m settled post-publisher—all of my books with the small press are back on the digital market, with paperbacks coming soon*—I’ve turned my focus to preparing for my next release.

Onward, right?

Since two of the books that were reverted to me were published right before the close, they got zero marketing attention. My book manager and I had a pretty solid plan, but the publisher announced they wouldn’t be offering any of their usual support in their last month of business. Book 1 was a re-release and Book 2 was a brand new release. Book 1 was originally published last summer, with a pared down version of the marketing plan below. Book 2 kind of just slid into the world with no fanfare (except for a release party I went through with on Facebook, in spite of the bad news).

I decided to focus my time and budget on re-releasing all four books, which is why Book 2 of my series got pretty much no marketing attention. I’ve been doing my usual weekly teasers, and have samples available on Wattpad (with samples trickling to my author blog starting next week). I also did a promo where, through June 1st, if anyone purchased Book 1 or 2 and sent me their receipt, I sent them the standalone that spun off the series.

My dashboard with the publisher’s sales reports was down all May, so aside from the three emailed receipts I received, I have no idea how well the book did. It’s back on the market now, but I’ve got crickets as far as sales go.

Which is totally okay, because I’m pulling out all the stops for Book 3. Continue reading “Marketing Plan for South of Forever, Book 3!”

How to Choose Keywords for Your Book

via Unsplash
via Unsplash

Same deal as with the business/marketing plan post; I plan on coming back to write up a text, step-by-step guide, but to save my wrists and get people going, I’ve done another late-night, Liz-babbling podcast!

Resources

Again, I can’t stress enough how valuable the Writers’ Cafe on Kboards is! Seriously, sign up and lurk as much as possible. Ask questions. These people are so helpful.

I’m exhausted, so this post is a little more rushed than the other one. But I will get some text up in here soon.

Leave a comment or email me if you have any questions!

I also have a post on writing a marketing plan, as well as a mega post on self-publishing.

If you’d like to tip me for this information, you can pick up some of my books or buy me a coffee via PayPal. Thank you!