a blog on the ins and outs of writing
When you are an author in the modern age, you must promote your book online. That doesn’t mean you won’t go to you local bookstores, or even the ones in the surrounding counties. It just means that online promotions are more effective, and cheaper. No gas, no hotel, no lunches out. (Okay, take a lunch for yourself) And millions more potential people to see your book. (Okay, that’s hopeful.)
When you have a print book, promotion has a definite stop moment. Harlequin print authors have six weeks, and then the release is over. They must get working on the next book. Typical print books run 2-6 months, and best sellers can run for years. But e-books have a shelf-life of forever, so when to e-authors get to take a break? Most experts say you should promote for three months around your book. A month before, during and after it’s release. Minimum.
That’s right. MINIMUM.
Many people will tell you to start you promotions way before the book is out to create excitement. That’s what print authors have typically done. Joan Swan does this very well. She’s doing it right now with her second book in the Phoenix Rising series, Blaze. If you go to her website, the cover and excerpt are up and there are pre-order links ready for you to place your order. For classic print sales, like Joan’s books, pre-order blog tours are a must. They drive pre-sales and so drive those first orders the bookstores place. More prominant spots in the bookstores equal more sales. Blog tours must start early and end soon so the print author can promote the next book.
But e-authors are unable to take advantage of pre-order, and the life of an e-book is different from a print book. Typically print books make it or break it in the first few weeks of life. If sales are good in the first week, bookstores order more and sales increase. But it doesn’t last long.
E-books have a different shelf-life. They can be sold forever, they don’t have to be pushed out to make room for the next month’s offerings. And they cannot be pre-ordered. So their sales arc is different. E-books typically start off slow. Their first few weeks are usually not as big as the next few weeks. And some of them have broken out as best sellers a year after being released. Why is that? That’s because they are not in the print book cycle. They are in a forever cycle. And they sell better when the next book comes out. And the next. If you have three e-books in the sales cycle, that’s when most authors typically see there sales go up. So when should you do your blog tour?
All the time.
Sorry authors, it never gets to stop. Do you have to be frantic forever? No. The best time to be blogging like crazy is still the three months around your release, and the next release, and the next. But keep a presence on the web. Your book is still on sale, and the next one is right around the corner. Don’t kill yourself with the über-blog-tour. (Had to use über so I could use a diaeresis!) Just be sure to keep your self out there. Visit friends blogs. Schedule something once or twice a month. Keep up with your own blog and website. And definitely keep up on whatever social media you hang out on, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest. It’s important.
The old days when an author could sit back and take two years to write the next book are over. Now you need to have the next one ready to go while you are promoting the first one. And you need to be promoting something virtually all the time. Maybe not frantically, but consistently. Find a level you can live with and stick to it, then bump it up right around your release and blog, blog, blog for that short period.
Then sit back relax and work on book number three, because book number two is already in the can, right?
How long have you been blogging? Do you ever want to take a break? Are you on the killer blog tour right now? What do you think is appropriate to be doing while you are in between releases? (Ok, that’s a leading question!)
Oh, and I’m on a blog tour stop today at Rom Con Inc!
Come on by and leave a comment to win a copy of Little Red Riding Wolf.