Posted on March 15, 2015
Readers, writers, agents, and publishers love series. If you’re writing one or have one already published, you have a built-in marketing tool. Yes! Your series is the BEST marketing tool you have in your tool box. Why? Because every reader who loves the first book will buy the next and the next…hopefully purchasing the whole series and demanding more!
So let’s look at the advantages and benefits of selling a series:
1. A series is one of the best ways to build a tribe of loyal readers. The first book acts as a gateway to succeeding books. Each new book sells the backlist. This is the easiest and most efficient target marketing an author can do.
2. The bigger the backlist, the more advantages an author has and payoff she receives when doing promotional events. If you have only one book, a book signing or blog tour has limited effect. If you have three or more books in your backlist, a promotional event’s ROI (return on investment for time, effort and money) has more effect on building name recognition and producing sales.
3. Target marketing to new and existing readers becomes more effective over the course of the series. More books per year means more publicity with each book and more books at all times on the bookshelves (digital and/or physical). Note: there are many midlist authors who claim you need at least seven to ten published books to make a living from writing. Some industry insiders say more. Either way, having an ongoing series increases the odds of reaching that goal!
4. Another effective means of target marketing involves attracting prospective readers. Readers are more likely to read a new-to-them author if the book is part of a series. The reader knows if they love the first book, there will be more available to read now (instant gratification) and in the future (something to look forward to). A stand alone, non-series book does not offer this advantage.
5. A series has a larger 'footprint' than a single book, both on shelves and in readers’ minds. A series is more likely to generate word-of-mouth publicity. Readers love talking about the characters, the world, and the plotline and help sell more copies of the books, thus generating a type of bestsellerdom for the author.
Writing a series takes hard work and determination, but each book acts as a strong tool in your author marketing tool box. Every time you sit down at the computer to work on your next novel, you're also working on marketing and promotion for the whole series.
Take time today to think about your writing goals and how a series could work in your overall marketing plans. If you'd like to discuss starting a series or you're wondering how to develop a strategic marketing plan for your career, drop me a line. I offer one-on-coaching for marketing as well as the other Strong Brew Coaching services!