When do you publish the next book in a series?

I think what I’m about to say will be familiar to a lot of authors.

My debut novel ‘Echoes from the Lost Ones’ was published in June of this year.

http://www.amazon.com/Echoes-Lost-Ones-Forgetfulness-Volume/dp/1939897041/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Sales are slow. But that is to be expected I guess. I’m not really concerned about that. I’m more worried that I have botched my attempts at getting that all-important author profile going, despite working really hard to put myself on the on-line media world stage, and doing readings and workshops.

Previously to being published, I wasn’t on Facebook or Twitter, or any sites that promote authors. I have come to realise that I should have been much more active on the social media platform and may have left it too late.

My publishers are leaving all of the marketing to me. AHH! I am useless at self-promotion. I’ve tried ‘giveaways’, paid promotion on relevant sites, guest hosting on Facebook events and getting author spotlights. I have noticed that sales went up a tiny bit after I spent a small amount to advertise Echoes on Kindle boards, but sales slumped soon after.  So, the question remains, how do I get folk to notice me and buy the book? I have received some excellent reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, but to what end? Now, I’m all a bit ‘harrumph’ and out of ideas.

So, I was wondering if having the next book in the series come out sooner rather than later, would be a good thing? Would readers be more willing to buy a book when they know that they wouldn’t have to wait to read the next instalment?

Does anyone have any advice? I would appreciate it.

On a different note: is it just me, or do grasshoppers look exactly like Alien?

Image

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5 thoughts on “When do you publish the next book in a series?

  1. An interesting post, Nikki.

    Okay, here are my thoughts, for what they’re worth. I’ve had my non-fiction published rather than my fiction, so I don’t share your delicious dilemma of when to publish your next novel and can’t advise on it.

    SELF-promotion – therein the problem might lie. At the level of established artists (in whatever media), social media manipulation is a game of followers and the followed. For the rest of us, it’s about being good virtual citizens. If you promote your fellow artists then they promote you and your profile builds. It’s enlightened self-interest, I suppose. Publishers in generally don’t really promote books any more, particularly not small presses. So you have to be smart about building up an on-line profile. Those who relentlessly promote their own work tend to get ignored. Those who interact with others (interviewing other authors on their blogs, reading and reviewing their work, commenting on their posts, etc.) tend to be gain higher profiles.

    This may well be your approach already, of course, in which case, ignore all of the above!

    • Thanks for your comments Paul. I think you are right. I do comment and promote other authors when I can. I do need to do more of that. I find the blogging thing quite daunting, so am trying to build that up with a view to doing author interviews. The problem is, that I don’t have a high profile, so authors aren’t too keen to be on a blog post that has very little traffic. I also do quite a bit of reading and reviewing, so I must just plug away at it and hope I can get my profile out there more. Again, thanks for replying, much appreciated:)

  2. Like you I didn’t have FB, Twitter or a blog until I signed a publishing contract and was more or less told to get on with it. The fact that the release date of my book was pushed back (three times!) from February to October gave me more time to get all those platforms running before the book arrived. I also had plenty of time to get reviews up, and to get enough people interested in reading the book once it was released.
    I don’t know what sales are like, slow I imagine, but I don’t really care that much. It’s writing that counts and I do a lot of that—poetry and short fiction as well as novels—so my time is gainfully employed. Blogging is great for building up a profile without having to do any of that brash in your face stuff. You just write whatever you fancy and post it.
    I’m counting on the sequels to The Dark Citadel to get a momentum going. Paul is right that the more you help other people out, the more likely they are to put your name about and give you a hand. But the most useful thing of all, I believe (I hope!) is to get more books out there.
    So, when’s the next installment due?

    • Thanks for your comments Jane. A familiar story! My publishers rushed into publishing not only my book, but all the authors on their books. I didn’t a have chance to build a profile or anything like that. I’m slowly getting there. I too keep writing, short stories, a poem now and then. I also do not check how many books I’ve sold, don’t see the point. I’m not expecting many sales to be honest, certainly not with a debut novel! I will self publish my short story collection though. I still have no idea when the second instalment is going to be out, up to the publishers and they’re not exactly pestering me. It is finished,but I want time to edit it, to make it as good as I can before unleashing it. I hope your books do well!!! Hope to start reading The Dark Citadel soon, really looking forward to it. Thanks again for commenting:)

      • Small publishers don’t do themselves any favours by messing their authors about. Once you see how it’s done, and how little so many of them are prepared to do for you, there’s not much incentive to give them any more books. Okay, so they don’t promote, but the least you expect is to get good editing, and some of them don’t even deliver that. As soon as you’re satisfied that you’ve got volume 2 into shape, do start pestering your publisher to get on with it though—a monastery in the clouds is no place to leave your characters languishing!

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