A Marketing Ploy For Writers

In one of my earlier posts (more than one, I think), I mentioned that the most difficult part of writing and self-publishing is actually selling the books. You are an independent writer; no publishing house to manage distributing and publicizing your works. You have to do all of that yourself.

I also mentioned a time or two that there are over a million books published each year. Once they’re published online, they will be there forever, unless you decide for some reason to unpublished them. So, every year the available stock increases by another million books or so. With that kind of competition, how does a writer ever sell any books? Well, the sad truth is that almost all of those writers won’t sell 100 copies—ever.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try every marketing ploy you can. One of those is serialization. I’ve mentioned before that author Hugh Howey achieved spectacular success with his scifi novel Wool by publishing it in serial format. As I recall, there are five parts or installments. Part 1 is free, but the remaining four are not. The idea, and it’s a brilliant one, is to entice readers to download and read the freebie. There’s no cost and no risk to the reader. If the book is well written, it should hook the reader. Then he or she has two choices: either buy each separate installment or buy the omnibus (complete) version. The sum total of the cost of the various installments is greater than the cost of the omnibus version; thus, most readers opt to buy it.

You’ll notice on this post that I’ve included the covers of the five parts of my novel Sleeping Dogs: The Awakening, as well as the complete version. Yes, I’ve gone the serialization route, too. The only issue is that it takes time for Amazon to adjust the price of Part 1 to free. They don’t like to sell free books. Moving forward with my novels in the future, I plan to publish each one in serialized format. Amazon also has a rule about how large (volume-wise) the freebie can be. But if you adhere to their rules and have patience, serialization can have a big impact on the success of your novel.

© John Wayne Falbey 2017 All Rights Reserved