How to launch your first book

Hey all, figured this might be encouraging for other newbies like me. I’m not a newbie to writing, but I am a beginner in publishing. I will say, people like Chris Fox and Sever Bronny have been super approachable and helpful throughout all this. Both those guys are/used to be kboarders–that community is full of successful authors who are still willing to help the little guy. So thanks–and also, don’t hesitate to reach out to the vets for advice.  (I would recommend: be respectful, do your homework, buy their books :D)

Anyway, I’m just starting out, definitely still a little fish, but I sold about 300 books in the last 12 days, which is a really good start compared to what I was expecting. (Published the 19th, but didn’t start marketing or anything until later.)

https://imgur.com/a/rOcOHNe

Anyway, the stuff works. At least, it seems to be working out for me.

What I did:

Freebooksy (very useful)
Facebook ads (very useful)
Facebook lead generation (Meh) (See Mark Dawson’s free video course)
BargainBooksy (Complete nothing)
Ams (less than nothing for me)
Bookbub ads (Nada)
Bookbub feature (Coming in 3 weeks)

Spent: about $700

$250 of that was a waste. The facebook leads aren’t a good strategy for me so far, the AMS ads and Bookbub ads have returned bupkis.

Earned: about $550, but the Bookbub feature hasn’t happened yet.

I would say I’ve about broken even, but my KU reads are rising and my sales are steady. Book 3 comes out in two weeks, and Books 1,2, 3 of a new series come out in 3 weeks. That’s when I think things will start taking off.

I also got about 100 organic mailing list subs over the last month, and 350 from facebook leads (don’t think this crowd will remain too engaged unfortunately)

Anyway,

That’s a lot.

But yeah, I’m a newbie who writes in Middle Grade Fantasy. So that’s a double whammy, but still managed to get a pretty decent launch (Minus the wasted $250). So here’s to momentum.

 

Personally, in the 20 days since I launched my first two books, I’ve sold nearly 200 copies of my first book and 100 copies of book 2. My KU page reads are at about 70,000, and I had 3,600 free downloads.

That’s by most standards a pretty successful launch, regardless of the genre.

I’m not saying that to toot my own horn–this is only the tip of the iceberg of what I hope to accomplish–but it is to encourage more MG authors that it is doable.

Some key advice that helped me, and may help others. Some of this advice is specific to MG (middle grade genre) authors.

1. Get good covers. The more you pay, typically, the better they are.
2. Learn how to write; like actually write. Don’t think that you can flub on this just because ‘you’re writing for kids.’
3. Write books that parents will recommend to their kids, because for the most part, starting out, most your readers will be adults. There HAS to be crossover appeal.
4. Market on reddit–a lot of younger readers there who still have nostalgia for Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl etc…
5. Have an ad budget. It will take money to make money. Thankfully, I’ve already earned back everything (and more) that I spent on advertising.
6. If you can get into the schools–do it, that’s a huge word-of-mouth generator. (I haven’t done this yet–but am working on it.)
7. Write a good book.
8. Write a really good book.
9. Make it a series.
10. Repeat steps 7-9 until your fingers hurt.

2 thoughts on “How to launch your first book

  1. Congratulations on your launch and success of The Horrendous Imaginings series (great title and cover btw)! Thank you for posting this article, I think it’s very helpful for launching any book in a series, and I’ll keep it bookmarked for future reference.
    Cheers!

    Like

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