I'm writing this today a week off the heels of Valiance and Defiance's launch! Due to several factors (you, my readership being one of them) we were able to ascend Valiance to #1 in all of its categories.
For half of July 5th, Valiance was in the amazon top 50 in the kindle store. It had a best-seller tag, it was a really good feeling to see my book up there with the likes of Nora Roberts and Stephan King- but only for a moment. I broke water to take a breath, and sunk back into obscurity... at least I'll have a little money to show for it, *sad laugh*.
So that said, a huge breakout hit that didn't happen, and I didn't expect it to, but Valiance is a great read and I think people'll respond well to it. This is good. It feels like a step in the right direction, solidly so. If people react with good reviews and feedback, that's all the more reason to continue. Though until that point I'm just here writing the sequel. I was planning on writing it anyway, but now I have all the more reason to do so. Expect to see the second novel, Eminence, to be released late September.
This was a wonderful launch, and really helped me get the feel of dealing with amazon's "upward curve" of sales method of advertising.
Now, about that screw up:
An important aspect of the "upward curve" is to ensure a steady upward trend of sales, moving from low to high. It's rather counter productive, which is why amazon's algorithms tends to treat it with more weight if it happens. Causing the upward trend tells amazon that people like the book, and that its conversion rate is high, and possibly growing. For that, they'll advertise your book more often to possible customers.
In attempting to create this trend, some of the promotion services I paid to do their work... didn't do such a good job. There were some that couldn't outdo my own launch momentum, (email list + social media + The Dank Kult) even with an email list that they claimed were in the high five digits- quite unexceptional! That said, the upward trend didn't operate perfectly and looks more like a lump. Turns out the highest performing service was the ereaderiq / booksends joint promotion: thanks, you people are seriously rad at what you do.
So that said Valiance has plummeted back down the charts, but I'm still moving a lot of amazon unlimited page reads! I have no idea what the check from them will look like, but I have a sneaking suspicion I can by two packs of ramen noodles for myself as a reward tonight!
What I learned from this launch:
-Yup, covers are super, super important
-Blurbs are super, super important
-Test advertisers/promoters before putting them in action for a launch - I only get one shot at these launch thingamajigs, but it's worth getting right the first time.
-Lead magnets work! - I'm happy to say I'm adding roughly an extra 3-5 emails to my list each week thanks to Defiance. Offering a short story for a sign up really seems to be a win-win!
-Doing kindle table of contents stuff is actually super easy, and I might be an idiot for having taken this long to learn it
-Book covers... really, book covers.
I'll do my best next launch as well, especially when you're my readership. You blow me away daily with your support, please keep it up! Every email, review and like brightens my day so much, it reminds me this is all worth going forward on.
For those of you who've read Valiance, what do you think thus far? Do you think Cole's a relatable main character? You can leave a comment or just shoot me a missive at firstname.lastname@example.org .
With much love,