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Where’s the enthusiasm for your second book?



The conventional wisdom for vending at conferences or book events is that you should bring more of your debut novel or the first in a series than the others because the follow-through for the others is much less. I certainly understand why – if you didn’t like the first one, then why would pick up the second? Likewise, why start reading a series in the middle? What I’ve found surprising as the launch date for my second novel quickly approaches (July 2nd) is that this time around, despite keeping in mind all the lessons I learned with my first book, it’s been even harder to generate interest from readers about it.


I think this might be for a couple reasons, with the first being I’m not pushing as hard as I did the first time to find bloggers or podcasters to help promote the novel. Many hours were spend researching outlets to pitch my first novel, and the hit to miss ratio was <10%, but I am very proud of those few hits and happy with the resulting coverage. This time around I’m not only finishing the outline for my third book, but I’m also adding the final edits to the short story I’m contributing to the Shapers of Worlds anthology. With a focus more on writing and less on marketing, the number of places where I’ve been able to connect is much fewer. I’m still dubious about the value of a publicist, especially given the high cost, but I see why some

people choose to go that route given the time commitment to finding suitable media outlets.


Second, my success with BookSirens has been both worse this time. What I've seen so far is that the total number of people who have been marketed to are a bit less, the number who have read my blurb has also been less, the number of people who downloaded my book is about the same, but the number who actually left a review is less. BookSirens has warned me that my ARC is “under-performing” compared to other books in the genre, but that also gives me a hint as to what is happening. Fantasy is an over-saturated genre, and unless you are already well known (I am not) or writing in a popular sub-genre (again, I am not), then

the chances of being noticed are practically zero.


I had intended to use the GoodReads Author Program to promote my second book, but there were two things that kept me from following through. The first is that the more reasonably priced option required that my epub be on KDP. That would be fine if I was a self-published author and uploaded my book to Amazon directly, but because I’m published by a small independent press, I’m not part of KDP. That leaves choosing the paperback option for an author giveaway. After calculating what would it cost to ship even five paperbacks to winners, the price wasn’t something I was excited about, so I didn’t use it.


As an aside, it also seems like the more you write, the less impressive it is, up to a point. In my experience, people were impressed when I told them I wrote a book. The idea of writing an entire novel as a singular achievement is exciting because it’s a new thing to share about myself. Now telling people that I’ve written a second, the achievement is diminished a little because I did it once already. I think it will only become impressive again after I complete multiple novels, but I’m not sure what that number will be.


In any event, my second novel is going to be launched with much less fanfare. On the one hand that’s a bit of a bummer, but on the other I’ve used the time that would have been spent marketing on writing. Overall, I think that realignment has made me happier, because now that the finish line is fast approaching for my second book I’m ready to start in earnest on drafting the third. Hopefully, with the next update I’ll be able to say book three writing has begun and I’ll be able to share the title of my anthology contribution.


Thanks for stopping by.

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