So, you’ve written a book, you’ve released it, it’s out into the world, and now… what. Now, what do you do? Now, what do you work on next? How do you continue momentum? How do you bring in more readers? How do you keep up engagement? How do you progress onto the next project? How do you even pick your next project?
And how the hell do you pick between passion and profits?
Well, let’s break it down. Let’s talk about it. Let’s figure out how to continue success.
MARKETING AFTER THE FIRST THIRTY DAYS
Thirty days after release, according to Amazon, your book is no longer a new release. And, while you can keep pushing like it is a new release on your own, trust me, you’re going to be BURNED OUT. You’ve been doing the hard push for weeks, trying to stay on the top of everyone’s feed, and probably on the top of some charts.
And now, it’s time to let things fall and see where they settle.
To be honest, the phase AFTER the first thirty days is probably my favorite marketing era. You’ve got readers. You know what their favorite lines are. You probably have popular highlights on your ebook. You know what things make readers scream, you’ve got reader feedback, and now it’s time to turn that into marketing.
Was there a scene that had readers screaming on a tiktok? Maybe a favorite quote people dropped onto their reviews? Also, popular highlights! Seriously! Go highlight them all yourself!
And now, turn them into content. Those favorite scenes? Turn them into POVs for tiktok. Favorite quotes? Put them on a pretty graphic and throw them onto instagram, or do a page flipthrough on tiktok.
You know what makes your current readers giddy. You know what made them promote your book. You know what they loved the most.
IF THEY LOVED IT, THEN IT WILL PROBABLY BRING IN NEW READERS TO LOVE IT AS WELL.
You’re probably also now ready to start marketing your next book, if you have another one on your writing desk… but don’t forget your previous books! Put them on a rotation! Tell yourself that once a week, you’ll post a video and a post on instagram promoting the previous book. Or twice a week. Or SOMETHING!
And, if you have a series? Lots of things?
You can, if you are busy writing and can’t assemble spoons, do an entire week promoting a different book, like a round robin, using popular quotes! Or, pull out the same things you used to promote your book BEFORE release, and re-record or repost them, only this time remove the “pre-order” information and put in where they can buy it!
Reuse content! Reuse sounds! Post the same thing fifteen different ways!
Seriously. You’ve seen, now, what content gets the most likes, and what readers enjoy. REUSE, REUSE, REUSE.
Don’t burn yourself out with marketing further. You survived the push to release and the thirty day hard grind. Now should be easy mode.
TIMING YOUR NEXT RELEASE
A hot button discussion in the indie author space is how often or when you should publish your next book. I’ve gone back and forth on this, I know what my own goal is, and I’m going to present the facts to you, but, you have to make your own adult decisions on this one.
The simple fact is, amazon seems to like it more if you release within 90 days… and so do readers.
Readers are ravenous! They’ll never get enough! The book you took six months to write? They read it in six hours. And they want more!
But, honestly, you’ll never be able to keep up with reader demand. All you can do is keep writing and publishing on the time chart that works best for you, until one day, readers arrive to see your big back catalogue to keep them satisfied while waiting for your next one.
See Ruby Dixon with her huge catalogue, various series and worlds, all keeping people entertained for months on end.
Again, you will NEVER be able to keep up with reader demand, so rather than trying to go as fast as you can, go with steady as you can!
But, what if you do write fast? Well, that’s a possibility too! My friend Clio Evans releases a book every thirty days, or so it seems, and does well at that! Clio can manage that with their time table, and so, it works for them and their readers.
But, don’t try to do the impossible!
When you put up your next pre-order, set it for a year in advance! You can change it to sooner when you’re closer to being done. And, give readers a vague season. “The Fall” works for your September goal, but can be changed to November if you’re not going to get it done in time.
You can’t rapid release books if you burn yourself out.
Slow and steady. I aim for once a quarter. Just… write at your own pace, and release when you can.
Readers would rather have more books from you over a slower time because you didn’t burn yourself out over a couple of books that you released back to back and then never returned to.
But also, another note. Keep in mind things beyond a book release… like audiobooks and book boxes and special editions. Those should go into your plans as well. See… me currently supposed to be working on a book coming out in May but I’m proofing two audiobooks in April back to back.
PLAN BETTER THAN ME! AND PLAN FOR THE EXTRAS!
BUT WHAT DO YOU PUBLISH NEXT?
That… is a great question.
Because a lot hinges on WHAT you are releasing next. The next book in a series? You might want to schedule that closer. A standalone? You can market that differently from a series book. A new series? You’re going to need to do a burst of marketing to pull in new readers who might not have been interested in your first book but would be interested in your next one.
So, how do you decide?
Welp… that’s up to you, and actually, has to do with this subthought…
Passion vs Profit
Love what you do and you’ll never… blah blah blah.
That’s a great sentiment and all, but it’s also not reality if you don’t have a bunch of money in your pocket. The simple fact is that, while for some publishing a book is simply about the fun of publishing a book, many people want to and NEED TO turn a profit.
For me, I did this as a pipe dream with the hope that I could just make back the money that I had spent on this, and now that it’s time for me to return to working full time because my youngest is two (almost three), I’m instead turning this into a career.
It’s no longer about just having fun and publishing a book because I have the dream. This is now a career. My family relies on the money I make from publishing. I have people who are counting on me. I have a PA who works for me. I have signed contracts for cover design and for audiobook narration and for editing. I have to make money.
And not just a little money. Enough money to give to my family, to pay my taxes, and to pay the people who work for me.
I can’t just write silly little things that I enjoy and hope someone else out there wants to read it to.
But, luckily for me, people DO want to read the silly little things I want to work on… but not always.
I have a few ideas in my back pocket that, honestly, I don’t think will do well with people. They’re a little too niche. A little too chaotic. Things that I’ll enjoy, but the mass readers won’t.
So, what do I do? I pencil them in between other projects. I make time for them in between things that I think will do better.
BUT I ALSO KEEP IN MIND THAT JUST BECAUSE I THINK I KNOW SOMETHING, I DON’T KNOW EVERYTHING.
Because if you had told me that Vampire in the Bookstore would do as well as it has (before I saw the cover, because the second I saw the cover I realized oh my god people are gonna eat this up)…
If you are passionate about a project, people will see that. And, if you only work on a project because you think it will sell but have no love for it, people will read it in your pages.
It’s a hard decision, where to go next. And, worst case scenario, ask your readers. Put up a poll. See what they say.
And just… let instinct guide you.
Old Series vs New Series
But, at what point do you start a new series?
Well, my question is this. Do you have a full plan for your first series? Do you know how many books it will be? Will it simply continue on into eternity? What’s your plan with that? Are you wanting to start a new series because you have conflicting plots and emotions and want to split time between each? Or are you stuck on the old series and don’t know what to do next so you want to dive into something else for a while?
In my opinion, so long as you know what the heck you’re doing with your first series, know when you’re going to work on the next book in that series, etc… go for it! Write another series! Or a standalone!
Just, know where the heck your car is going before you switch lanes!
For me, I knew that I couldn’t work on the fourth Garoureve book because I was busy moving, but I had ideas for low angst chill vibes… and so that’s what I did! I set up a publishing plan, for Garoureve to shift from every 3 months to every 6 months, and then go with bears once a year, and…
It’s working for me!
And, honestly, having different vibes means you can appeal to different readers.
Just, again, know where you’re going before you start shifting lanes!
BRINGING IN NEW READERS
But, getting back onto the topic at hand!
Let’s talk about continuing momentum with bringing in new people, beyond the marketing. Let’s talk about what you can do that will bring in new readers, new profits, and more potential.
Let’s talk about what you can invest in now that will pay out later. Let’s talk about ways to appeal to new readers. And let’s talk about where to even find new readers.
Because the phase after releasing one book and before starting the build up to the next one is to start working on these two VERY different projects.
Same Book, New Format
You’ve written a book! You’ve published it! It’s on the internet!
Did you know you can release other formats?
For example… special editions! A different cover, maybe hardbacks, with added art within… Seriously, you’ve already done the writing, but if readers are interested in special editions, you can do it!
This isn’t just something you can do with book box companies. You can do it yourself! You can do a special release a year after release, even, or perhaps for a holiday. You can have different covers on different platforms, like one on Amazon and one on Ingramsparks. You can also add in hardbacks! Hardbacks on Amazon, or on Ingram, or even do a special edition that’s only available through you!
But, what if you don’t want to do special editions?
Something I am asked quite frequently on my tiktok is about Audiobooks.
BEFORE YOU CONTINUE PLEASE NOTE THAT AUDIOBOOKS ARE AN INVESTMENT.
And honestly, I should probably make a post about audiobooks in the near future, and I will, but I’m currently uhhh working on some things in regards to audiobooks, so just hang on. Coming soon!
But yes! Audiobooks! They are something that you can, if you have the money, invest in that will bring in money.
Audiobooks are a brand new market. There are so many readers who ONLY read via audiobooks. And again, it’s an investment, but once it’s paid for…
You’ll be looking at paying anywhere from 500-2500, depending on your style and whether you do royalty share or outright. Maybe even more than that!
But, if you have had a good response and your release did well, audiobooks are a huge step forward that you can use to bring in new readers and new profits.
And remember, once you’ve put the money in, it shouldn’t really cost you anything more to keep bringing in new readers and profits.
Just, something to keep in mind. Post about Audiobooks coming soon…
Same Content, New Platform
Remember how I mentioned reusing old content? Reposting old things? Posting from one platform to another?
If you’re done with one book and starting on the next one… maybe consider a new platform!
Are you posting everywhere? There’s so many options. Tiktok, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Youtube, Lemon8, Twitter…
Are you posting everywhere?
Maybe now is the time to start posting somewhere new?
You can repost your old content! You can copy and paste your old captions! You can reuse things elsewhere!
Figure out the best way to download your videos for you. Figure out the algorithm and the hashtags popular on different platforms. Figure out who is where and follow other authors. Start liking content to train the algorithm. Do some research and ask other authors who post on other platforms what they do and how they do it.
Do some research, figure out if you can schedule posts, and start going!
While it might seem impossible if you, as an author, are on multiple platforms, many readers are ONLY on one platform. So, time to help them find you!
Like I said… REUSE CONTENT! If something did well on one platform, it might do well on another platform… OR MAYBE NOT. Maybe that video that flopped on one place will do well somewhere else!
Seriously, my videos that do the worst on tiktok do the best on pinterest…
You’ll never know until you try!
You’re tired? That’s okay.
Writing, editing, building up a team, publishing, ticking off the boxes, marketing… it’s a whole freaking lot.
YOU CAN TAKE A BREAK! YOU CAN STEP AWAY! IT’S OKAY.
The great thing is, it’s still there. It’s up. It’s going to be alright if you take a step back.
Your profits may drop. Your social media interactions may go down. Your readers might wonder where you are.
BUT YOU CAN TAKE A STEP BACK AND RETURN LATER.
IT WILL BE OKAY!
IF YOU ARE TOO OVERWHELMED JUST TAKE A STEP BACK AND DO SOMETHING ELSE.
But, if you have the spoons, set yourself up. Set up automatic posts. Do the whole popular highlights. Post old content. Share what you’re reading maybe.
And come back when you’re ready.
Slow and steady is far more important than rapid and rushed.
Take a deep breath. Take a nap. It will be okay.
You’ve got this.
Next time… taxes? audiobooks? updated resources? who knows lmao.