Staying Visible When Your Production Schedule Tanks - Indie Pub It
If your readers are used to you publishing a new title every (say) month, or every quarter, or whatever your regular production schedule may be, what happens if you break with that schedule and the next release date is months (and months) away?
There’s several reasons why you might need to “stop” - from the reader’s perspective - publishing titles for a bit.
You’ve been ill, been hit with personal disasters, and other unexpected crises that prevent you from writing books.
You’re blocked or simply can’t write for whatever reasons your creative and fertile mind has turned into a full blown case of “not happening”.
The day job has stepped up its demands and is eating into your writing time.
Or, like my current situation, you’re tackling a new (to you) genre or very large, ambitious project that is going to take longer to deliver than your usual fare.
Failing to produce titles at the same steady pace as before can have an impact on your readers. They may have got used to buying your latest every x-times a year and they could get out of the habit of looking for your newest title if your hiatus is a long one. The longer the hiatus the greater the danger that readers will forget about you and forget to look for you in the bookstores.
On Amazon, and most especially with Google rankings, the older your content, the lower it is listed in search results. If you haven’t got any recent releases, you start to slide onto sub-pages, making it harder for readers to find you.
How to you stay visible and front-of-mind for your readers while you aren’t producing steadily?
Let your readers know
If you’re having personal problems, you don’t have to give all the gritty details. However, whatever the reason for the hiatus, give your readers an update on when you expect the next title to be available…and why there is a delay.
This is also a really good way of encouraging your readers to subscribe to your newsletter and/or blog. If they sign-up for your updates, they won’t miss the news about the next release, whenever it may be.
Stay in touch.
Keep your blog and newsletter active – even if it’s minimal messages letting readers know you’re alive. Just having your name in their email in-box will help keep your brand fresh.
You can also provide teasers and snippets, and flash excerpts of your work in progress, to develop interest in the next book.
Use promos and advertisements to keep your backlist active.
Create sales and periodic discounts, and advertise and promote them. Put together a boxed set of already published books, and promote that.
Review the pricing of your titles – perhaps some of your older, languishing titles could benefit from a drop in price (not just a sale) – which you can also talk about – to stimulate sales.
Break out your old work.
It’s entirely possible you have manuscripts stashed away on your hard drive that are nearly completed, half-completed, or are finished, but were never released for one reason or another.
Can they be dusted off, updated quickly and released, now? If they’re unfinished, it might only take a week or so to dash off the ending and polish – especially now you have all this distance on the story and can see the strengths and weaknesses as plain as day. Now that you have some experience as a published author, the issues you had with the story in the first place (that prevented you from finishing it) may no longer apply.
Even if you find a only a single short story in your archives, if you schedule the story for release on a date half-way between now and when you think you’ll have the next book finished, it’s a simple way of keeping your brand fresh.
Consider a blog tour.
If your hiatus is severe and on-going, a blog tour may help keep your brand out there. You can guest on other blogs (along with giveaways of your backlist and other goodies) to assure readers you’re still active as a writer. You can talk about the next project.
Just because you’re (back to) frantically writing the next book, if you fail to stay visible to your readers while you’re writing it, they won’t know that you’re still there and still writing. Give the readers something to anticipate, even if it’s just a book title. Give them reasons to keep you in mind.
Columnist: Tracy Cooper-Posey writes erotic vampire romance series and hot romantic suspense. She has been nominated for five CAPAs including Favourite Author, and won the Emma Darcy Award. She published 35 titles via legacy publishers before switching to indie publishing in March 2011. She has published over 40 indie titles to date. Her indie books have made her an Amazon #1 Best Selling Author and have been nominated four times for Book of the Year. Byzantine Heartbreak won the title in 2012. Tracy has been a national magazine editor and for a decade she taught romance writing at MacEwan University. An Australian, she lives in Edmonton, Canada with her husband, a former professional wrestler, where she moved in 1996 after meeting him on-line. Her website can be found at http://TracyCooperPosey.com.