In early December, I released my third book, Twin Curse. Unlike my last novel, Reckless Rebellion, this novel wasn’t part of my current series, or at this stage, any series at all. It was a standalone fantasy romance, so a slightly different genre even. So how did the two releases compare?
Reckless Rebellion made a pretty big difference to my sales, more than tripling them for the first two months of it’s release. The only promo I did was to mention it in a few places, to my mailing list of a whole 27 subscribers, and run a free promo on the first book. I was thrilled with the results.
For Twin Curse, I mentioned it to my mailing list (over 60 subscribers by then!), sent out review copies, mentioned it in as many places as I could, and sat back.
In it’s first month, it sold ten copies. Ten! That’s a fraction of the number Reckless Rebellion sold. In fact, those numbers looked a lot more like the first month of my first ever book. The second month was only slightly better, and only because I caved, and ran a free promo of the book through Select for 3 days.
So in my opinion, for sales, series far far outweigh writing standalones. Of course, there’s always a possibility that writing in different genres (fantasy romance as opposed to sci-fi romance), it would be interesting to see if there was more follow through in the same genre, but I do know that I’m going to put a lot more effort into my series books than my standalones. Not that I won’t write standalones, I have a few partly done, so I’ll definitely finish those, but they do require a lot more promotions than my series books, meaning less writing time!
What have been your experiences? Have any authors seen crossover between standalone books? And readers, do you read other books by the same author even if they’re different storylines?
That’s a shame about Twin Curse. Perhaps a December release wasn’t the best month? I don’t know readers are all different. I enjoy all sorts of books and will read different genres by the same people.
Thanks, Rosie. I think it will pick up, it’s just going to take a bit more work to get going. It’s getting some lovely reviews, so I’m pretty happy with that.
Having written and published 2-3 standalone novels in different genres I concur that I wish I had thought to write a series. Sales for all three have been dismal! And now I’m working on a fourth standalone novel. Silly me. I thought I could be like my favourite chick lit authors, who wrote standalone novels, but I think self publishing is much different (and my covers aren’t ‘themed’ either, which doesn’t help.) I’d best get on and write some sequels, although the reason I haven’t is because, once a story is ‘finished’ I find it hard to think of a new story around those characters.
Yes, I’m sure themed covers, writing in a similar genre, and having other things that tie your novels together can help. But it does seem to take longer to build.
I was lucky in that my series started off as two novels, and others have grown. It does take persistence to keep writing in the same world when others keep distracting you though! I don’t know if I’m ever going to have enough time to write all the books I want to!
Yes, I thought they were interesting. I’m looking forward to adding more series/standalones to my catalogue and seeing if they get any more interesting!
I’m finding that you have to work twice as hard to break into another genre from one you are currently entrenched in. I have a contemporary romance coming out in April. It’s the first in a series of books but each is a stand-alone story. This time I hired someone to help with a cover reveal and am getting more ARCs out to bloggers. Plus I will really be working my newsletter and other avenues. We’ll see what kind of results I’ll have!
P.S. I need to go back to that entry you did on images in ebooks and correct myself. The PNGs with transparent background only work in some of the ePub readers and some of the older kindles. Meh. Technology.
Yes, I think changing genres probably has a lot to do with it too. My books are all romance, but the change from sci-fi to fantasy might have been enough to put off some fans.
Would love to hear how you go with your release. I’ve thought about writing a contemporary or two just to see if I could bring in some new readers (since it’s such a huge genre), but no brilliant storyline has hit me yet.