Mandatory Sequel

Conventional marketing for your ebook seems to be that the more books you have, the more you can sell to customers who like your writing. That’s simple, right? If you write one book, you can upsell your next book to the reader who is enjoying your style. Also, you have a sequel available so the reader can spend more time with the great protagonist you provided them in the first book.  Your first book is at a low price point to provide new readers with incentive to obtain it, then your second book is priced at more moderate ebook prices ($5) because the reader knows what they’re getting in product.

This, then, is the problem for the new author.

You spend half a decade churning out your best-seller, and you’re ready to publish. Great. The problem is the money you’re leaving on the table. Without a proper platform to retain readers, you don’t have a hook after they’ve finished your opus magnus. They finish it and say, “hey, that was a pretty good book. Wonder what else they have out there? There was no afterward trying to sell me a sequel.”

They go to Amazon and type in your name. One book. That’s it. That’s all you’ve got.  Nice work, Harper Lee.

In lieu of your fantastic sequels which you are working on, you could set up a mailing list, maybe give away some novelettes relating to the first book, and that way you have a way to retain those readers who liked your first work and can contact them when the next novel is published.

Or you could spend another half decade, and publish both books together, one as the teaser loss-leader, the other as the full price you-know-my-work-now-pay-up. If you’re a fast worker, that could take only a few months, instead.  But you definitely need a multiple book body of work to turn those profits.

Unless, of course, you manage to get a book featured on Amazon Prime, and that’s some major exposure.  You had better have that sequel ready, then, because there’s going to be some people waving fistfulls of money at you.

That is, according to conventional wisdom.


2 thoughts on “Mandatory Sequel

  1. I know. Once you’re on the treadmill, you can’t really get off. Or, you can get off, but there will be no proceeds from it. If you’re committed to make money at this, you must have a stable of books. I forget who said it, but I recall reading something where this author said she didn’t start making any good money until her seventh book, and how each book essentially sells the other books and creates an effect.

    So yar, getting that body of work… I feel like I shouldn’t publish until I’ve got three books to put out.


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