If you look to the right, you’ll see I have two series currently available. I tend to lean toward series rather than standalone books, so with that in mind, here are some tips on how to maximize the marketing on a series.
1. Make your first book free!
Yes, you spent months perfecting your first book and it deserves to be priced to earn you something for your time, but when you have two or three books trailing it, consider the investment opportunity. Getting readers to try your series before they dive in will give you the opportunity to hook them early and guarantee sales on the rest of your books.
2. Keep your books at a reasonable length to publish quickly and still tell a good story. Aim for 40k-60k length.
Longer books take longer time to come to market (with all the prep involved in cover art, editing, formatting, etc…) so get the rest of your series out quickly to make sure you keep readers engaged and ready to pounce when that next new release comes out. Just be sure that while you are sacrificing word count, you're not sacrificing story. You still need to tell a good story.
3. End your books with genuine cliffhangers
Cliffhangers make readers need, not want, NEED to continue on. Give them something to look forward to. Make them want to pounce on that next book when it comes to market.
4. Make sure the covers look uniform.
You want your books to look like they belong together. Make it easy for readers to see they are part of a series.
5. Make sure your books are available everywhere!
Amazon, Google, Apple, Kobo, BN, Smashwords, D2D, etc… The more channels you belong in, the more available your book is for readers to find.
6. Advertise your FREE book.
Spend the majority of your advertising budget on your free book in the series. This will capture the most interest in readers, and if they love your book, they will look for the rest of your series.
7. Make sure your other books are listed in front and back matter in each of the series books.
Make it easy for readers to find all of your books in the right order. In the front matter of your books, be sure to list all titles available. And again, do the same at the end of the book, so readers don’t have to go hunting for the information.
8. Include chapters of the next book at the end of current books.
At the end of book 1, put the first “teaser” chapter of book 2. Same applies for book 2, 3, 4….
Give readers a taste of what is next.
9. Create audio editions
Use ACX to hire narrators and produce audio editions of your books. Royalty share is the easiest and lowest cost option here.
10. Create POD editions
Createspace is the easiest and lowest cost method of getting your books in print, and you’ll have paper copies to bring to author events.
11. Create bundles
When your series is complete… Make a boxed set to sell separately.