Sunday 16 March 2014

The Life Cycle of a Book

We’re talking here about the post-publication life-cycle of your book. Each published book goes through certain stages and we look here at how shelf-life may be maintained or even extended. 
The initial buzz
Release day approaches. Press releases and product information sheets go out. The author launches the book, some book shops arrange signings, maybe there’s also a cyber-launch and perhaps the author goes on a blog tour. There is a buzz of sales activity and the rankings on Amazon go up.
Reviews and book clubs
The first reviews come in. Some book clubs might obtain the text. Some more serious reviews then come in. It’s great to have all 5* ones but actually all reviews help; they inform the readers of what the book is about and they raise awareness. They also keep your book appearing on searches.
Drip feed
Sales settle down to a trickle. Yet if you have several books trickling sales you may still have a torrent. The proactive author anyway will massage this quite successfully.
When you next book comes out you may successfully sell several earlier works, particularly if they have a connection with the new one. Even if they don’t, the new book brings your name nearer the top of the list.   
The proactive author
This author makes sure they are always visible – but does it in such a way that they are not saying “Hey, look at me,” all the time. They will use social media sensibly – maybe 80% of the time being cheerful and friendly and responding to others, only 20%  talking about their own work and then never as a direct sales pitch though it’s always okay to announce the release of your book and any events you’re organising. And they’re never daft there.
Proactive authors are also willing to go and talk to people - festivals, writing groups, schools, even if it’s not precisely about one particular book but perhaps about writing, being a writer or about a theme in your book.
Proactive authors must also be proactive in seeking these opportunities.  
Many writers, of course, prefer to spend their time mainly writing. That is fine, but the trickle will be slower in the “drip feed” period. Consider also that you may not be able to write 24/7 or even 8/5 and a balancing activity may well be welcome. Each writer must find their own perfect balance. Note, however, many successful indie writers admit to working seven days a week and spend 50% of their working time writing and 50% marketing.
Worth a thought?