Forging ahead in the indie world: Why book #2 should always be easier than book #1
This is a post by Donna Brown
Last may my husband, David, published his first book and since then it has been hard work all the way. The book took two years from first chapter to final edit and we thought it was time to sit back and put our feet up. No siree! Instead, that's when the real work began – the promotion and marketing – and it has been exhausting.
So, can we put our feet up now instead? No siree! Something special is coming up a year after book one's publication: the publication of book two. We are knee deep in chapters, edits, drafts, redrafts etc. at the moment.
So, given the breakneck pace of the indie author's life I thought I'd share some resolutions that are helping us to keep the faith as we now approach book two:
Think about all the things that will be easier.
By now you should have your lists of reviewers, promotional opportunities, and sales channels. The research you've done for book one should place you in great standing for the months ahead. Dig it out, dust it off and pat yourself on the back for a job well done – but don't forget to check if it's still up-to-date.
Remember how much cheaper it's going to be!
We spent a pretty penny getting the word about book one out there, because we didn't know what was effective and what was a poor choice for the book/genre. Fortunately, this means we're already prepared for book two – we can put our pennies into the areas that worked for us. Check back on what worked in order to protect your checking account!
Utilize your contacts
You've spent months building up relationships with new people from designers (for ads, bookmarks, buttons etc) to blurb wizards. David sought help with his cover and blurb for book one. Both changes had an impact on sales. He was able to go straight to those people who had helped him in preparation for book two's release. So, think of ways to get ahead of the game before it even starts.
Work your mailing list!
If you haven't built up a mailing list since launching book one, the chances are you've still built up a barrage of facebook fans and Twitter followers. Start getting the word out about your up-and-coming book. Don't spam, but do make sure they know what's coming up.
Get your reviews set up before the book is out!
Okay, this doesn't really apply to book two but to all book releases. Don't start contacting reviewers once your book is out there in the public domain – prepare ARCs and offer them to bloggers at least a month before. It can take a popular blogger 6-12 months to reach your book so help yourself out by getting an ARC to reviewers as soon as you can. If it is your second release, definitely make sure to contact those people who reviewed book one – if they enjoyed it I'm sure they'll be pleased to sample your new work.
Above all, stay positive.
It can be an exhausting business but it's like levering away at a boulder. It'll take a little at a time to get it moving, then it's a steady crawl forward, and then suddenly it's picking up pace. However hard it seemed to market book one, just remember that book two will be a dream by comparison, and you'll be one additional rung up the ladder towards being a savvy author and not the struggling newbie you were a year ago!
About this post's author:
Donna Brown works as a self-employed consultant and freelance editor. She also runs a book blog (Book Bags and Cat Naps) and The Indie Exchange, designed to connect authors and readers.