Launch Strategy for a 99 Cent Book Promotion - The Everett Exorcism

IMPORTANT NOTE* - On November 6th Pronoun announced that it was shutting its doors, which meant that I was forced to move my books back out of their system. This change caused serious problems and made continuing with wide distribution unwieldy (lost reviews and ranking that I worked so hard for on three different sites), so I moved the series over to Kindle Unlimited.

Many people are of the impression that this move (rather than some sort of fee structure) was Macmillan's plan to hurt indie authors. I have no clue, but I can definitely say it hurt a lot. I would have loved to have gotten this news a month earlier before the book launch so I wouldn't have wasted literally all of the promotions listed below to build ranking. I'm sticking with Amazon because at least the reviews stay over there so not everything is lost.

All this really shows is that no matter how bad Amazon is, everyone else in the publishing world can't get their act together or offer anything even remotely worthwhile for indie authors. Anyway, the launch plan is listed out below for anyone curious. I managed to sell over 1,000 copies in the opening week before the rug was pulled out from under me by Pronoun.



Introduction

I've been working on and meaning to write this post for a while. I'll keep adding to it over the next couple of weeks as I add to my launch strategy, but in the short term this should cover most of what I'm planning to do to generate buzz and launch The Everett Exorcism.

My strategy is going to be to do a Netflix style release with the first book priced at 99 cents for 5 weeks. The second book will be released at $2.99 for pre-orders and the third book at $3.99 also on pre-order. The first book is out as of October 24th, with the second following released on Halloween!


Pre-Launch

The first piece of my strategy was to submit the book to Kindle Scout. I've been selected with Kindle Scout before, but this plan was more about building up interest in the book itself rather than earning another contract. Basically, my theory on using this as a launch platform was two-fold:

  1. If the book was picked. 
    1. I would get targeted Amazon promotion, which would make up for the higher price tag (probably $2.99) and still allow me to lead into the second book.
    2. This launch would have been similar to Raven's Peak.
  2. If the book wasn't picked. 
    1. Still would help build early buzz for the book.
    2. Find early readers who were interested in receiving a copy.
    3.  Help with building marketing copy for the book.

I submitted the book in May and ran the thirty day campaign. Suffice to say, I wasn't picked.

I did, however, manage to put together a comprehensive post about advertising options (free and paid) for running a Kindle Scout campaign which can be found here.

Not getting picked was perfectly fine with me (they didn't like the religious iconography on the cover) because my alternate strategy was actually to release the book wide on all stores (Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Google Play, Tolino, Scribd, Apple iBooks, etc.). 



Review Gathering Plan

A huge part of getting reviews revolvd around asking the Nominators for my Kindle Scout campaign and my email list of 10,000 if they would like a copy.

Here were my pre-launch promotions that would run up to launch day:

Review Build-up

  1. I collected emails into a segment on my mailerlite and instafreebie to offer copies
    1. These are sent now:
      1. 530 ARC Copies.
        1. 350 accepted.
      2. 120 Blogger Copies.
        1. 40 accepted.
      3. 900 Bram Stoker Copies.
        1. 30 accepted.
      4. 36 LibraryThing Copies Offered
        1. 12 accepted
      5. Running total: 432 copies
  2. HWA - Horror Writers Association. I submitted my book for Bram Stoker consideration.
    1. I'm not really expecting to win, but it is more hands to offer my book to.

Distribution Plan

I am loading my books on these stores for pre-order and purchase:

  1. Pronoun
    1. Amazon
    2. Barnes & Noble
    3. Google Play
    4. Apple
    5. Overdrive
    6. Biblio techa
  2. Kobo Direct
  3. Draft2Digital
    1. Tolino
    2. Scribd
    3. Inkterra
    4. 24Symbols
    5. Playster
  4. Smashwords
    1. Direct
    2. Libraries

You can read more about my strategy for releasing wide here. All three books are available for pre-order now.


Launch Plan

The goal is to build-up and peak right around Halloween

As you can see, most of my promotional efforts will actually be the day before Halloween, so the sale will hopefully peak right on the 30th.

  1. I set up a giveaway.
    1. The benefit of this is two-fold:
      1. I can also increase my audience.
      2. I can promote the launch.
  2. I set up an Instafreebie Group Giveaway.
  3. I set up Facebook events.
    1. Book Launch on the 24th
    2. Party for the launch on the 29th.


Pre-Launch

  • 10/19/17
    • The Horror Show Podcast
  • 10/20/17
    • (Raven's Peak BookBarbarian)
  • 10/21/17
    • GenreCrave Cover Contest
  • 10/22/17
  • 10/23/17
    • JJGo JumboTron
    • Ryan Zee BookSweep List Building
    • (Raven's Peak Double Mega Book Boost)
    • A Page to Turn Pre-Order Post

Launch Week

  • 10/24/17
  • 10/25/17
  • 10/26/17
    • Bargain Booksy
    • Bookrunes
    • BookRebel <- Site Review
    • The Horror Show Podcast
    • My Newsletter (13k)
    • Jazzy Book Reviews
    • BKnights
    • Author Newsletter Swap (15k)
    • Writer Deb Blog <- Feature
    • TweetYourBook
  • 10/27/17
    • My Book Place
    • My Book Cave
    • Book Raid
    • AC Squared Book Blog
    • Mellow and June
    • Book Pebble <- Site Review
    • N.N. Light <- Book Review
    • eBookBargainsToday
  • 10/28/17
    • eReaderCafe
    • ManyBooks
    • eBookDiscovery
    • Books & Plenty
    • Sylv.net
    • GenrePulse
    • BookSends
    • eReaderIQ
    • TweetYourBook
  • 10/29/17
    • Robin Reads
    • A Mama's Corner of the World
    • For Love of Books
    • eBookHounds
    • BookLemur
    • Book Bot Bill
    • FKBT
    • ItsWriteNow
    • Kboards Banner
    • Reading Deals
    • Price Dropped Books
    • Rebecca Hamilton Giveaway
    • HotZippy
  • 10/30/17 - BIGGEST DAY
    • Just Kindle Books
    • Three Partners in Shopping
    • Book Banger's Blog
    • Ctrl-Alt-Books
    • Bibliophile Ramblings
    • Kindle Book Review
    • Riffle Books
    • Fantasy Book Deals
    • Kindle Nation Daily
    • BookGorilla Crossover
    • GenreCrave Mega Book Boost
    • Discount Book Man
    • Bookzio
    • TweetYourBook
    • Fussy Librarian
    • OHFB
    • Readper
    • Booklover's Heaven
    • ChoosyBookWorm
    • AwesomeGang
    • BooksGoSocial Mega Email
  • 10/31/17 - Halloween!
    • Book Basset Author Feature
    • Fantasy Book Deals
    • BookDoggy
    • BooksGoSocial (GEM Email)
    • TweetYourBook

Post Launch

  • 11/7/17
    • ChoosyBookWorm
  • 11/16/17
    • Buck Books
  • 11/20/17
    • BooksBarbarian
  • 11/21/17
    • ChoosyBookWorm
  • 11/23/17
    • BooksGoSocial (GEM Email)
  • 11/30/17
    • BookLemur

I will also be using Facebook Ads, BookBub Ads, Twitter Ads, and Google Adwords, Amazon Ad Services. I also *might* submit to bookbub during the launch if I get a lot of early traction.

Lincoln Cole

Lincoln Cole is a Columbus-based author who enjoys traveling and has visited many different parts of the world, including Australia and Cambodia, but always returns home to his pugamonster and wife. His love for writing was kindled at an early age through the works of Isaac Asimov and Stephen King and he enjoys telling stories to anyone who will listen.

He has won multiple literary awards for his novels. He has also been a bestseller in multiple different categories.