Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thoughts on My Three-Novel Summer

Dear Reader:

Never, if you can manage it, publish three books in as many months.

Now, I'm not saying I'm not thrilled to have three novels published. Trust me, I am. And I certainly had no control over this situation, my books being with three different publishers.

What was the downside? Everything you'd expect:

1. Potential readers got confused. My own family can't keep track of who is publishing what, and in what format. Friends and acquaintances who clearly wanted to support me didn't know which title was which genre or age-group.

2. Three blog tours, back to back. That's really all I need to say on that topic. You can imagine.

3. Over-saturation of my brand. To much of me, too quickly, associated with too many different titles.

But I did learn a huge amount about publishing and promotion. Here are a few of the many things I've taken away from the experience:

1. Daily posts on blog tours are a waste of time, unless the blogs are very high profile and a lot of strangers will read them. Just jumping from one small blog to another tends to keep you in the same circle of potential readers. Your Facebook and Twitter followers and other contacts lose interest quickly ("Wait, didn't you just have a launch day?").

I gained very few readers, despite all that effort. Next time, I will spread out the blog marketing, perhaps to once a week.

2. With three publishers utterly distinct in their approaches, I learned about various release choices. I can see that it is important to me, and to potential readers, that my books are available in both print and e-formats, and at all the major online venues.

3. Publishers probably do want a sequel, no matter what they say on their submissions guidelines.

So, dear reader, I survived the crazy three-book summer of '12. It was fascinating, thrilling, exhausting, and terrifying. And, while I hope to have many novels published in the future, I hope to spread them out by at least a few months!


  1. Wow that sounds exhausting! So glad you survived it :)

  2. Congratulations on your productive summer, Anne! That sounds very intense. Thanks for sharing what you learned.

  3. This is very honest feedback, Anne, and I appreciate you sharing your experience (though I don't have many books published at the same time, or that many books published yet). You've reminded me about the timing of publications, and on the efficiency in posting updates. It's always difficult to gauge how much updates to post to promote yet not tire readers out.

    You have three wonderful books out. And I hear the marketing of these darlings go on forever. So ... keep going. You'll gain more readers, I'm sure! Cos I read 'Aliens & Weird Stuff' and the short stories are great fun. :)

  4. Just trying to get noticed with one has made my summer full. I got dizzy reading about your *THREE*
    But you survived, and then some. I have no doubt you will do more, and in a better (more staggered way)- Anne, I can only applaud, again-again-and again- your achievements.

  5. Thanks so much for sharing your perspective here, Anne.

  6. I'm glad you survived and learned a few things along the way. Now enjoy the fact that you have three books out there! That's the most important thing. :)

  7. A very interesting post, Anne - I was wondering how you were going to promote all three successfully! Really interested in your blog comments as I've never been tempted by the frequent blog stops and you've confirmed the reason why. But at least you have three books out and I'm sure the readership will gradualy build for each now.