Thursday, September 8, 2011

Talking About Craft: Backlist

A lot of times, I see authors talk about promotion. It's something we have to do, whether or not we like it. The earlier you accept this, the better mindset you'll have. I see lists of ways authors can promo their new releases, or even themselves (branding). And almost everything I hear is spot on. But one thing I rarely hear, and what I feel is the most important thing, is backlist.

Best thing you can ever do for yourself as an author after your first book releases is...release another book. Let's face it, it's free promo for another book to release. All you had to do was write the book. You didn't have to send out anything to reviewers, you didn't have to pay any money to get your cover on a site or in a newsletter.

Why is another book release promo for an previous title? Say someone picks up your newest book. They love it. As in they cherish it because it was so well written, and kept them on the edge of their seat every single page. That reader is now apt to do a little search and see if you have any other books they can dig into...and love the same. *BAM* Sale of one of your older titles.

And you didn't do anything to promote that title.

So, I repeat (in bold): Best thing you can ever do for yourself as an author after your first book releases is...release another book.


KaceyHammell said...

Wonderful advice, Sara.

Annie Nicholas said...

I agree whole heartedly. You mention something else that should be highlighted "well written". Nothing will do more for your career than a well written book. You can promo all you want but if the book sucks so will your reputation.

Laurie Sanders said...

Excellent advice all the way through. Not only do readers look for those back list books they WANT to find them if they like you.

Agree with Annie too. Having a poorly written book is like reverse promo.

Cara Bristol said...

I agree. This is the number one thing authors can do to promote themselves. Of course every author writes at a difference pace, but I believe the most successful authors are the most prolific ones. Readers are probably MOST likely to buy an author's books when they've just read one.

Also: Having a backlist gives you books to give away when you are promoting your new books. I SUSPECT sometimes if you have a contest to promote a new release and readers have a chance to WIN your book, they hold off on buying it. If you promote your new book by giving away a backlisted item, you can avoid giving away what you're trying to sell.

Sara Brookes said...

Cara, there are numerous times I do a giveaway where I give a choice of book and nearly 9% of the time the winner chooses one of my older titles and not the new release I'm promoting. :^)

Sara Brookes said...

Ah! That was supposed to be 95%, not 9%. LOL

Ryssa Edwards said...

This is such great advice. This is one of the reasons I love writing a series. It keeps me writing because as soon as I'm done, I'm dying to know what happens in the next part so . . . I start writing it!