Trilogy Marketing Tricks by Michael Poeltl

Author Michael Poeltl
Author Michael Poeltl

As an independent author, I understand the limited reach I have against traditionally published books or series. So, as such, you have to think outside the box.

Have you written a trilogy or series? Have you created a website? Have you marketed yourself on all of the important social networks? The Facebooks and Twitters, Goodreads and LinkedIn? Did you place your book on Amazon and Smashwords in digital formats to meet all potential e-readers like the kindle, nook, kobo, Sony and ipad? Have you joined forums like Kindle boards and mobile reads to promote your work? Have you approached bloggers and reviewers of your genre?

Good, then you have taken your future and the future of your books into your own hands. Regardless of whether you’ve been traditionally published or going it on your own, marketing is always going to be on you, the author.

So, you’ve built your name and your brand and your series. What’s next? Freebies! And which book should you offer as a freebie? Think about it now… why give away book one? “Well, it’s the first of the series” is your argument. But think about it. If you give away book 1 there is no guarantee they’ll move on and buy book 2. You’re assuming they’ll love book one and have to know what happens next. But that may not be the case. So, you’ve potentially lost a sale for every free book you’ve handed out. Now, if you were to give away book 2 of the series or trilogy, then you’re going to receive potential sales for book 1 right away, as many people won’t want to start in the middle of a trilogy, but because the book is free, will give it a shot!

Now, you can go a little further and up the price of book one (which I didn’t do) or up the price of book three (which I did do). Once you’ve read two of three books in a series, and even only liked them and didn’t love them, you’re in the author’s world now, so you’re likely to buy book three – especially if left with a cliff-hanger in book two. So, are you getting my point? People love free books. People love a trilogy. People have a hard time coming into a trilogy in the middle. So people buy book one because they got book two for free. They purchase book one and read one and two, then they purchase book three. If you gave away a thousand copies of book 2, you can potentially sell 2000 more books. Then there is word of mouth, the reviews, the tweets, the ‘likes’, the bloggers and the potential that someone with some real influence has now read your series and is interested in traditionally publishing it with the promise of another two or three book deal worth 7 digits.

That’s pretty exciting. I know I’m excited for my own success in having recently done just that with my trilogy The Judas Syndrome. I expect within a month’s time I will be very grateful for the idea and I hope I can encourage other Indy writers to do the same with their books and realize a similar success.


Born in Toronto, Ontario, Michael Poeltl earned his diploma in Interpretive Illustration and began a career in the field while educating himself on the art of writing. Writing quickly became his passion and after completing several shorts, he undertook his recently published work, The Judas Syndrome. For more on Michael, you may visit his blog, his website or his Author’s Page. You can also find him on Twitter and Facebook.

A version of this article has previously appeared on Michael’s blog.

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9 thoughts on “Trilogy Marketing Tricks by Michael Poeltl”

  1. Excellent post. I have given away all three of my books at different stages, but I must do a freebie on book 2 again.

    Thanks for sharing such great advice 🙂

  2. I'm glad this article was so well recieved! The strategy boosted sales of book one immediately last month and I'm seeing it replicated this month as well. Good things!


  3. Does your advice hold for series books as they're being released? Book 2 of my series is coming out in August, but book 3 (and subsequent books — there will probably be 5 altogether) won't be out 'til 2013.

  4. Interesting concept though I'm still a leery / uncertain / have misgivings of giving away books. Of course, all theoretical for me at this point since I haven't completed a book! But when the day comes, I shall think on all of this. I am happy if it has worked successfully for you.

  5. Interesting concept. Will have to look into this at some point in the future if my book ends up becoming part of a series. Thanks for something to think about, as well as share and talk about with writing friends.

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