Rapid Fire Releases

As a reader, I really don’t like having to wait for a continuing book in a series, especially if it’s a year or so. I get frustrated for two reasons: one – I’m usually desperate to know what’s going to happen and I can’t find out. And two – by the time the second book does come out, I’ve totally forgotten what’s happened in the first. I either have to re-read the first book or I just give up on the series altogether. More often than not, I chose the latter.

One of the beautiful things about being an indie author is that I get to choose when and how I will produce my work. For the two reasons above, I decided that I would go for rapid-fire releases for The Elements Trilogy. I didn’t want readers to have to wait and I thought it would be an intelligent marketing strategy. I made the commitment to release the books June, July and August of 2013, saving up my big marketing campaign for September. I decided it was a wise move to save up the marketing budget of three books and throw it all into one big trilogy campaign. Hopefully my plan will work.

As you can imagine, this has been a massive undertaking. I have had to work on all three books simultaneously and schedule everything to ensure I meet my deadlines. As I write this: Unknown – Book 1 is published, Unseen – Book 2 is in the final stages of formatting,  and I have just got Book 3 back from my editor. Thankfully my head is still on straight, but it’s been touch and go there for while

I wanted to share with you some of the pros and cons of this endeavour.

Let’s start with the pros:

– I managed to write all three drafts of the series before releasing the first book. This has been hugely advantageous. I had the entire trilogy mapped out before starting book 1, but things crop up when you’re writing and story threads came to me when I was writing book 3. I was able to go back and add these into book 1 before publishing.

– As I mentioned earlier, I have been able to save up my marketing budget for three books. This will give me the opportunity to do a lot more things – pay for more advertising, run a couple of good blog tours. It also means readers can get their hands on my books quickly and so should affect my sales positively.

– It’s been nice being able to release the first book without too much fuss. I have rustled up a few reviews, but it’s been a very low-key affair… no Facebook release parties or huge blog tours to deal with. I know I will have this in September, but still. It’s been a nice start

And the cons:

– It has been stressful. I have still really enjoyed it, but my deadlines have been super tight. I have arisen very early on many occassion to get through my work so as not to miss my deadlines.

– It has put pressure on the people that work with me – my critique partners and editors. I have tried to give them plenty of time, but I have still felt a little bad lumping all this work on them one book after the other.

– You need to have the funds to pay for the editing of three books in a row, before you start seeing profit from your work. I was lucky enough to have this saved up from the sales of my previously published books.

Looking back, I think I will be very happy with my decision to release these books so close together. I’ll let you know at the end of the year after my marketing campaign

All I can say is that when this third book comes out in August, I will be able to sit back with a huge smile on my face. I feel like I have achieved something pretty epic.

Author: Melissa Pearl

Melissa Pearl is a Contributing Author for Indies Unlimited and author of multiple novels spanning a variety of genres, from YA fantasy and paranormal to romantic suspense, including award-winning novel, BETWIXT. For more on Melissa, visit her blog or her Amazon author page.

21 thoughts on “Rapid Fire Releases”

  1. I think it’s very wise to launch all three books at the same time. I am back-peddling a book that was 700 pages into a trilogy, that will be re-posted soon. Better late than never, and my agent is pleased. Best of success with your launch. Question: are you using the same cover for all three and making some notation on each as to their order, or different art for each book?

  2. I think it’s a great idea to have them close together but it wouldn’t work for me. I’d never stick with it without the feedback from readers telling me they like what I do. especially as a newcomer. I don’t think I believe in myself enough for that. Maybe when I have a few more under my belt.

    1. Haha 🙂 Yes – it can be nerve-wracking and I had my moments, but in the end I figured that there would probably be at least one or two people who liked the stories and for the sake, I had to publish all three books 🙂

  3. Great idea – despite the stress. I’ve found this to be the case with both of my series; readers who like them are usually anxious to know what’s going to happen next, so I try to schedule them as close together as my schedule will permit.

  4. Something to add… I just heard from one my lovely editors and she mentioned that is was actually easier for her to edit the books in quick succession, because the story was fresh in her head. I also gave her plenty of warning so she had me scheduled in, so for her, she didn’t find it overly stressful. YAY!!

  5. I like the pros, but I think the cons would kills me. 😉 Congratulations, and good luck for the big marketing push.

  6. I don’t think that would work for me, simply because I have multiple books going at once and most are singles or in differing series. I do have a rough idea when I want to publish a book, so I let my “team” know and pray they have everything back to me in time. As it is, I’m late on my new release, but my artist just had a baby and loads of stuff going on at work. I must take in a deep breath and tell myself to be patient. Still, I manage to publish 2-3 books a year and keep my readers happy.

    Good luck!

  7. About being able to go back and work in new threads of plot details into earlier books — that sounds like the most appealing part. I always wondered how it was possible to write finite series without plotting them in so much detail beforehand that you felt cramped in the actual writing of them. I’m curious to see how this goes for you.

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