Marketing a Book Series

Today many authors write a book series rather than several stand-alone novels. For Darlene Quinn it is simply the nature of her Webs book series, dealing with the demise of our favorite department store through the lives of vital, enticing, multi-dimensional characters over several years. A book Series is a great way to build a base audience for your upcoming books. There are also some authors who started out with one book and realize they just aren’t finished with these characters so they decide extending it into a series.

One of the best ways to hook an audience is to let them know in advance another book is on the way.  As an avid reader there are times I dread the end of the book as it approaches, because I have become lost in a world of characters and plots that I am not ready to part with.  You know, that let down many of us face at the end  a good book. I can rejoice if the sleeve of the book mentions a sequel is imminent, or if I catch the author on a TV or radio show, where they usually will begin the promotion process, and let us know the next book will soon be available.

You may think the second book will be far easier to promote. Most, if not all, of the people who read your first book will be waiting to buy the second book – right? Well, yes and no. People are usually anxious for a sequel immediate after they finish your first book. We have established they like a great book that’s why they picked yours up, but people who read usually make sure they have a book on hand to read and your book will become a pleasant memory, placed in the back of their mind as a future reference.

So how do you usher your reader toward your next book? The hard way. By doing the same things you did the first time around. Book signings, book fairs and festivals, conventions, radio and TV shows, book clubs, and libraries. I know – you thought it would be easier this time. Well in actuality it will be – simply because promoting your first book was a grueling, but fun, learning experience. This time you know what was successful and those are the things you will concentrate on.

You will be back doing the hard task of making phone calls to book stores and arranging for meet & greets or book signings, but this time you will be speaking to familiar booksellers, who know you and your work. If some stores were not successful venues for you, you may want to skip them. Instead go back to your most successful bookstores, and try some new ones.

Many authors, like Darlene, are invited to speak at local community organizations, charity and business organizations, book clubs, and libraries. Darlene is on staff for the Southern California Writers Conference, and has spoken at Soroptimist Club, the Southern California Writers Association,  California Writers Club of Long Beach and Orange, Princess Cruise Lines, Long Beach Yacht Club – Ladies Day,  book clubs etc. Make it a point to contact all venues you have spoken at, and let them know you have a new book and new material to speak about. You will be surprised at how many of them will invite you back.

Marketing your next book will not be any different from marketing your first book. This time you have a track record and a history. You know what to do, who to contact, who to speak to, which places are the best and what places you may want to pass on this time around. If possible you can enlist the help of a friend, family member, or and like Darlene, an Administrative Assistant. But these contacts are an essential part of your marketing plan. Don’t leave it to chance, if you don’t have help, you must make the calls.

Darlene’s second book in her Webs series, Twisted Webs will be available on September 1, 2010. So we have been ramping up the promotions and her awesome PR firm EMSI has been actively marketing her book well ahead of the release date. I’m am ready to schedule the next book tour and Darlene’s publisher Emerald Books has created a mesmerizing book trailer for Twisted Webs.  

It takes a team to help you market a book, some teams are limited to just you, the author, but you can make just as big a splash in the market. Do your phone calls, schedule events, speaking engagements and book signings, and book fairs. Treat your book with the respect it deserves by working as hard to market it as you did to write it.

The sequel Twisted Webs hasn’t hit the market yet, however Darlene is already working on her prequel in the Webs Series, Irreversible Webs.

Darlene and I wish you success!

~Kathy Porter

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