Launch Week Recap

So the first week after releasing Dragon Red didn’t go spectacularly. I sold about 100 copies, but got virtually no page reads through KU. So far that doesn’t cover what I spent on promos, though I still have a couple waiting to fire. I’m finding the dynamics of releasing a series a little strange. Dragon Blue got a bump, with a modest amount of sales and actually a good number of page reads. That tells me that readers saw the release of Dragon Red and were interested enough to want to go back to the first book and check it out.

That’s good, if those that read Dragon Blue continue on with the series. I’m going to raise the price of Dragon Red to either $2.99 or $3.99 later this week. I don’t see a way for an author to make any substantial income from books perpetually priced at 99 cents. I think the only way to do it is for series to sell through at a higher price point. I’m also still struggling with whether to let my KU enrollment lapse and take the series wide starting with the next book. That will allow me to make the first book permafree and see how that strategy works. It’s apparently a very effective strategy, though one that some authors are saying doesn’t work as well with the advent of KU. But my page reads through KU are so lackluster that I think it may be worth my while.

I’m starting to realize what a rough haul this is going to be. I had visions of rapid fans swooping in to scoop up my latest book and buoy me to at least more than pocket change. I didn’t expect to get rich overnight, but I did expect a steady improvement book-over-book. So far the progress has kind of been flat. I continue to hope that the third book in the series will cause a spike that will carry me forward, but I’ve learned at this point to keep my expectations low.

As of this writing, Dragon Red has 27 reviews on Amazon. I was hoping to launch with a lot more. The good news is that the average rating is 5.0. I was worried that my advance readers wouldn’t like this book quite as much as the last one, since I have more POV characters and the story is a little less linear and much more busy. One reader did comment to that effect, but most readers really seemed to like the book. I think even my tempered definition of success will just have to involve plugging away at each book while trying to build my ARC team and a fan base.

My mailing list is over 400 people now, though the response on launch day was a little underwhelming. I also passed the benchmark of my books being added to over 100 to-read shelves on Goodreads. I don’t know the conversion rate for people who mark a book to read vs. how many actually read it, but it’s nice to see the numbers grow nevertheless.

I feel like I’m on the right trajectory, even if the angle is a lot lower than what I had anticipated. I’m about 40% into writing Dragon Green and it’s going well, so that’s good. I will be going out of town for about five days, though. That’s going to put a crimp on my productivity temporarily. I’ll try to get some writing done on the road, but I don’t think much is going to happen. Also, if I don’t update this blog while I’m gone, you’ll know why. In the meantime, I’m going to try to squeeze out a couple thousand more words before I leave.

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