Not a big change from last time I posted. The launch has still been pretty disappointing. I have a few take-aways and things I want to take action on, though, so that’s good.
But first, reviews are looking pretty good. Still underwhelming given the fact that my ARC list tripled since Dragon Red. But I’ve got 40 reviews on Goodreads and 35 now on Amazon, and the average is above 4.5 on both.
My timing is probably horrible, though. Switching Dragon Blue to permafree right before launch was probably a bad idea. I should have worked on making it permafree at least a couple of weeks before launch. Another thing I’ve come to realize is that I’ve probably stumbled pretty hard with the opening of Dragon Blue. I started chapter one with a very explicit sex scene with my heroine. My initial intent was to write the books very, very steamy. But based on the feedback I’ve gotten, I think they would work a lot better if the steam was turned down a notch (something I’ve been mindful of in the latter two books). Also, I don’t think readers react very well to getting slammed in the face with explicit sex from the get-go. Here’s where knowing how many people abandoned the book after the first chapter would have been super useful. Hint, hint, Amazon. Give us that data, please.
Anyway, after looking back at Dragon Blue, I can easily just lose the first chapter and do some minor revisions. That way I would start chapter 1 with the hero, which is the way the other books start. So it will be more consistent with the rest of the series and less in-your-face. I think that will work a lot better. So that’s on my to-do list for this week.
I’m also going to add a sample chapter of the following book as a lead-in. That’s a pretty old and effective strategy for getting readers interested in the next book. I don’t end each book on a cliffhanger, though the epilogues are a bit of a teaser in each. But I think the sample chapters will help.
And I also think I’m going to take the plunge and invest in Vellum. The formatting is just so much nicer, and I have a Mac in addition to a PC, so the only issue was the price. I think it’s worth the investment, though.
Dragon Blue has gotten something like 700 downloads since it went permafree. Most of those are on Amazon. I’m seeing a little of a trickle of sell-through, but I’d expect to see more this coming week as the first batch of permafree readers finish the book. We’ll see. But at least I feel like there are some steps I can take to shore up the first three books going forward as I work on the fourth.