I see a couple of options and would like to hear what you fine folks think.
It seems there are a couple of components to having a book find readers. It needs to be well written, which I believe my books are, and if I can get them in front of people they may well want to read all the books in the series. One needs to get the word out about their books and that isn’t as easy at it may seem.
Of course, I’ll be talking about the release on my blog. There will be pleas for tweets and such, to help spread the word, and that will help. But lets be honest, each tweet will only be seen by a very tiny fraction of a person’s followers, and of that group, somewhere between zero and a really few, will even consider clicking on the link. Of the group that do click, a small percentage will buy. One doesn’t need to be a math genius to know this won’t get Henry into any top seller lists.
It is the top seller lists that are the key to going viral. There are millions of Kindle users and they check the Top 100 and the Top 100 Mystery, Thriller, Bacon (not really a list), just to see if there is anything interesting. How do we get Henry on these lists?
Amazon updates their lists frequently (It may be hourly or more often) and if there were more sales in the last hour, the book will climb, if there weren’t then other books will pass it by. This means, if one is able to gather a bunch of readers who liked the first book and persuade them to buy during the same afternoon, or better yet, the same hour, then the book will get a big bump. If 100 people are going to buy the book and over a 10 hour period, each hour sees 10 sales, that will be pretty good. If those same people all bought between noon and one o’clock it would launch the book into the top 100 on the overall fiction list. The 10 hour plan, would likely get it in the top 5000.
Now, make no mistake, the book wouldn’t stay in the top 100 for long, maybe only an hour, but for that time there will be tens of thousands of people who will see it. If some of those people (who don’t know about me, the blog, my twitter account, or my love of bacon) buy, then it may stay up there for another hour and a whole new massive set of eyeballs.
One: Launch at the beginning of December. This would give me time to get the book in front of the readers who have already said they are looking forward to book two and then could get some reader reviews up before the Holiday season. If the launch was successful and built momentum then it could have some buzz and people who receive a new Kindle as a present, might become potential readers.
Downside: If it doesn’t get a lot of momentum (which is likely, because very few books do, regardless of how well they are written.), then any brief burst of ranking may have been wasted.
Two: Wait and launch on Christmas day. There will be millions of Kindle’s in the hands of new readers. If the launch could get Henry on the Top 100 for an hour, it could literally mean millions of potential eyeballs.
Downside: People who are interested in buying Henry Wood, because they enjoyed the first one, are related to me, or follow the blog, likely won’t want to be bothered to remember to do the download on Christmas day. It may not be possible to get the momentum at all.
Note: I always speak in terms of selling ebooks, because the quantity of print books needed to land on a NY Times best seller list is around 5,000 in one week. That isn’t going to happen, without the ebook becoming a hit and generating enough sales via word of mouth and such, that it becomes a fixture on the Amazon Kindle list for a long period.
So, what do you think? Early or late December?