Tonya Kappes

Tonya Kappes

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Keep Your Readers One Series At A Time

Do you write series? Some authors say they don't write that way, but let me tell you a little secret. . .READERS LOVE TO INVEST IN SERIES!!



They want to know what happens to the secondary characters, the nosy neighbor down the street.

Once they find a series, they invest in that series. As an author of a series, I know how hard they are to write. Everything has to be exact from the town street names to the secondary character's eye color. Once the first book in the series is written, it's much easier to write the following. But what about the marketing of a series?

Marketing a series is much different than marketing a stand alone novel. Here are a few tips to help you market your series effectively.

1) STREET TEAM. If you don't have a street team, you should. This is a group of readers who have invested in your novels. They love to talk about your series and the characters in your series not only to your other readers, but other people who might like your series. Plus it's a great way to give back to your readers. Show your appreciation and how much you love them.

2) Keep writing. It might take you three or six months to complete a novel, then you have to get it edited. It could take you longer than six months. For me, it takes me about four months from beginning to end to get the book up for sale. Four to six months to a reader can sometimes seem like a lifetime.

My readers start emailing me. Asking me when the next book is coming out. So I keep writing. SHORT STORIES! Yes! Short stories have become a great marketing tool for me to use. They are short and sweet little stories about different characters in my novels to tied over my readers.

(Thanks to Nerd Quirk for the great comics!!)

Your short story can be about any of your characters. Let your reader get an up-close and personal glimpse into your characters life.

I wrote a short story, Bead of Doubt, to introduce the characters of my new series, The Divorced Divas Mystery Series. And I wrote a prequel, A Superstitious Christmas, to the third novel in my Grandberry Falls series, Never Tell Your Dreams.  Color Me Love is an Olivia Davis Mini-Mystery to hold my readers over until the second Olivia Davis Paranormal Mystery Series is out later this summer. They are a great way to reconnect with my readers between novel releases.

3) Publish the next book in the series! Get the next book out! There is nothing that gets your readers on board than getting the next book out.

4) Newsletter. Do you have a newsletter? You should! I love to send my readers upcoming events, novels, or tid-bits about their favorite characters. I use MYNEWSLETTERBUILDER.COM to reach my readers. You can think outside the box when doing a newsletter. Let one of your characters take your newsletter over. I have an upcoming newsletter where one of my silly psychics from my new novel, A Charming Crime, is taking over! Talk about fun!!

What do you do to tied your readers over until your next novel comes out?



9 comments:

  1. Something for me to think about, Tonya. I need to do something. It's been almost a year since I've published anything.

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  2. I have two books coming out later this year and I'm just starting to write my next one, which is the first in a series. I love the idea of doing a newsletter. I'm going to look into that. Thanks for this food for thought.

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  3. Great ideas, Tonya! I've been thinking a lot about the Street Team idea, actually, and really love it -- I love the idea of celebrating my readers any way I can. I've written a few short stories from the perspective of my main character's romantic interest, and that's been a great exercise for me and so well received by readers that I'm now working on an entire novel from his POV. I think anything you can do to provide fresh content and keep readers engaged while you're cranking out the next novel is a great move!

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  4. Thank you! These are superb ideas. I've been thinking for some while that flash fiction posts tend to siphon time with no real benefit, but....as quickie glimpses into the lives of the characters in a series, they begin to make a lot more sense.

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  5. Tonya, I read you often but don't always comment. Just had to tell you how helpful these suggestions have been. I am on the brink of releasing a new title, but have been "on the brink" for three months because of various life issues (editor had death in the family, big one). I love the short story idea. I need something short I can work on while editing the big one. Thanks so much!

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  6. Such great ideas!! I have ideas for 2 different series, and I have the first of both partially written, but don't have any concrete plans of how to proceed from there. Thank you for the tips and tricks!!! You're my hero! :-D (I'm only half-kidding when I say that because I really do learn sooooo much from you!)

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  7. This post is the perfect thing for me to read right now. I'm in the planning stage of a series and figured adding short stories would be a good idea. Glad to see I'm on the right track!

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  8. I dove right in with a series and find that the first book was the easiest to write. Now that I'm writing book four (book three is in the beta and editing stage), it's a lot harder. So much more is going on and I have to be careful to get the chronology right, as well as keep all the interwoven storylines in order. But I love it. It's like putting together a massive puzzle book-by-book, and the story just thickens with each subsequent novel. Keeping notes on each story is critical to keeping it straight. But next year, I want to take a short break after book six (maybe seven) to publish 2-3 stand-alones so my brain can recharge on the series.

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