When I saw the marketing plan that Terry Brennan had put together for book #3 in his series, I knew others had to give it a long look. This plan has some remarkable forethought to it. It’s aggressive, thorough and … I think it’s going to work to help create awareness of his new book, as well as move copies of his previous book. If you’re a traditional or independently published author who has or will have a trilogy, keep this post handy.
–Greg Johnson, President, WordServe Literary
When a Series Didn’t Start That Way
I’ve been fortunate and blessed to have two novels published and a third one on the way. The Sacred Cipher, published in 2009, has done well. It appears the book may soon go to a third printing and today, five years later, people are still picking it up – and posting their reviews on Amazon. The sequel, The Brotherhood Conspiracy, was released in 2013. It got a great review in Publisher’s Weekly and better reviews on Amazon than Cipher. But sales have lagged.
One reason is that I was very ill at the time of Brotherhood’s launch (I’m fine now, thanks). Another is that neither I, nor Kregel Publishing, knew this would be a three-novel series. It just started out as one book. So it wasn’t marketed as a series and Brotherhood hasn’t benefited from the “pull” that Sacred Cipher generated.
Since I have a personal stake in the success of these books, and a lot of years invested in them, I want to do everything I possibly can to promote the increased sales of The Sacred Cipher and The Brotherhood Conspiracy, particularly in anticipation of the launch of The Aleppo Code in October – the third and last book of the series.
How Do I Connect These Books?
I created for myself an aggressive one-year marketing plan starting in December, 2014. The plan includes a month-by-month listing of what I will do to help accelerate the sales of the first two books, including a commitment to create a consistent social media presence, to produce a monthly newsletter (I have over 1,000 active email addresses in my mailing list) and to personally undertake a series of other marketing initiatives over the next year.
I included in that plan some requests for Kregel to join in this marketing effort. The team at Kregel has been wonderful to work with over the past several years and I deeply appreciate all they have done to support and promote my books. It’s been a great partnership and, because of that relationship, I believed it was acceptable to include some requests for additional support from Kregel.
Essentially, the requests of Kregel fell into two buckets:
- What can we do to link the books together as a series to create some momentum and expectation in the short-term for The Aleppo Code launch next fall?
- And what additional promotional effort is realistic for Kregel to invest in marketing the first two books over the next twelve months?
There’s No Harm in Asking!
I was thrilled when Kregel responded to this marketing plan, and my requests, with four major initiatives they were willing to undertake:
- The Jerusalem Prophecies series title has been added to the ONIX data feed that Kregel provides to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. for the book’s online pages and will be used in all promotions.
- Kregel will create an E-Book promotion for both The Sacred Cipher and The Brotherhood Conspiracy just prior to the launch of The Aleppo Code.
- Kregel will implement a blog-tour for The Aleppo Code launch – but they are also considering a blog tour that provides all three books for the reviewers, so they can follow the story arc of the series.
- Kregel will also run a “back-list” sales special for the first two books during the October launch.
I’m told this is an unusual step for a publisher to take to invest promotional resources into back-list titles. Bless them that they did. Now it’s up to me to implement and fulfill the elements of the marketing plan.
February 4th: What the first three months of the plan look like.