New Release Book Marketing Strategies that Work Well

iStock_000002973850XSmallThere are many different ways you can market a new release. These are some of the things that I have found that have worked really well, especially for newer authors whose biggest challenge is usually visibility.

When I first started publishing, almost two years ago, I was fortunate to have some great writing friends who shared what worked for them. One of them, Leighann Dobbs, told me about her .99 release strategy. I have since used this for every book.

Each new book is released at .99 for several days and then goes to its regular $2.99 or $3.99 price. This early release discount is only offered to those on my email list (and is an incentive that helps with signups) and posted on my author page (and boosted to fans and friends).

The reason this can work so well is because you get an initial boost of sales upon release that can shoot you onto your genre top 100 lists (or close to it), which helps with visibility. So then a few days later, when you raise to your regular price, you are probably much higher in ranking than you would have been if you’d released at the regular price. Once you are more established, you could experiment with releasing at regular price, but I have found that the initial .99 release works so well that it’s worth missing some potential full price sales and it also is a really nice way to reward your most loyal readers.

When you are brand new and don’t have a list to email, you may want to consider getting the word out in other ways. When I launched a new pen name, I ran some Facebook ads to a simple landing page that had the book cover and blurb about the coming series and a signup link for an email alert when the book went live, with the incentive to get it at the early release discount. This generated about 150 initial signups over about 3 weeks. I also joined a Facebook group in that genre that was full of readers and where promo was limited to new release or sale announcements.

This group was hugely helpful in establishing early readers. I offered an Advance Readers Copy, to help generate some initial interest and reviews and sent out maybe a dozen. A friend recently followed my example but sent out even more ARCs as that group has grown. It is ideal to join a group like this way in advance of publishing. Get to know the readers and other authors and other opportunities may present themselves. I participated in a group sale, a .99 long weekend promo with about 30 other authors and I timed my new release to hit then.

Another option if you want to go even bigger and have a little money to invest is to do a longer .99 launch period and run as many little ads as you can to support it. Some sites will take you with no reviews, while others require 8-10. So that is where the ARC readers can be helpful in getting those early reviews. I used this strategy on my very first book because I just wanted to get the word out and gain readers. That worked really well for me, and also helped in building my list.

The best way I have found to promote a new release that is not the first of a series, is to promote an earlier book in that series. Depending on the length of the series, it may be book one or a later book.

After you do your .99 release and raise the price to $2.99, is when you kick in the promotion on the earlier book. Or if you choose not to release at .99, then you could start this promotion upon release of the new book.

If you are able to line up a BookBub ad for book one (or other earlier book) anytime within the first two weeks of your new release period, you can explode your sales and launch for that new book. The magic of BookBub is the volume, especially if you do a free promo—because it’s amazing how many people will either pick up the new release and other books in the series at the same time, or will return soon after. Doing this can give an incredible lift to your entire series.

I did this for Mistletoe in Montana, which was book 2 in a series. Having a free promo of Book 1, Six Months in Montana, launched Mistletoe at #460 in the store. It never would have done that well on its own.

If you can’t do a BookBub, you can still get great results by booking a lot of smaller sites over a four or five day period on that earlier book. Another thing that helps is to add a line at the top of the description for the promo book (and other books in the series too), announcing the new release. This will help drive traffic to it.

These are a few things that have worked well for me so far!


About the Author


Currently write contemporary western romances and mysteries. Live in the Boston area, near the ocean and Cape Cod. Still work full-time as a headhunter, placing marketing people.

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