As you may or may not know, I’ve been writing for over a decade and I’ve written a lot, including 10 novels, half a dozen novellas and hundreds of short stories. Before June of 2020, I’d basically been in the wilderness, writing a novel every year or so, trying to get noticed, trying to sell, trying to make a name for myself. It didn’t really work out, friends and family helped where they could—my mother bought all my books—but most of my sales and reviews came from strangers, people I’d never met before or had any connection with.
Luckily, I have an acquaintance in the sci-fi genre who you may not have heard of but they are a professional author, they can live on the money they make from selling sci-fi, specifically sets of books, series. In one last push, I decided to try out the genre, and somehow, with both their help and a few people around me, I was able to write and sell a 4-book sci-fi series in under 6 months.
Step 1: Have the basic idea of the series and some ideas for each book (I didn’t do this, I was crazy). Or write them all before you start selling. The same goes for the cover art.
Step 2: Plan the Pre-Order dates and set them up one at a time so that when one publishes, the next is already on pre-order, so that you can advertise both the publishing of a book and the pre-order of the next at the same time.
Step 4: After a few weeks of publishing the 1st, you can do a free promotion of the 1st book and mention the others in advertising. Actually, the best time is when the 2nd book is published. Only do one free promotion of the 1st book, no more, until…
Step 5: When you publish the last book, do a free promotion of the 1st again, and maybe even the 2nd if it’s a 4-book series, advertising all of them.
Step 6: Have the basic idea of the NEXT series and some ideas for each book, including the cover art and set up the NEXT series’ 1st book Pre-Order.
Step 6: After a month or so, publish the whole 1st series as another ‘separate’ book, all in one, for just over half the total price of the others, advertising with it the Pre-Order for the 1st book in the next series!
And just keep going like this. No one said it was going to be easy, you know how writing is. If you’re lucky, you’ll get sales, pre-orders and even those wonderful little Amazon orange banners appearing on your books (New Release, Best seller).
At the moment, I’m thinking about my NEXT series, while holding down a day job and watching sales and reviews/ratings trickling in slowly, day by day. I still have some time to come with Book 1 of the next. But who knows? There may come a time when I can write for a living! And maybe you could, too!