The Keys to Successful Indie Publishing: Part 3 – Rapid Releasing

Here is part 3 of the five part series with tips on successful indie publishing. Read part 1 here and/or Part 2 here.

The Keys to Successful Indie Publishing Part 1_ Writing to Market (1)

Rapid Release is the buzz term in the indie publishing world. But what is it exactly? What’s considered “rapid?”

Is rapid releasing publishing one book a month? Publishing an entire trilogy on the same day? One book ever week or two?

I’ve seen all sorts of guidelines and different opinions, and the answer is very individual and influenced by the genre of book being released. There are a few things that are certain…

Amazon Algorithms

Amazon pushes your book for about the first thirty days after it’s released. Some argue, it’s only the first 21 days before a book will fall off the “cliff.” The goal for rapid release is to have Amazon push more than one of your books at the same time, so you need to publish books within that 30 (or 21) day window in order to get as many eyes on your book as possible. That releasing rapidly helps your visibility.

Some authors go on to argue that Amazon has algorithms that give you a boost if you have more than one book in it’s first 30 day window.

So…if the exponential effect of multiple new-release books is true, you’d want as many books available in any given 30 (or 21) day window.

Reader Read-through

You want readers to be hyped-up about your series and be able to finish reading one book and read or purchase the next in the series right away. This can work if the books are immediately available, or on pre-order.

Amazon allows for a 3 month pre-order period, so, theoretically, you could publish book 1 with a link to where to pre-order book 2, which could be 3 months away. (Or, publish a few books at the same time, so readers–especially those downloading with Kindle Unlimited–can hop right from one book to the next, keeping your rankings up.)

 

So…we know there are two good reasons to release rapidly, but the question still remains:

How rapid does a book need to be released to take advantage of these factors?

Some say to release books 1 & 2 at the same time.

Some say releasing books 1-3 at 1 week intervals.

Some say releasing at 2 week intervals

Others say one book per month is rapid releasing.

So, what is it?

All of the above.

Each has its own ups and downs. Some of it depends on how long a book series is.

With my Quarter Witch Chronicles series (that I’m in the middle of releasing right now) I  did the following…

Day 1: Book 1 (Dragons are a Girl’s Best Friend)

Day 12: Book 2 (While the Dragon’s Away)

Day 27: Book 3 (A Good Dragon is Hard to Find)

Initially, I set out to release a book every 2 weeks, to spread it out some, but then changed my mind,so my intervals weren’t exactly two weeks apart. If I wanted to release a trilogy over a month’s time again, I’d do the following:

Day 1: Book 1

Day 7: Book 2

Day 21: Book 3…and I might consider moving this up to Day 14

Why?

Because I saw sales dip a bit between my releases, and if they were a little closer, I think they would have built on each other to keep them in the top 50 or so in the genre category. Also, I could pour more advertising on each individual day, rather than spreading it out a bit on the thin side.

So far (on Day #26 of my Rapid Release plan,) I’m not sure if I saw the mysterious Amazon Algorithms kick in. I want to compare how this trilogy did compared to my Angels of Sojourn trilogy I released with an entire year between books. I’ll have this data net month, after 30 days passes after the end of my rapid release period.

I’m planning to release another trilogy in September, where I will have 1-3 months between releases — just to see if having a book on pre-order is enough to keep sales up, yet not make me crazy with trying to keep three books straight. That release will look like this:

Day 1: Release Prequel in the Rogue Skies Box Set and Book 1

Day 30-60: Release Book 2

Day 120: Release Book 3

Time will tell as to what works the best for me. What works the best for you might be something completely different. Stay tuned for more info on my launch plan and lessons learned in upcoming weeks.

(P.S. For rapid releasing, I had the entire trilogy written before I started with the launch sequence. By no means did I write books as fast as I released them.)

 

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