Hello and welcome to what I intend to be an entertaining and even informative look behind projects I am currently working on. This will be like a peek-behind-the-curtain into what someone like me- a new writer / illustrator / comic creator- is doing to not only complete their projects (which can seem like an uphill battle at times) but also figure out a way to market these projects successfully in order to make a solid ROI (fancy acronym for Return On Investment) aka PROFIT!
If you read my previous WIP report, then you might remember I talked about four projects I’m currently working on. Two are ready to be released (The Hit and Miller’s Farm – both horror / dark fantasy short stories), one, Before Dawn, is going to be a serialized web / digital comic which is completed but now I just need to get it set up to be serialized as a web comic on my site along with being available as a digital download and to also run it on Tapastic as a digital comic.
My intention is to have these three projects (the fourth, The Devil’s Tongue, is currently being written as a series of novellas) come out at the same time. Why you might be wondering? It has to do with a crowded market.
Making a Dent in a Crowded Book Market
Thanks to the ease of digital publishing both fiction and comics, it is a VERY crowded market out there. Too crowded for a lot of writers and creators like myself who don’t have name recognition or a “tribe” (a name for your loyal audience) yet.
So one way of getting a start on building a name and/or a loyal audience it to come out with number of books and / or projects at the same time. If you’re in my situation and you just put out one project followed by another one weeks or even months later, you better hope that project made one hell of an impression because the likely hood of it being remembered are pretty slim to none, unfortunately.
By having more than one project available, if someone buys one of my upcoming short stories and likes it- BOOM- they have the opportunity to either buy my other short story or take a look at Before Dawn and decide that they like it well enough to buy the collected version.
This isn’t an original idea by any means. Here are a couple of articles I read which helped influence my decision to go with the multiple launches:
Problems With Releasing Multiple Books At Once
Yes, there can be drawbacks to using this strategy. One is doing a lot of work before seeing any gain from it. It was so tempting to just put my first short story out there once it was ready to have some sort of mental and, hopefully, financial reward for my work. But I knew doing so would hurt me later.
Another drawback is determining how many pieces of work to have in the hole before you put them out. I’ve read where some authors / creators would have five or more before releasing them! I think this is asking too much of someone. Writing a 300+ page book takes time. There are people who can do it in a month or two but keeping that kind of pace has to affect the quality of the work at some point. This could invariably have a negative effect on your audience if you put out a couple of good books followed by a number of crappy ones.
So how many projects should you have ready to go? For me, only you can answer that yourself. I could have waited till The Devil’s Tongue novella series was done but I still have a couple of months before it’s ready. I didn’t want to wait that long. So I decided with these two short stories and the Before Dawn serialization / digitalization, I would be content with these three being out there while I focus on The Devil’s Tongue with the intention of having it available in a couple of months.
Many of the old publishing rules don’t apply anymore. Today, sometimes you have to make up your own rules and ways of approaching your work. When you release your titles plays a vital role in not only how successful you will be but also when.