We're now edging into July, which puts us just two months away from our next big DCI Morton release (although we've got non-fiction which will be out in the interim).
While the old legacy model of 'sell out of the gate or go out of print' is old fashioned, and eBooks have a much longer lifespan in which to earn their keep, we'd still like to come in hot and see where we can debut. Somewhere in the top 100 police procedurals is a fair aim.
This time, we won't be going KDP Select free. At all. There's a lot less impetus to give away your work when you have a little bit of a platform, and we don't want to risk the easy 1*s that inevitably appear after a big free run. Free doesn't have the same sales bounce it used to, at least from the dozens of crime novels we've watched come and go.
Instead, we'll give away as many copies as we can as ARC copies - both print and eBook. If you're willing to read it, and give a fair review then we'd be delighted to send you a copy. Our intention is to aim for 50 print copies for the mid-August ARC run. They will be in a semi-finished state i.e. they'll be post edit, but pre final proof (as we have to allow plenty of time for delivery to us from the USA, then from us to you).
While we're giving ARCs away here, we'll also be actively seeking out crime bloggers to send copies to. Again, we're not going to restrict numbers here. The more the merrier. If 100 people want a free ARC, then 100 people will get a free ARC. If 500 want a copy, we'll get 500 printed.
Obviously, that comes with a significant cost - both the printing/ shipping, and the time/ lost sales elements. But what we want is buzz. If we give away 500 copies, and that gets word out to a few thousand then we'll hit the ground running and long term we'll more than cover our investment.
We'll also be investing in advertising - probably some combination of BookBub/BookGorilla/ENT/BookBlast/FKBooksAndTips/ GoodReads. There will be no generic advertising - everything that costs will be on targeted websites appropriate for our target audience.
Then we'll have the usual array of press release, local interviews, social media, blogging and email list use.
Overall, with editing/ art/ proofing/ print set up/ formatting/ advertising et al, this is going to be an expensive promo. But you've got to spend money to make money, and if we can rival the sales rate we had on Dead on Demand during last September then we'll easily cover our costs.