The Rain Triptych has a long and slightly embarrassing history, but it’s back in print, in e-book and paper, and I’m finally ready to market it in all the ways I’ve been telling other people to market their stuff for years. So in this little corner of my web site, I’m going to talk about exactly what I’m going to try, and how it works. And like my trusted buddy Tim W. Long and a few others, I’ll use real numbers, as low as they may be (or high! Let’s think positive, high!), as a way to stay honest (and accountable!) if with myself.
So let’s begin right here at the beginning:
I’ve got more than thirty years of experience in direct response marketing for subscriptions, magazines, and books, so none of this is new to me. But in all that time, and with all the stuff I’ve written, I’ve done very little marketing of my own stuff, and much of that experience predates the internet and encompasses different “spaces” – niche magazines, non-profit fund-raising, non-fiction books. Marketing fiction, especially on the internet, and especially-especially for a relatively unknown author, is a whole different challenge. But y’gotta start somewheres.
I have the added advantage of being able to stagger my way through interior book design, voice-audio production, and social media marketing. So we’ll be bringing all that to bear. And we’re starting now.
After much nooblin’ about over the summer, all three books of the Rain Triptych are available on Amazon as Kindle books, Createspace paperbacks, and on Kindle Unlimited. All three books were with Permuted Press for a while (from a year to a few months), but they were never really marketed – the third book never even made it to their web site – as the Permuted owners gradually lost interest in the imprint and turned their attention to other holdings. They were kind enough to return the rights, and even gave me the thress truly wonder Christian Bentulan covers for the books. So they look great, inside and out, and they’re up and available. The Kindle and paperback editions are ‘linked’ as well, so they appear in the same prodouct listing.
Let’s start the clock with November 23: Thanksgiving Day 2017. That’s the day I put my first announcement of it on @THEBradMunson on Twitter, on the Brad R Munson Facebook page, and on @THEBradMunson on Instagram. All three have links either to the BradMunson.com sell page or directly to the three-books-together page on Amazon.
After two days … a lot of nice reactions from friends and colleagues, but the marketing-pro side of me keeps saying sales, buddy. All that matters is sales. That’s not entirely true. Leads, building the e-mail database and the community – especially on Twitter and Instagram and Patreon – is equally important.
The first book appeared on Oct. 26 in e-book form; the others dribbled out and linked up later, completing their appearance in late November. Prior to Thanksgiving, I saw around 3,000 KU reads (we’ll see what that means, if anything, in real money when they pay out; I’m not even sure of the cut-off dates for it). I sold 2 e-books and no paperbacks before launch as well.
Since the launch … for all the good wishes and the few shares … no joy. No e-book or paperback sales, a little over 100 normalized pages in KU on Thursday and virtually nothing since. Traffic on the web site in the single digits.
But I’m not an idiot, or new at this. I know this will take time — maybe a lot — and a bunch more product and promotion. Besides, it was Thanksgiving Weekend, for chrissakes, and it was a totally cold launch. Now, at least I know the baseline (it’s easy to remember! It’s ZERO!). And this whole analysis has pointed out to me that I’ve done nothing to goose newsletter sign-ups beyond having a widget on the home page of the site, which normally accomplishes very little.
So it’s time to finally practice all that patience, consistency, and community-building I’ve been preaching (and seen work) for my clients for all these years. And there’s plenty to do. Yeah: I’ve got plans, plenty of plans, but I’m not going to talk about them … until I actually do them. In the meantime, expect reports, even reports of non-activity, a couple of times a week.
Consider it the ongoing story of My Adventures In Marketing.
God help us all.