I was hoping to get Muddy River One promoted on BookBub. BookBub has taken my Jazzi and Ansel mysteries with wonderful results, but my then publisher–Kensington–put the books up. Publishers are now buying blocks of promotion on the site, because it reaches so many readers. Because of that, when a self-published author wants to promote there, it’s harder to get accepted. To be honest, though, my mysteries had a lot of reviews, which is a plus when you try to promote with BookBub. BookBub promoted my first urban fantasy novel, FALLEN ANGELS, when I self-published it. And I was thrilled. But I was new to the game, and even though it brought a lot of new readers to my book, I didn’t have any more books in the series, and that was a mistake. I didn’t realize that it was smarter to market a series of books instead of only one. You live and learn.
Muddy River has eight titles in the series. The strategy is to make the first book free to hopefully attract readers to the rest of the novels and novellas. Unfortunately for me, Black Magic Can Backfire had too few reviews and possibly not a strong enough cover, so I got turned down. Competition is FIERCE to win a spot on BookBub. My friend, M.L. Rigdon/Julia Donner (self-published) has won spots over and over again, and she always sells a lot of books when they take her. They seem to like my mysteries, not my fantasy. So I struck out.
I decided to try my luck with the Fussy Librarian and booked a spot on their newsletter for July 19th. I’ve done pretty well with the Fussy Librarian with my mysteries. I’ll see what happens with Muddy River. I’m trying to market it as a paranormal romance instead of a fantasy. Fantasies can range from epic quests to huge trilogies…or more, but when I thought about it, Black Magic Can Backfire is a smaller scope, more about Hester Wand, a witch who leads the area’s strongest coven, teaming up with Raven Black, the area’s supernatural enforcer, and how they become attracted to each other as they try to find who killed all thirteen girls who started a new coven in Muddy River. Their romance is just as much a part of the story as trying to solve the mystery. Raven has worked for Muddy River for a long time but has tried to keep his distance from its residents so that he’s impartial when he has to judge them. Once he meets Hester, who teaches young witches at her school for magic, he realizes there are supernaturals who’d work with him if he let them. Hester helps him open himself up and find true friends, as well as love, in Muddy River.
How you market your story is important. EVERYTHING about marketing is important. You’re trying to find the right niche to attract readers who are looking for what you write. And that’s not as easy as it might sound. Timing is important, too. I’ve waited too long to come out with a new book, and my numbers show it. They’re dropping, dropping, dropping. So next week, I’m polishing my next mystery, The Steaks Are High, to publish it. And then….it’s time to write a new book, faster this time.
Anyway, I’m making Black Magic Can Backfire free from July 18-22, and it will go out with the Fussy Librarian on July 19. We’ll see what happens.
Good luck with your writing! And happy July!