I’d done my research. I thought I was ready to launch my debut so I released The Royal Gift in October 2016. It did well, gaining traction quickly with early reviews and I didn’t have to plead to get those reviews or work super-hard. I didn’t even rely on beta-readers and nobody in my family or my offline friends supported me. I did very little promotional work. Just what I suspected worked when looking at my research.
And it did work… with mixed results.
13,465 copies were grabbed in the first 12 months of The Royal Gift’s launch. Many of these were free on Amazon but I could see something wasn’t right. My email list wasn’t getting readers, only writers. The launch of book two, Threat, in October 2017 crashed and burned.
Huh. So the statistics were trying to tell me something.
OK, so I did do even less promotional work for Threat and I knew by the time I launched it that I had a strong desire to rework the series they belonged to (The Common Kingdoms) because my writing style and my writing ability had improved for the better whilst writing the publication rewrites for books three and four. Reviews for The Royal Gift were the best feedback I could have ever gotten, essentially working as beta-readers in the most public of settings. The ending needed to be fixed in The Royal Gift. Other little niggles needed to be addressed too – a stronger focus on explaining the atypical fantasy setting for example.
By November 2017, I was starting to piece together the requirements for Series Relaunch Project. I knew it would take a lot of time and that this time, I would be trying different things, keeping what had worked and dumping what hadn’t. I realised it meant I wouldn’t be launching a book in 2018 and I had to make the decision – go dark with a series resting period and start fresh with a new supportive community. Those that had previously supported me were/are welcome but I had to accept that out of those 13,465 readers that had grabbed a copy of The Royal Gift, less than 2% had bought Threat (and I suspected less than 10% of those 14 thousand read The Royal Gift).
The series needed that fresh start and it gave me time to breath, figure out what I wanted to do, remove negative external influences and perhaps most excitingly, condense the series’ storyline!
Here at draebox.com, on Instagram, Twitter and Youtube, I’m sharing that journey with you.
The Common Kingdoms Series will be relaunching mid to late 2019 as a six book series.
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