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Listened to Starting a Series from Scratch

Listened SFA 105 – How We Would Start from Scratch Writing/Publishing Books Today by LindsayLindsay from 6figureauthors.com

On this week’s show, Andrea, Jo, and Lindsay shared what each of them would do if they were new authors starting from scratch today with the knowledge and experience they’ve gained over their ten-plus-year publishing.

If you write across genres / with different pen names, be careful about telling the other genre readers to not ruin your “also boughts” and ARC early reviews

Try to write a reader magnet that will relate to all the books in the series

Write first three books before releasing — especially useful in sci-fi with extensive worldbuilding

Series of three 65-75k books (maybe on shorter side) — rapid release, 3+ weeks apart (or 1 week then 3 weeks) — then release another set of series with a slightly different look / angle to see what works better

Be sure to pick genre that length works

Research keywords to see what people are looking for

Research tropes of the genre and what people like (focus on what readers like rather than what you like)

Don’t do cliffhanger, but have a throughline mystery / story — maybe plan for six book series

Consider single POV for faster writing

At end of book, ask for review, promote newsletter with freebie

Prequel novella — free via newsletter — book funnel

Six-email automation series: freebie, followup to make sure they got it, invite to Facebook group, let them know about next book, ask for a review, invite to ARC team, could have preview chapter for next book

Website – page for each book with a sample chapter

Worth hiring editors — early books maybe do light editing to save money — spend a lot of time getting the story and writing in a good place

Website and newsletter most important marketing pieces when first starting out, could focus on those before social media

Advertising really important now, Amazon really competitive

Pricing strategies: Permafree tie-in story after three books? Permafree first book and two at full price ($3.99 probably for 80k book)? 99c first book, full price next books? 99c current release, full price other books in the series?

Just because you do rapid release doesn’t mean you’ll instantly have success

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at tracy.durnell@gmail.com. She/her.

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