It's been a little more than one month since my second book's release date. Looming Shadow is the second book in the Journey to Chaos series, which means I officially have a series published instead of a single book claiming to be part of a series. Seeing one of my own books in the "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought" section is pretty cool. It's not stopping there either, but more on that later.
Looming Shadow was published at the tail end of last December, so its debut month was January. During the month of January, it was bought 414 times and burrowed through KOLL/KU 306 times. This is at a 2.99 price, which is two dollars more than the first novel. I say that's a good response. (Also, note the spike in interest for A Mage's Power ^_^)
When publishing your second book, you have the experience of the first. You've made the rookie mistakes and learned your lessons. I'm glad to say that the launch for Looming Shadow went much smoother than for A Mage's Power. I was still rushing to get it out before Year's End but there were fewer problems.
There was no problem with content because I found some beta readers to check for those. There haven't been any problems with formatting/editing/proofreading because I hired an editor to take care of them before the launch instead of afterward. I know how KPD works now so I didn't stress out over pushing the "publish" button. When I launched A Mage's Power, that button wracked my nerves and I had to bring out some musical inspiration to hit it. Now it is less scary. I also know how to make images show up in the Kindle version (though there was a brief period of time where it had two consecutive cover pages). However, I am still learning.
For instance, this time I had the experience of "breaking even". When I published "A Mage's Power" all I did was order a cover. It cost 90 dollars; not insigificant but also nothing that would break the bank. It wasn't until after my 99 cent book sold a couple thousand copies ( I could show you a picture of that record if you're interested) that I found an editor so even then I didn't worry about it. This time I ordered everything up front: editing, proofreading, formatting, cover illustration, and advertising. It cost me a couple dollars short of a grand. Thus, I watched the sales carefully and calculated how many more copies I'd have to sell to recoup the expense I occured. I imagine it's what a publishing house feels like only magnified by many more books. It's good for empathy. As of this writing, I'm about 90% of the way there.
It's a validating thing to have two books published instead of one. I read this thing during college about this one author talking about the "one book author". Similar to the one-hit wonder of the music industry, it's about someone who publishes one book and only one book. Either a lack of time, lack of drive or something stops them from publishing a second. It was autobiographical in that the author was afraid of that herself. She was given a certain span of time where she didn't have to work at her job and so she could "live like an author". At the time I was afraid of that, but not anymore. I have two books out and a third is going to beta reading soon.
That book has the planned title of "Mana Mutation Menace". This is the third book in the Journey to Chaos series and it will focus heavily on what creates monsters . It's fascinating to look back to the history of this concept. I created it simply to explain the presence of monsters; part of the world building and setting flavor. Essentially, it was a plot device. Now it has become the focus of a book's plot and the means by which the conflict between Chaos and Order comes to the fore.
I'm looking forward to the new Two Book (and soon Three Book) dynamic. I've read about authors who coordinate deals between books in order to boost sales of both. For instance, making the first book free in order to gain more readers for the later books in the series. I also feel more confident in taking best advantage of such marketing through social media. When I wasn't writing I was connecting with other authors and looking for places to promote. I found both and they have lead to reciprocity.
Journey to Chaos Book 3: Mana Mutation Menace will published this year. It could be as soon as spring, or it could be as late as summer, but it will be published this year.