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How to turn a trilogy into 15 products

Getting more value out of your books with multiple forms of content

I published the final book in my Miramonde Series back in September, but I’m not quite finished with the trilogy yet. That’s because I’m leveraging all the work I put into this series over the years—the endless hours of research, writing, and rewriting—by creating multiple forms of content.

The paperback and e-versions of the trilogy (The Girl from Oto, Mira’s Way, and A Place in the World) and the prequel novella (The Promise) are out in the world now. This fall, I went through the entire series with a fine-toothed comb (and with comments from eagle-eyed readers) and worked with my formatter to eliminate any remaining typos, plus added new preview excerpts in the books and updated the links to online stores in the e-versions. An electronic box set of the trilogy is coming soon (Yay!). I’ve published one story in my Miramonde Shorts collection (Gift of Gold) and two more will be published before the end of 2019. (Just e-versions for now, but once they’re all published I’ll compile them into a paperback anthology as well). And I plan to produce audio versions of the trilogy in 2020. So…how many forms of content is that? Fifteen at least. And I may end up with a few more products before I really put this series to bed.

I was SO ready to move on once I published the last book in the trilogy, but I forced myself to mine a few more nuggets of gold from this one first. Why? All of that work is still fresh in my mind, and there will never be a better time to extract it. And the more products I create, the more sales I can drive. A big back list is the key to growing your income as an indie author, and while my backlist is still pretty small, I can leverage the books I do have.

Driving sales

I’ve already seen a big bump in sales since my international BookBub deal in September. The long tail of read-through sales I’d hoped for has been less dramatic than I would have liked, but it is happening. And I’ve finally gotten a toehold on Kobo and Apple Books. October and November were the first months I’ve gotten decent sales on those platforms without running any ads or promotions driving people to my book pages.

My early success with AMS ads on Amazon back in 2017-2018 became impossible to sustain as the cost per click bids rise higher and higher, and I pretty much turned off all ads for the last several months. But I’ve been experimenting with Facebook ads again for the first time in more than a year, and the results have been much better than I expected. I’m still in the testing stage, though, and I won’t ramp up my spend on those ads significantly for a few more weeks. Once I get a system in place for those ads, I’ll turn my attention back to AMS and see if I can get a solid strategy in place that takes into account all the changes to that platform. I’ve also had good first results with BookBub ads and I’ll definitely run more of those in the future.

Marketing never ends

At one time I imagined I would take a bit of a breather between series, to recharge my batteries and attend to a zillion other projects that need doing. But I’ve realized that I can’t. I’ll never be done with the Miramonde Series, even if I don’t write another word about that world, because I have to keep promoting and marketing it. More seasoned authors know this, but I didn’t realize it until I hit the publish button on Book 3 in the trilogy.

I’ve continued to get good buzz on social media from fantastic reviews of the trilogy on historical fiction blogs and from authors who are generously sharing their love of my books with their audiences. I’ll keep nurturing these relationships by doing what I can to help them promote their new books and by seeking out influencers who might appreciate my stories.

Now is the time to dive deep into the part of this game that I’m least comfortable with and I have the most to learn about: book sales and marketing. Luckily my husband comes from a sales and marketing background so I have a lot of free advice available any time I need it.

I’ve also benefited hugely from the advice in two online courses: Nick Stephenson’s Your First 10K Readers (which I bought back in the dark ages of 2015) and Mark Dawson’s Ads for Authors (I just sprang for that one a few months ago). As I’ve been studying their videos, I’ve also been absorbing the fact that the more books (and versions of those books) you have, the more income streams you can generate. In other words, create multiple forms of content to leverage the value of each book.

Though I’m restless to get going on my next project (and I’ve started doing research already, I can’t help myself) I’ve buckled down and finished these last pieces of the Miramonde Series. I know that as soon as I dive into the new series, all of the knowledge floating around in my brain about Mira, Zari, and their respective worlds will retreat into the mists of memory.

I’ll miss them enormously, but I’m confident I’ll fall in love with the characters in my next series, too. That’s the beauty and power of fiction, and that’s why I’ll never get tired of writing it.

This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click on a book link and subsequently purchase the book, I will receive a few cents.

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