Two books are better than one

I have read that publishing only one book isn’t such a good idea when it comes to marketing. However good that book may be, having a second title already published or on the way gives added credibility. Some authors work hard to build up interest in their next title, using their blogs to announce ‘cover reveals’ and publishing extracts in advance – sometimes to seek reactions which may lead to edits but also to whet the reader’s appetite. How effective all this is I don’t know.

I think I agree with the basic theory, though. If an author has a website listing only one title then prospective readers may not be so interested. The site will probably look sparse and they know that even if they like the only title on offer they can’t move on to the next if there isn’t one.

And if the website looks sparse so will the shelf in the bookshop. A single title can easily go unnoticed: the author will plainly have greater presence if more than one title is visible. My local bookshop was already selling my first book (by which I mean that it was both on sale and being bought) and is now taking the second as well.

My Titles Blackwells

It’s good to see them snuggling up like this and I entertain the foolish fantasy that being so close and personal they might breed, saving me the trouble of writing the third.

Fantasy seems to be a popular genre right now, so if I can contribute in however small a way . . .

9 thoughts on “Two books are better than one

  1. That’s quite a thought. I’m not sure what the progeny of my three novels would look like, but fantasy certainly. I think having more than one title does help, and yours certainly look good on the shelf. The local paper gave me more space this time, counting me as a bona fide author. I now have the dilemma that alongside Border Line, I’ve been selling my remaining copies of Unseen Unsung. Do I order more? I will certainly make a loss.

    • It can only be good that Unseen Unsung is selling, but I see the dilemma. Since you were never in it to retire to the Bahamas and your objective is to make a go of it as a writer, running out of copies would not be good, so the logic of it is to print more. But if you don’t want to do that, there is always the second-hand market (which doesn’t make you a dime) and the e-book version which does.
      I’m glad you’re getting more publicity.

  2. How wonderful to have two of your books in the bookstore! I agree–building up our product line is key. I’m working on it, but oh, the publishing world can move slowly…

    • Well Carrie, I expect you to succeed – you have the energy and genuine communication skills to do it, and both of these things are important in today’s publishing world. Are you working on a follow-up? From what you wrote I assume you are.

      • Not a sequel to my first book, no. I have a second completed novel I’m shopping around now. Plus, I’ve finished a first draft/outline of my third novel.

        Thanks for your supportive words. 🙂

  3. Yes, the word is that more books is better. I work with a couple of authors and they’ve both got around five books on sale. One has a series and the other is working on two separate series. As well as more books, series are also A Good Thing. And in terms of ebooks cheap pricing is the trick for more sales ie a couple of quid. I’ve heard that not just from people I work for, but also from other authors, and to pitch the price at the right level for your genre.

    One author, I don’t edit her books but I’ve reviewed them all (free), works very hard at getting review out there for her books. She provides advance review copies so that by the launch, she already has a fair number of reviews (invariably good ie four or five stars) on Amazon and Goodreads. I’m in a (commercial which means the organiser gets paid, the reviewers don’t) book tour circuit which is quite interesting as a) some of the publishers/authors are willing to send out hard copy books internationally for review, and b) I can write an honest review rather than a sucky one which is good. It’s the main reason I joined as I think it at least displays integrity.

    I think writing about upcoming books is productive, not in terms of editing, but to pique interest which is the whole idea. Of course using a blog as a publicity tool only works if you don’t fill it full of My Book! My Book! My Book! and if you put effort into visiting other blogs. I read two author’s blogs, one has few comments, the other always generates double figures and has a wide review network and people who buy after reading her blog. And the difference? the successful one works hard at her networking.

  4. Thank you for taking the trouble to write such an informative reply. Your book circuit tour sounds interesting, and I remember you writing about one of the books before. When it comes to the blog, there I have a problem. I don’t like reading My Book! type blogs and don’t have what it takes to write one either. I would say my blog (and I have just started a second one) is all over the place as I go with the flow of what’s left of my brain. And I completely agree with your comment about networking, which I take to mean taking a genuine interest in what other people write. If it isn’t two way it won’t work, and I don’t think it’s possible to counterfeit a real interaction and keep it going.

    (Referring back to an earlier post of yours, the previous title of my blog was Looking for the Light, illustrated by a shot I took myself of our farmhouse in winter under feet of snow and one light shining. This was a serious mistake because it attracted quite a few persons of religious disposition and I should have seen that coming. One of them zapped me with a lengthy piece which proved conslusively that, were scripture to be read aright, then there would no female police officers! I made no attempt to verify this, but I don’t believe the book in question includes a reference to police officers of either sex.)

  5. Thank you for the informative post! I’m struggling through a second manuscript currently that isn’t a sequel to the other (my baby/Mona Lisa–can’t stop touching book), but it’s in the same genre. I know I have to put out books consistently in the same genre at least to start to build and audience, and I’m just hoping this one works out for me. It’s hard sometimes–books are like children in that I don’t like to play favorites…but I have my secret favorite I’ll keep to myself. 🙂 Maybe if I’m lucky enough, I’ll get to publish them both and have a double cover reveal. (Dreams, sigh.)

  6. I hope this works for you, Michelle. I don’t think in series form either, but it seems to make life easier if you do. As does writing in the most popular genres, the best-selling of which seems to be romance – so that’s me out.

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