47. Reviving a Dead Book Series (Case Study 3)

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By Dave Chesson, Founder of Kindlepreneur, and KDP Rocket. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

When Ethan Jones first published his book, he sold five copies the first month. As the years went on, he improved his marketing skills and improved as a writer. He decided after six years to do a complete rewrite, cutting almost 15,000 words, editing chapters, and added a better ending. He also added a cliffhanger so readers would want to move on to the next book in the series.

I did pretty much all that I had learned in order to make a book more captivating for the reader.

One thing Ethan did was instead of putting up a new version of the old book and keeping the reviews, he republished the book. Even though the reviews weren't awful, they were at about 3.8 stars, and many of the reviews reflected the old version. When he republished the book, he wanted to start fresh without any of the old reviews.

There are two ways of uploading a new book to Amazon:

  • If you decide to make it a new book, you can do what Ethan decided to do and republish it without any of the old reviews.
  • The other option is to publish the new book, but contact Amazon to transfer the reviews over.

We’ve talked in past episodes about authors republishing their books with new covers, but Ethan had already changed the cover a few months prior to the new release. He had also changed the description for the book.

Ethan used a three-pronged approach for pre-launch:

  • He worked with his list.
  • He used paid promotions.
  • He contacted author friends for help with promotion.

By the time Ethan was ready to launch his book again, he had about 10,000 readers in his email list, which was incredibly important for him. He asked them to either put a review of the new book if they read the older one and he offered to send them the new version so they could read it and consider leaving a review. He also lowered the price to $0.99, which is a lowest a book can launch at.

In the years of being an author, he had made friends with other authors and reached out to them to add his book to their email newsletter, which helped market the book. He also used AMS ads and Facebook ads, and book promotion sites to help him with his launch.

After all his efforts, the final comparison is his first edition of the book went from 10,000 sales over the course of six years at $2.99 to 1,000 copies during the first two weeks of the new version’s release at $0.99.

Bio of the Author in the Case Study:

Ethan Jones is an Amazon bestselling author of the Justin Hall spy thriller series; The Carrie Chronicles, which features Justin Hall’s partner; the Javin Pierce spy thriller series, and the Jennifer Morgan suspense thriller series.

Ethan is a lawyer and lives in Canada with his wife and son.

Find links to resources in the show notes at http://kindlepreneur.com/e47

65 episodes