Before author Linda Mahkovec started working with Bublish, she was having little success selling copies of her books, even though her stories were highly reviewed. Her problem was marketing. Too few people knew about her great books.
That’s changing quickly now. Working with Bublish as her distribution and marketing partner, Linda has seen strong growth in her sales. Her 2019 holiday selling season was her best yet. Linda has watched her royalty checks go from a few dollars before working with Bublish to nearly $10,000 in the last quarter of 2019. Through a combination of strong metadata and distribution, consistent content marketing and targeted advertising on Amazon and Facebook, Linda’s Christmastime series and her other titles now reach thousands of readers across the globe. And 2020 looks to be an even bigger year for Linda.
The Power of “Buy Through”
Linda writes women’s fiction and historical women’s fiction. She has worked hard to hone her craft as a writer. She also invests time and money to market and advertise her books. She knows her audience well and has written a wonderful series of stories to delight them. This healthy combination of craft and commerce is helping Linda to become a self-publishing success story. She’s building a strong author brand, which allows her to compete effectively in today’s crowded book marketplace.
What Linda’s Christmastime series has—and it makes all the difference—is the power of “buy through.” This means that readers who buy the first book in her series typically buy all the books in the series.
Since we knew that Linda’s series had “buy through” power, the team here at Bublish recommended that she write a prequel to the series. Christmastime 1939 introduces readers to the seven-book series and gives them a chance to sample Linda’s work at a lower price point and with a shorter time commitment. The prequel is only 162 pages long. It was the right move, as the prequel has become key to Linda’s discoverability and growing book sales.
All Amazon and Facebook advertising are pointed to the prequel, with the eBook for the the prequel typically priced between $0.99 and $2.99. Because the price of the prequel is kept low, Linda doesn’t necessarily see a high return on her ad spend from the sale of that one title. But because of “buy through,” Linda sees a very nice return when readers buy all the books in the series, which many readers do.
How Bublish Helped Linda Grow Her Author Brand and Drive Book Sales
At Bublish, we work in partnership with our authors. We strategize and collaborate. It’s an ongoing relationship. Here’s a quick overview of how we worked with Linda:
- After publishing the sixth book in the Christmastime series, we encouraged Linda to write a short prequel to introduce readers to the series at a lower price point and with a shorter page count.
- Built Linda a beautiful website, lindamahkovec.com, to showcase her writing and grow her email list through blogging.
- Encouraged her to use Bublish’s built-in marketing technology, called book bubbles, weekly in order to benefit from Bublish’s Weekend Reader Marathon, which puts the newest book bubbles in front of 800,000 readers.
- Ran Amazon and Facebook Ads that pointed to the prequel during the holiday season.
What’s Next for Linda?
Now that the Christmastime series is complete with the publication of Christmastime 1945 in the fall of 2019, it’s time to consider next steps for Linda’s author brand. Here’s the list of suggestions that we’re discussing with her:
- Create a box set for the series both in the digital and print formats. Bookstores started waking up to Linda’s titles in the fall of 2019, so we plan to market the box sets to them for the 2020 holiday season.
- Grow Linda’s presence in the library market now that her titles are gaining traction.
- Help her create an audiobook version of the series to release next fall. Audiobooks are the fastest growing book format and will only expand her audience when holiday marketing and advertising kick in next year. With a new format added, she’s likely to see an even higher return on her ad spend.
- Capitalize on the success of the Christmastime series to expand interest in her other titles and discuss next steps creatively to expand her appeal outside the holiday season.