Monday, July 18, 2016

Second Book Syndrome #FREEbooks #giveaway

Sometimes seconds are good and sometimes they aren't.

Bad seconds: second helping, second place, second movies, sloppy seconds, wait a second, second choice, two seconds too late, 2nd in line - don't they just all sound like losers because they weren't FIRST?

Great seconds: second children, sometimes second marriages, second dates, second time around, second chance, second base, ha ha. I'll stop there, but I know you can come up with more!

>>> HOLD ON!! I must interrupt myself to mention, the horrifically awesome Yolanda Renee is having me at her place today and I'm talking about SIMULATION and Marketing Tips. You can go there first if it sounds better, and come back here second...(hee hee) <<<





Now, back to SECOND BOOK SYNDROME.


SIMULATION is the second book in the Pop Travel series. Its sales and reviews are slim compared to its older brother. Why? Has this happened to you? Well, I have a few theories, let me know what you think...


  • Did people not like the first one enough to buy he second?
  • Do people not like the second and therefore not want to review it?
  • Is it not getting enough exposure?
  • Should I go on with the third?
Let's address these issues and try to reason them out.

First, if you're like me, you've had a bunch of loyal customers and great feedback from the first books - not only family and friends, but from strangers, too! This is clearly not the reason - we're fabulous!

Second (but still good!), How could they not like the second book? Here are my secondary theories...
  • Many people naturally have lower expectations of a second book, like second movies are usually not as good as the first.
  • Some friends bought the first book to support it being your first book - and that's as far as they went... it happens
  • So less readers = less reviews
  • marketing is part of the picture - it takes a while to get the next books out and unless you're keeping your readers informed (like with a newsletter) they may not realize the next one is out yet! More of the Next will help...
Next. This and the Last are the only things we can control. That evil word MARTKETING! I believe BOLDER is BETTER to be NOTICED in type and in life. There are tons of books out there and it's hard to get readers' attention. Even sub-category rankings are huge numbers. That means there are thousands of books in the same category vying for buyers' perusal. We have to do something drastic!

BTW, In August, I'm going to offer up a Marketing Series with some crazy ideas - untried, untested, and definitely unapproved! Any volunteers want to give me their reactions? (mention if you'd like to answer a question or two for me!)

Last. Writing the next book is the EASIEST way to get more readers. You have to keep writing, even when you are worried the third might sell less than the second... Don't get discouraged! Most readers want a ready-made series so they can continue post-haste. And the more books you have out there, the more you sell - this is from experience.

So keep writing! Just having a few fans from my small fan base ask for more is inspiration enough for me to keep at it. Totally worth the work and worry, not to mention, I love it!

Any "seconds" to share? Any thoughts or advice? I could always use it!
And don't forget to sign up for a signed copy of one of my books or some swag in honor of my book bdays this month...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

14 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

All of those could be reasons why. Of course, my third is the one that really got shafted compared to the other two. And it's by far the best of the bunch.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Maybe some people are waiting until there are a bunch of books available so they can read them all at one time and not have to wait for the next one? I do that sometimes.

Hmm, bold in typeface I can handle but bold in real life? Yikes! Not so much. :)

Libby Heily Author said...

Writing is much like being Dory - Just keep writing, just keep writing... :)

Murees Dupé said...

I have found writing the second book to be much tougher. But that's just me. I really hope the sales for the second book pick up. You are fabulous.

Chrys Fey said...

I'm sort of having the same problem with Seismic Crimes, book 2 in the Disaster Crimes Series, and I have three more to come! But I'm staying positive. I just need to target more readers. Somehow. I'm definitely interesting in finding out what your marketing series is.

Carrie-Anne said...

I'm an utter failure at marketing. If no one is buying my books, no one will review them, and people will thus be less likely to want to buy them instead of taking a chance. Some friends in my local writers' group suggested physical copies might help me a lot, and that I need to market more to actual readers than other writers.

H.R. Sinclair, Southpaw said...

I love seconds! I usually anticipate the second book being better. I think that if there is a long wait between books, people forget. That's why having a link to a mailing list at the back of the book is a great idea.

I also think people review less with each book in the series. Even if you look at the "big names", less and less review.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Second helpings rock. Give me my food! Anyway sometimes the second time around just isn't as amazing as the first. It happens.

Patricia Lynne said...

In my series, the first book has more reviews than the others. Part of the difficulty I found was when putting out the rest of the series, I found it hard to ask for reviews because some I knew hadn't read previous books in the series. I felt guilty asking them to read anywhere from 1 to all 4 books.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I heard an editor from one of the big publishers say that second, third and fourth books in a series always sell less even if the first is a big hit. He said it's even more common for speculative fiction. Does that help? It never comforts me.

Juneta Key said...

Your article series about marketing sounds interesting. I don't know if I qualify as someone you want answers from because I do not have a book out yet, but if I can help let me know.

I know as a reader there are so many more choices now than previous years. The choices are also getting better from Indies. They are paying more attention to cover and blurbs, so the reader has to sort through more page selections when looking.

The BIG thing I think is to "get the attention" so they will select to buy and read your book instead of another. I think it boils down to the book cover, blurb and copywriting to get them to click buy.

You probably know that, lol.
Juneta @ Writer's Gambit




Crystal Collier said...

It's true! The best way to sell more is to write more. Several people wait for the third book in a series anyway before reading the second. I used to. Not so much now.

Romance Reader said...

You are telling it as is. I've heard this from other authors too. Hope it picks up soon.

All the best!

Tyrean Martinson said...

It may be crazy, but I really feel like my second book is stronger than my first, but it has hardly any reviews . . . which has driven the sales point lower. I'm beginning to think that reviews matter more than anything else.

As far as untested marketing ideas? Awesome! I will quite happily take any dangerous, unproven, untested, and "don't try this at home" marketing ideas at this point. Maybe, we need to create youtube videos of science experiments that have a vague connection to our books for marketing? (That's my wild idea for the day.)