We’ve written in the past about the power of a price promotion to boost sales of an author’s backlist, and our partners often report that discounting books in a series is a particularly effective strategy. Anecdotally, we’d seen evidence to support this theory, but we wanted to find out whether the hard data would back up the hypothesis. So, how much better do books in a series really perform?
To answer this question, we analyzed data we’d collected from authors who have run promotions with us in the past. We looked at the average increase in sales of an author’s other books after the promotion, comparing deals where the discounted title was part of a series to ones where it was a standalone book:
As expected, the promotion appeared to generate many more sales of an author’s other titles when the discounted book was part of a series — the average percent increase in sales was roughly five times higher in the sample we used!
Being part of a series also correlated with a bigger bump in sales immediately after the promotion for the discounted book itself:
But this raised another question: were promotions of series books more successful for reasons other than being in a series? We considered the possibility that series books were written by authors with more overall marketing savvy, meaning that the success of the books couldn’t be attributed to being part of a series alone. However, when we limited our analysis to books where the author had displayed another marker of good business sense — putting links to their other titles in the front and back of the promoted book — we still saw that promotions of books that were part of a series were more successful in increasing sales of other titles by the same author:
It’s important to note that these statistics are based on self-reported author data, and may not be representative of every BookBub promotion. Also, your results may depend on which book in your series you discount. But the results suggest that using a discount to boost sales of an entire series of books is undoubtedly a strategy worth trying. For example, timing a price promotion to coincide with the latest installment of your series or using one to kickstart sales of a book that’s been around for a while can be great ways to get the most out of your deal.
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