Savvy authors and publishers know that publishing a series can effectively generate repeat purchases because readers become invested in the world and its characters, and become eager to see more of them.
They also know discounting books in a series is a powerful marketing strategy for attracting new readers. 94 percent of BookBub authors who dropped the price of a book in a series sold more of other books in the series during their promotion.
Which book should you discount?
Many authors and publishers use BookBub to advertise their series price promotions, but one question we hear regularly is: which book in my series should I discount?
On average, our partners have seen a five times higher increase in sales of the other books in a series when the first book is discounted vs. any other book in the series.
How much should you discount this book?
When you discount the first book in your series, the price point you choose will impact volume of sales of this book and others in your series. Downloads of free books featured by BookBub are 10x higher than downloads for $0.99 books.
And if you feature the first book in the series for free, the later books in the series will sell 8x more copies than if you price the book at $0.99 or higher.
Why does discounting the first book drive more sales?
Once readers are hooked on the first book in your series, they’ll be eager to find out what happens next, and they’re often willing to pay full price for the subsequent books. After all, 77% of bargain readers also buy full-priced books.
However, if you drop readers off in the middle or end of your series, they could get confused if they’re not familiar with the plot and character development from book #1. Some of them might go back to purchase book #1 at full price so they can return to the book they purchased at a discount later.
But readers may not be fully invested in your story at this point. So although it’s still worthwhile to run price promotions of later books in the series — our partners saw a 3.5x increase in sales of other books in the series when promoting a book other than the first — the sure bet is to discount book #1 and make readers eager to find out what happens to your characters next. That’s the kind of effective marketing strategy that leads to a 17x increase in book sales.
Cross-promote the rest of your series in your discounted book
Now that you know to discount the first book in your series, remember to cross-promote later books in your series in the first book’s back matter. Authors see a 3x higher increase in sales of other books in the series if links are included in the back matter of the discounted book. Make sure your readers know which book comes next in your series, and make it easy for them to buy it as soon as they finish the first!
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