Monday, 27 February 2012

Gray Resurrection is out on March 1st…

…but there’ll be no sampling.

What? Hang on, you just spent two weeks promoting your post Kids, Ketchup and Books which is all about giving readers a taste of what they’re going to get and now you stop doing it with your new book.


Well, not really. You see, while Gray Resurrection is a good little read in its own right, it is much better if you read Gray Justice first. Thing is, I can’t guarantee that readers will have done that, and I can hardly open the book with “Thanks for buying this book, but you’ll have to stump up even more cash to buy Gray Justice first” can I?

So I’ve amended the opening to say “If you haven’t already read the first book I strongly suggest you to do so by grabbing a free copy from Smashwords. Simply do a Google search for “Gray Justice Smashwords” and you should be able to find the page quite easily. Go through the purchase procedure and at the checkout enter code XXXXX and click Update. The price will be recalculated to $0.00 and the book will be yours to enjoy. You can download it in multiple formats for your Kindle, Nook, iPhone, etc. I promise, you will enjoy this book a lot more if you read Gray Justice first.” Obviously that’s not the real code.

“But wait! I’ve just paid a dollar for Gray Justice and you’re going to be giving it away to new readers! That’s hardly fair!”

And you are quite right, it isn’t fair. That is why, instead of throwing it onto Amazon at $2.99 as I had been planning since last year, I will be launching it at just 99 cents – the lowest price Amazon will let me charge – for the first 4 days, so you have until the evening of Sunday the 4th of March to grab your copy on the cheap. Instead of paying $3.98 for both books you will be getting them for less than $2, which is still cheaper than a Starbucks and my way of saying Thank You!

I hope you enjoy it and look forward to your feedback.


  1. Hello Alan

    I have read this a few times today wondering whether I have misunderstood what you're saying. I can only imagine a second book is the best way to advertise the first. Readers want compelling series characters. If I came across Gray Resurrection and, like many commercial books do, saw this was second in the series, I might be inclined to check out Gray Justice first instead. And then come back to Resurrection. Which can't be a bad thing surely? By not allowing people to read the beginning of Resurrection (I'm assuming that's what you mean by no sampling?), it seems like there's something being hidden. The first thing I think of as a reader, is it's probably rubbish. Why else would you hide it.

    If you've gone to the trouble of writing two books surely you'd maximise their ability to market each other?

    You open a book, you don't want complex instructions, you want to read it, surely?

  2. Hi John,

    this was a real dilemma for me. Do I allow sampling and let people just go and grab the free copy of Gray Justice, or do I just tell them about Gray Justice in the sample and HOPE they buy it and read it before coming back to Gray Resurrection?

    I've seen negative reviews for second books simply because the reader hadn't read the first in the series and I am trying to avoid that, while at the same time giving great value for money.

    You do have a really valid point, though, and I have considered this all morning. Therefore I WILL be allowing sampling after the initial four-day introductory price of 99 cents. Anyone can read the sample and get the code to download Gray Justice. I am confident that once they've read it they will be back for Gray Resurrection.

  3. It's very interesting. I'm working on the basis it's going to take two plus books to start building momentum. I know from my own experience as a reader I can be a bit fussy about going for a first time author with one book. I want that involvement in a good character that two plus good books will bring. Ideally three onwards. If I see the book is part of a series I'll usually read the first one first. That's all I need from the front of a book, to know that. So you need sampling long term I think. If I like book one I'd go for the second and on. If the book, probably more the main character, sounds really good I'd probably just get both at the same time, especially with the kind of pricing you're offering. Pricing is very interesting as well. In my mind I'd only offer book one for free for a short time to build momentum and then price it just lower than the sequel. The fact you have two series books is a huge step. In my opinion, it makes the whole series more viable.

    Watching with interest as I'm about eight months behind you. First book is out, second series character is underway, with sequel to book one to follow. It's about writing for the future, I hope.

    Gray Justice is on my Kindle and about three down in the queue. Will let you know when I review it.

    Wishing you success with both.

  4. Thanks John. I realise that having just one book is never going to get me anything more than a few sales a month, but my hope is to write at least one a year for the next few years. After that, who knows.

  5. Congratulations, Alan! For one, I think your approach makes sense. Keep us abreast of developments - other writers may want to know if your strategy is successful.

    Now, maybe you should change the headline a little? The book is NOW available!

    But first, enjoy the glow of publishing another excellent book.

  6. Thanks Scott, I am so glad you enjoyed it.

    I will leave the page as it is for a few days, when a new post will explain my strategy for the future. I will most certainly let you know how this pans out in that new post.

    All the best,



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