Friday, July 27, 2012

Give Your Book a Second Life by Jennifer Hudson Taylor

Book titles have always been highly important, but they are even more so now--in this day and age of search engines. If you have an old book and have regained the rights to it, consider repackaging it with a new cover and title to give it new life.

Most book reviewers will not review a book with a copyright date older than 12 months. Therefore, make sure you get a new copyright date so reviewers will be willing to consider it. Often, it seems that books age faster than a car as soon as you drive it off the dealer lot. 

Here are a few ways to make your book launch last longer:

1) Never marry your book title. Publishers and publicists have lots of experience in knowing what kind of titles sell and which ones don't. Lean on their expertise in this area. My debut novel went from Promised Betrayal to Promised Blessings to Highland Blessings. The marketing department felt like people who like Scottish historicals would search more often with Highland in their search phrases. Thus, my sequel went from Secret Blessings to Highland Sanctuary.

  • First Impressions became Pride & Prejudice
  • Mistress Mary became The Secret Garden
  • Pansy became Gone With the Wind

Give Your Book a Subtitle. This allows the book to have more search words and gives it better functionality when people search for similar topics or titles, thereby increasing the algorithm of the search engine optimization.

Plan a Second Book Launch for a Second Life. If you don't have another book releasing right away, you could establish a second book launch around 6-8 months before it ages to that 12 month stage. Traditionally, authors have been trained to plan for the initial book launch and once that happens, it's all over. Ebooks that never go out of print and new online technology is not only changing the way books are published and marketed, but how people buy them. 

Continue to Offer Your Backlist to New Tribe Members. Your books may be a year old or more, but someone that has newly discovered you and loves your work won't care. I've had several people discover my sequel before my debut novel.  People love discovering an author who has a whole package of books they can read. It's like Christmas to book lovers in your genre. Even if you have a long list of books, as long as they are available, list them on your site with a link to purchase them.

What are your thoughts? Have you found other ways to make your books last longer or to give them a second life?


sally apokedak said...

I don't have any books to sell, but I can confirm your saying that readers love to find old books by new authors. I just love it when I fall in love with a new author and find she has put out a dozen or more book before I ever met her. I still remember finding Eva Ibbotson just a year or so before she died. I didn't read many of her adult books, but I immediately dove into her children's books. It was definitely like Christmas.

Sandra Ardoin said...

I agree with Sally. If I find an author whose book I've enjoyed, I'll generally look for more. Good advice, Jennifer!