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Dianne Salerni : Writer of Teen and Middle Grade Fiction | Marketing a Sequel

Marketing a Sequel


Marketing sequelAs I prepare to release my first published sequel in January, I realize that promoting the second book in a series (and the ones thereafter) is completely different from promoting a brand new book. It dawned on me, as I considered what needed to be done, that I am only promoting The Inquisitor’s Mark to people who have already read The Eighth Day.

For everyone else, I need to keep promoting Book 1.

This really skewed the way I looked at my marketing materials — what needed to be designed and ordered. For presentations I made this fall at the annual conferences of the Maryland and New Jersey Association of School Librarians, I went armed with postcards displaying the cover of both books – and review blurbs for each of them. When the book store hosting my launch party in January asked for book cover images to create posters and advertisements, I specifically asked them to include the cover of Book 1 on all materials.

expansion packOh, and there’s an upgrade to the set of tattoos – an expansion pack, as it were – thanks to my eldest daughter and my husband. But they will go out with the first set of five included.

Before the release of The Eighth Day, HarperCollins offered two separate ARC giveaways on Goodreads. They did not do even one for The Inquisitor’s Mark, and I understand why. ARCs are an expense, and they wanted to use them more wisely than mailing them out to random winners who may not have read the first book.

Olivia w TIM

No hiding the ARCs from Livi!

Likewise, I was more cautious about giving away the limited ARCs I had. Well, one was whisked off to Kansas by my 10-year-old niece who was visiting last July. She found my secret stash and snagged one. (That was okay and felt pretty good actually!) For the rest, instead of offering them up in random giveaways, I took them to events where children who’d already read The Eighth Day would be present – like a meeting of the Guys Read Book Club at a local library – and raffled them off there. I felt better putting the books into the hands of kids than mailing them off to people who would toss them in a giant TBR pile.

I don’t have as many blog tour spots booked, either. For anybody who might like to have a guest post, I would be thrilled to write one.  Just let me know! I love talking about this book! Overall though, I think the real marketing of The Inquisitor’s Mark is going to be outside my influence – and in control of the librarians, teachers, and parents who put the book in the hands of children who loved the first one.


16 Responses to Marketing a Sequel

  1. It is a little different with the second book. It also depends if the second one can stand on its own or not.
    My audience shifted because with the first book, I just aimed as science fiction fans. But my fan base taught me to expand beyond.
    And be happy to host you!

  2. Tiana Smith says:

    Very excited for this book 🙂 And if you ever wanted to pop in on my blog, I’d love to have you! I don’t really have a huge following though, so it might not be worth your time, lol.

  3. You always have such great advice and this is filled with helpful info. It makes so much sense that marketing a second book is much different than the first one in the series. When you do giveaways, another idea is to offer the first book in the series for those who haven’t read it.

  4. Hilary says:

    Hi Dianne .. lots of wise advice here .. and I see Alex has offered you a tour space – he’s always so helpful. You have your base and quite rightly you’re using your contacts … I’ll bet many of the kids are longing to get their hands on book two ..

    Good luck .. and a 2nd set of tattoos .. that should be fun .. cheers Hilary

  5. ChemistKen says:

    I never thought about how different it would be to market the second book of a series, but it makes sense.

    I’d be happy to have you guest post on my blog anytime, but I don’t have a large following (at least not yet!), so it’s up to you. Good luck with The Inquisitor’s Mark.

  6. J E Oneil says:

    I love that your niece stole one of your books. That must be the best compliment you can receive. I’d be happy to host you on my blog sometime, although I don’t think there are any librarians in my audience. But there are a few teachers, so come on over 🙂

  7. So… Livi’s channeling the Donovan’s? ;)I am halfway through Inquistor, and I’m enjoying it immensely! And I all ready have a type of recipe in mind to go along w/my review. I think that it’s smart to be careful w/the ARCs for a sequel, and it’s something I’ve not really thought about before. So many things to think about when it comes to promotion! =)

  8. Tonja Drecker says:

    Cute that your niece snagged one 🙂
    I guess us writers always have TONS to learn. It does make sense that the marketing would have to run differently this time. For example, some authors only have the 1st book on sale (or free) but never the following.
    As to a guest post, I’d always be honored to have you (if I’m big enough for you 😉 )

  9. Great advice, and I hope everything goes well. I know a lot of people who like series instead of just one-shot books (myself included), so hopefully marketing two books at once will draw in even more readers. ^_^

  10. Lexa Cain says:

    Wow, that’s a lot of work. I hope #2 is as successful (and fabulous) and #1 was!! Loved the pic of Livi enjoying her copy. 🙂

  11. It’s great that you’re getting copies of the new book into the hands of your target audience, and as a taste of things to come, your niece has already shown how eager kids are gonna be to read it. My guess is you’re gonna hit the target with another bull’s eye.

    I’m not exactly in your “target audience,” but I AM looking forward to reading it. If you’d like to do a guest post on my blog, you’re more than welcome.

  12. This was a perfect post for me. I’m about to release my first sequel and I didn’t have a plan in mind for how to do that. Now I do.

    If you want to be in my Hats Off Corner on The Write Game email me. I’d love to have you there. cleemckenzieATgmailDOTcom

  13. Joshua David Bellin says:

    Really helpful post. I’m keeping my fingers crossed about my sequel (currently awaiting my editor’s decision), and I’ll keep this post handy if it’s accepted for publication.

  14. Cynthia says:

    Sounds like there’s a lot of excitement that comes with having a sequel. So much planning to do, and yet, I’m sure this comes with a positive rush of adrenaline for you too.

  15. Sheri Larsen says:

    Thanks for sharing this angle on marketing. As always, there is something to learn. Best of luck with it!