As 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.
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.
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.