I’ve written here before about Mike Wells. This guy not only writes great books, he effortlessly markets them in a way that reminds me of the Victorian era when Charles Dickens owned a magazine and put out a chapter at a time of his latest book. Readers couldn’t wait for the next chapter. All novels were originally serialized. Each of Jane Austen’s titles appeared in several volumes.
Wells does something similar. He breaks his books into series. I just finished the delicious Lust, Money & Murder series and I have to say, I would have no problem marketing this way. It is easy and it tells no lies. Plus I am already sort of doing it, because every book I write has a sequel. My cliffhanger endings are not as suspenseful as Wells’s but then I’m writing relationship novels and he’s writing mysteries and thrillers.
The way Wells does his marketing thing is to give the brilliant and compelling first book in the series out for free and then charges $2.99 for each of the next two, equally excellent, installments. Or you can buy all three for $4.99 which will save you a buck, because I swear you will not be able to resist reading the rest of the heart-pounding series.
Wells is good with the details, whether he’s talking about high fashion or the goverment’s money printing process. His characters have chemistry and their quandaries are exciting. He deals equally well with plotting and pace. That’s why it is impossible to resist the little line at the end of book 1 that says “buy book 2 here.” And so on.
This is by far the easiest to execute marketing idea I have come across since I started trying to sell my novel. What excites me is that the novel I’m selling now ends on a sort of cliffhanger. It’s a “happy for now” ending that I had to add to, because I wanted to know what happened to my characters next. And you can bet that as soon as I finish that book, I’m hoping readers will want to know what happens next, too.