The first book in your nonfiction series: free or not free?
Or should it be your strongest work?
I’ll just come out and say I’m planning on making the first book of my upcoming “Repossible” series free. Here’s how I see it:
- Every Single Day
That first book is an “introduction” to the series. That’s my plan.
Yet, I don’t see many examples of people doing this on Amazon. However, many of the series I found are from well-known authors. Perhaps they don’t “need” that first book free because they have such a strong name/brand.
Or maybe that first book IS their strongest book. Let’s have a look at a few strategies.
Joanna has so many books. Wow.
She writes both fiction and nonfiction. It took some serious searching but I found the series page for her Books for Writers.
Her first book in the series (Successful Self-Publishing: How to self-publish and market your book in ebook and print) is $6.99 and looks like an overview of the topic. Then further books go into more detail.
Let’s Get Publishing series.
What I found interesting about David’s series is the pricing is:
- $2.99 book 1
- $3.99 book 2
- $4.99 book 3
The logic being: if the reader wants more, they’re probably willing to pay more.
Marc’s “Change your habits, change your life (7 book series)” series has, at first glance, less of an overarching style, format, titling, and thread.
But if it’s as broad as your “habits” and your “life,” then all of the books can easily fit under the series name.
This is a good example of how books can be part of a series even if the titles don’t exactly line up and the branding isn’t all the same.
The “The Miracle Morning Book Series (13 book series)” series uses the title of the series in each title with a variation for the audience. Very much like the Chicken Soup for the _____________ Soul series did–and, uh, you know, sold gazillions.
If you have a great idea, can you target (more) specific audiences with it? I have thought of: Every Single Day for Kids, Every Single Day for Authors, etc.
So, Now What?
I started out thinking I want to put my first book in the series at $0.00. These examples show me that the first book in the series is usually a strong book and/or the lead-in to the topic.
The authors I found are far more popular than I am. I’m still going to give it a go and make my first book in the series free.
By the way, nothing is set in stone. I can also increase the price of the first book or even remove it and make Every Single Day the first book in the series.
First action item? Finish the series. THEN let’s talk order, free, and details.
More on the Topic
- Should You Promote Your First Book in a Series? by Kirsten Oliphant
- Which book in your series should you discount? by Diane Urban
- To Free or Not to Free: Giving Away Your Ebook by David Kudler “The title is the first in a series; by giving it away you’re marketing the other books (this is what’s known in retail as a loss leader — just make sure to include links and blurbs at the back of the ebook to make it as easy as possible to buy the next title in the series or perhaps upsell to a bundle — a loss leader needs to lead somewhere!)”