05-26-18 – Blog Queen - Sarah Raplee

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Inspiring Authors - Inspiring Brides

Hi everyone! I am YA author B A Binns , writer of contemporary and realistic fiction for teens. My tagline tells you what I am about - Stories of Real Boys Growing Into Real Men - and the people who love them. 

It's all about inspiration, in this case, in this case, a group of authors who decided to think outside the box set.

A set of inspiring authors, Kristen Osborne, Merry Farmer, Pamela Kelley and Cindy Caldwell, told the audience about an inspired plan they came up with: to publish a set of historical, inspirational books about mail order brides set in each of the fifty states.

AND to publish them, one a day, for fifty consecutive days.

Now that is a marketing plan.

They presented a report on the results at the 2016 Chicago North Spring Fling writer's conference in May.    

They had around forty authors in the group - several wrote more than one book. The unifying theme was that the young women had been working together in a factory that burned down. They were now out of work and looking for a new future at a time when being a mail order bride seemed a good solution.  Since the women had known each other there were crossover opportunities in the books, including letters between characters.

And of course, marketing opportunities galore for the group.

They "created" an author American Mail Order Brides. This pseudonym served as a unifier, so readers could search on that and find all the books in the series. As the days went on and word of mouth grew, American Mail Order Brides became Amazon's number one author in the Western Historical category. Even now, more than six months after the event, American Mail Order Brides author ranking on Amazon is:
They had a set of mixed results, but mostly this was a positive effort. Although they would probably not try to corral enough authors to do a fifty book daily spring again, this was by and large a positive experience and they are looking at other, smaller, collaborations. The unifying theme and author really helped in cross marketing and promotion. Each individual author reaped the benefits of other authors' success in attracting an audience.  And, unlike trying to put together a boxed set, there had no accounting issues to deal with.  Each individual author got the proceeds from their own book.

But they did get a few learning issues, namely, the poor authors whose books were released on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and new Years Day had much lower sales.  If they do anything similar in the future they know to skip releases on a major holidays.

If you have a taste to learn more, check out the series prequel or look at the covers.

I don't know about you, but I am always inspired when I hear about new ways authors find to get themselves out there.


Judith Ashley said...

Thanks for the update, B.A. I've known about the American Mail Order Brides series but wasn't aware of exactly how successful it was. Such a creative idea!!! Especially appreciate your sharing what they learned from it all. It was a huge undertaking in many ways.

Lynn Lovegreen said...

What a fun concept! Glad it worked out so well for them.