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  • Writer's pictureStuart Grant

Toxic Deception Book Launch


While I haven’t quite gone through my back story all the way to book launch, since this was book launch week I think I need to step out of the past for this post.


Well, Toxic Deception was finally released.

So where do I start?

Probably with how totally unprepared I felt. Despite the long lead time I had and the many hours pouring through seemingly countless “book Launch” tools and guides, when crunch time came, I felt like I wasn’t ready. Across several dimensions.

Despite my general sense of unpreparedness, I had done a few things in advance. Probably the first thing I did I was set up my accounts on Amazon, Kobo, Goodreads and a few other key sites. This entailed getting my author profiles created so that when Toxic Deception was ready to publish, I could link the book to the necessary accounts. That was all well and good, but it wouldn’t matter if I didn’t get my book in front of readers who might like it. But still, it provided a small sense of accomplishment.

Three days before launch I still didn’t have my advertising set up. My plan was to advertise on Amazon, Facebook and BookBub. Each platform handles advertising differently and the learning required wasn’t minimal by any definition. All three platforms do have specific targeting capabilities, but they are distinct, with no real synergy among them. Each one takes real time and thought to set up. While BookBub and Facebook require specific creative, Amazon at least does not, relying on the actual book as the creative. The time this saves compared to the other platforms is more than exhausted by the keyword-based targeting Amazon uses. Setting up hundreds of key words, each with their own bid, takes some time. Not to mention trial and error.

However, when push came to shove, Toxic Deception launched with at least some advertising across what should be three important channels or platforms. It will be some time before I really know how well they worked, but after a couple of days I can at least say that the ads are getting in front of readers who are likely to like my book if they were to sample or purchase it. For sure I will do some analysis after the first couple of weeks and report on what I learned.

While getting some advertising up and running was important, at least from a learning point of view, there were two things about launch week that really stood out for me.

First was managing to partner to have not just one, but two blog tours. One had a smaller scale, with two reviews and three dedicated posts. the other was more robust, with a total of fifteen different reviewers/bloggers all having the opportunity to tread and review Toxic Deception.

I had no idea what to expect, but my hope was that I would somehow get actual reviews. And that’s exactly what happened! So far, every reviewer actually wrote a review. The only inconsistency so far is where the reviews are posted. Many reviewers posted to their own blog sites. Many also posted on Goodreads, a good location since it is a home for readers. However, only a few have posted their reviews on Amazon. I was told to expect most reviews to eventually show up there, but for book launch it would have been ideal to have them all go there first, since Amazon is the primary purchase site for books. I will take this learning forward for book 2 and do the blog tour before actually releasing the book.

The other aspect of my book launch was a pleasant surprise. I somehow got selected for a BookBub Featured New Release. What this meant was that I was included in their weekly new release mailing under the “Thriller” category. I don’t know how many people would have received the mailing, but I saw the impact by mid-morning on the date of the promotion.

In the first four days of launch, I noticed my KDP sales numbers going up by at most one at a time when I took a look. But by mid-morning the day of the BookBub New Release mailing, I was seeing on average  one sale every 6-7 minutes. Before I knew it, I passed 50 books sold on that day, with at least eight hours left in the day. While the sales rate slowed down in the evening, I ended the day with 125 books sold that day. Not only did it eclipse my previous best selling day by a factor of 6, I saw the impact on Amazon selling lists.

Toxic Deception was listed in the Medical Thriller and Women Sleuth categories. The latter is VERY competitive and is hard to penetrate, while the former has a relatively small number of titles available. Note that I had zero expectations as to how well Toxic Deception would perform. I literally had none. But apparently selling 125 books in a day in the Medical Thriller category was meaningful. Before I went to bed that night, I saw the below list of Amazon Hot New Releases for Medical Thrillers. As I said, this is a relatively small category. But it does include some real names…James Patterson, Robin Cook and a little further down, Michael Crichton. It was short-lived, but it was very satisfying to see. Even if just for a few days.

Now that my first major promotion has come and gone, Toxic Deception has settled into a modest but satisfying sales rate of about 10 per day. Not too bad for an unknown author. I have some audiobook promotions in the queue over the next couple of months and am excited to see if I can get Toxic Deception in front of readers/listeners who would like it.

Stay tuned for what’s next. I don’t know for sure what that will be, but here are three options in play:

  1. I need to pick up my back story where I left off

  2. I want to share with you my “Story of a Story” for Toxic Deception

  3. I might share some thoughts on future Jordan Reed books. (SPOILER ALERT: Book 2 is already done)

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