Thoughts on the Fatal Defense book launch

Fatal Defense, the new book in the Jessie Black Legal Thriller series, launched on Friday, April 7. It’s still a little early to evaluate the success of the launch, but I thought it might be interesting to share some of my thoughts.

I’m writing this blog post on Friday, April 14, 2017. As of that date, Fatal Defense is in the top 100 legal thriller bestsellers on Amazon. (Hopefully that’s still the case when you read this.) For me, this is a good result. I am hopeful that the book will “get sticky” and remain in the top 100 Kindle legal thrillers for a while, where it will be visible to legal thriller fans browsing Amazon for their next read.

One of my other hopes was that the launch of Fatal Defense would pull the other books in the series back into the top 100 as well. Although this did occur briefly for one night, it didn’t last. Burnout remains in the top 100, but Informant and Deadly Evidence seem to have dropped out of the list. (Again, this may have changed by the time this blog post goes live.)

Hot New Releases

Here I am climbing the ranks of Amazon’s “Hot New Releases” list for Legal Thrillers (April 7, 2017)

Ultimately, I’d love to be able to launch a book into the top 10 legal thrillers, or maybe even the top 10 books on Amazon (one can dream). Obviously, I have a long way to go before either of those goals is achieved! So far, I’m happy with this launch. A lot of readers picked up Fatal Defense, and feedback on the book has been very positive. It took about a year of writing and revising to get this book into shape. Hearing from happy readers is one of the most rewarding parts of this career.

For anyone wondering what happens behind the scenes of a book launch, the answer is a lot of work. The weeks immediately preceding and following the publication date were especially hectic. During the ramp-up to release, I juggled last minute changes to the manuscript, writing and polishing the book description that appears on the Amazon page, formatting the book for Kindle devices, and a bunch of other tasks I’m probably forgetting. In the days following publication, I went into promotion mode, advertising the book at a special launch price and generally trying to get the word out to existing fans and new readers.

Fatal Defense paperback

The paperback is coming soon!

I’m hesitant to offer advice on this subject because I don’t believe there is one “correct” method for launching a book. I’ve done it differently every time. But one thing is constant—you must publish the best book you can, and then make it as visible as possible. For advice on the craft of writing, check out my series of blog posts I call Tips for Writers. You can achieve visibility through social media, email, advertising, and—most powerful of all—word of mouth as happy readers tell their friends about the book. Whatever you do, the launch process is always exciting (and exhausting).

I will continue to promote Fatal Defense, especially during the thirty-day period in which Amazon considers a book to be a new release. I also need to format the paperback version and make that available for purchase, which is the next task on my To Do list. But most of the work for the launch is done.

And that means it’s time to start the whole process again by jumping into the next project….

If you purchased a copy of Fatal Defense, thank you. I appreciate your support and enthusiasm. Without readers like you, I wouldn’t be able to do this!

If you’re a fan of legal thrillers and haven’t picked up the book, please take a look. It’s available here.

If you need to catch up on the earlier Jessie Black novels, here is a list in chronological order:

Burnout (Jessie Black Legal Thrillers, Book 1)
Informant (Jessie Black Legal Thrillers, Book 2)
Deadly Evidence (Jessie Black Legal Thrillers, Book 3)
Fatal Defense (Jessie Black Legal Thrillers, Book 4)

Jessie also appears as a character in my standalone legal thriller Web of Lies

Thank you and happy reading!