Tuesday, October 8, 2013

"The Train to Calais" Becomes the First COMMANDO: Resistance Story

When Operation Cannibal gets released (hopefully) in November, I'm making a minor change at that time to set up the COMMANDO stories as a series, and cutting the "COMMANDO:" part out of the titles. This makes it not only less awkward to type and talk about, but with three books (hopefully a fourth by the end of the year), it'll go a long way to showing this is a regular series of books.

At the same time, I want to be able to write short story spinoffs set in the same "world". I did this with The Train to Calais, using the short story as a bridge between the first two novels. It's been a surprising hit, selling 1,100 copies in just 10 months. I like the French Resistance characters I've written, and there is a ton of material worth mining over the course of the war. I could easily write a short story for every novel in the COMMANDO series, if not more.

However, looking at the reviews I've gotten for the short, while most are positive, it is plainly obvious that the story is often being purchased by folks who are unaware that it is tied to other stories. There's nothing wrong with this of course - I tried to write the story in such a way that someone who hadn't read Operation Arrowhead wouldn't be confused - but if I'm going to write further short stories, I thought it best to brand them together, not only tying them to each other but to the books as well. I've found that mentioning the association in the product description doesn't always do the job of passing that information along.

So, yesterday I went ahead and did a complete re-work of the cover. I'm using the same title graphic and fonts the COMMANDO books use, and I'm trying to stick to a similar aesthetic. The COMMANDO: Resistance shorts will touch now and then on the novel missions and characters, but for the foreseeable future I'd like them to have a life of their own, so to speak.


Charles Gramlich said...

Sounds good!

Stan R Mitchell said...

This is a brilliant idea, and I think it will pay huge dividends.

I might be wrong, but I don't think so.

Keep pushing.


Jack Badelaire said...

Thanks for the support, guys! I've a long way to go, but I think this'll pan out in the end.

English Teacher X said...

Well now do you have interior linkage to your other books? I put ads and information about other books in the series at the end of all my titles, and that definitely helped sales. Put a list of titles and series on the first page after the copyright -- "Also by Jack Baudelaire" -- and then some ads at the end. "If you enjoyed that, read the next shattering installment of ..."

Justin Aucoin said...

Love it. Good move.

And I agree with English Teacher X. I do the same thing with my stories and link to the other books at the end of the epubs as mini-ads.