Monster Hunter Alpha–Larry Correia tries his hand at viral Marketing


 Larry Correia’s third book in the Monster Hunter series comes out today.  Monster Hunter Alpha tells the back-story of Earl Harbinger, MHI’s resident Hunter/Closet Werewolf, a  story that’s been begging to be told since way back in ’07 when Monster Hunter International was first released.

Larry’s generated a lot of fans with this kick-ass series about a bunch of civilian contractors (read that as mercenaries) who help keep the world safe from those things that go “bump” in the night, and those fans propelled the second novel, Monster Hunter Vendetta to #27 on the New York Times bestseller’s list.  Pretty impressive.

He’s also a guy who’s not shy about promoting himself or his product.  Hey, why not?  Writers write for the love of the craft, but they’ve also got to eat.  So, about a month ago, he put out the call for all us MHI fans to put out the word, “if you’re going to buy the third installment, buy it the first week.”

Why the first week? 

It’s all about stats. 

From what I’ve read on the subject, the surest (and only) way to get on the NYT’s bestseller’s list is to sell a whack of books the first week after publication.  Larry does a better job of explaining it than I can:

 “Now, on the preorder or release week thing, let me explain. Here is a little peek behind the curtain into the publishing industry.  This is a very competitive business. Making it onto a bestseller list spurs future sales and boosts your career. The biggest and toughest one to get on is the NYT. MHV made it to #27 when it came out.

Some of you may remember when I went around with an idiot about how this meant that I wasn’t a *real* bestseller. Let me break this down. The NYT is broken up into fiction, non-fiction, and young adult. We’re looking at fiction. The NYT only shows the top 35 fiction books in three categories. (hardcover, trade paperback, and mass market paperback).  So I’m competing against every paperback fiction book on sale in the country.   

This next part is important. It is based on books sold during that week.  So you can have a book that sells ten thousand copies in a week, and zero copies the rest of the year. That book will be a NYT bestseller. You can have another book that only sells a thousand copies that week, but sells a thousand every other week of the year. That book will sell way more copies than the first one, but it will not make the NYT.  That’s called velocity. 

The velocity part is why the release week (and the preorders that ship that week) are so very important.  A book will normally sell the most when it first comes out.  So, barring something that comes along later to cause a bunch of publicity (Movie adaptation, Oprah book club) you either make the list when you release or not at all.”

So, what does all that mean for us fans of the series?  It means, if you’re going to buy the book, or are just thinking about it, get off your duff and buy it NOW.  You’ll be doing yourself (and him) a favour.  If you’ve never read the books and are simply looking for something new in the horror/fantasy/awesome stuff category, you can’t go wrong picking up all three.  Hours of monster hunting fun.

Now, before I get accused of being a shill, let it be said that I’ve already bought my copy of Monster Hunter Alpha and am waiting impatiently by the mailbox for it to arrive, so there’s no conflict of interest or monetary gain/kickback or whatnot.  I’m hopping on the viral marketing bandwagon because it’s a good idea (from a marketing standpoint), because they’re great books (if you’re into that sort of thing), and as a fan, I’d like to help out.

 If you’d like more insight into Larry Correia’s books, views, and publishing schedule, check out  his blog at Monster Hunter Nation.

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