The power of a mystery/suspense series

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00071]EARLY this morning, I wrapped up a two-day KDP Select promo for BLACK WATER, the second book in my Pat Tierney mystery/suspense series. The second day was a wild ride that took BLACK WATER to #1 in Women Sleuths around 5 p.m. At 2 p.m. this morning, it was still in the #1 spot in Women Sleuths and #26 overall in the FREE Kindle store.

But what I found especially interesting was that over in the PAID Amazon Safe Harbor Front300dpistore, SAFE HARBOR, the first book in my series, also took off – although my promotion efforts focused solely on BLACK WATER. Pat Tierney has now proven herself to be a multi-tasking heroine – shining both as a woman sleuth and as a financial professional.

Early yesterday, SAFE HARBOR started climbing as a Financial Thriller, a category I didn’t think it had previously figured in at all. Around 5 p.m. it was #10 in Financial Thrillers and #28,983 overall on Amazon. At 9 p.m., it had hit #1 in FTs and #9,539 overall. At 2 a.m. this morning, it was still #1 in FTs and #5,966 in the entire Amazon store. And as I post this blog shortly after 1 p.m., it is still #1 in FTs.

A mystery/suspense series holds a lot of marketing power. Readers return to read about characters they’ve enjoyed. “Safe Harbor introduced us to these wonderful characters and we get to go on another adventure with them when a murder mystery shocks a small Canadian town,” one reader said in the 5-star Amazon review she posted yesterday. “I really enjoyed spending time with some of the characters from the first book while being introduced to new folks in Black Water. You feel like these are regular people caught in crazy situations.”

And readers who haven’t read the early books will return for them if they’ve enjoyed a later book in the series. I make sure all my Pat Tierney books can stand alone so that readers can approach them in any order. “Although this book is the second in the series,” another reader noted in her Amazon review of BLACK WATER, “it is also a stand alone novel with enough information about recurring characters to satisfy a new reader.”

For an author, the challenge is getting new material out quickly enough to keep readers happy.


About rosemarymccracken

Rosemary McCracken is a Toronto-based journalist and fiction writer.
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One Response to The power of a mystery/suspense series

  1. Ruth Putney says:

    Loved both Safe Harbor and Black Water — can’t wait for the next in this series! Hopefully Farah will be less spoiled, self-centered, and rebellious. She’s be a lot happier if she got out of her own way long enough to grow up a little. Any plans in that regard? Regards — Ruth Putney

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