New Wren series blurb & analysis!!

Mike GristMarketing, Writing Leave a Comment

On Amazon as authors we’re afforded a series page for our books – for years I’ve been sending my FB ad clicks to the series page for Wren, and on that page I had a series blurb that was identical to the blurb for book 1 –

‘They stole his truck. Big mistake yadda yadda…’

In the earliest days of March 2021, this new blurb combined with new covers, new opening chapters and altered body text, led people to one-click buy the whole series (then about 4 books long). That led to a lovely influx of sudden cash, as if I’d just released 4 books at once.

Ever since, I’ve left the ads going to the series page, and the series page has had that truck blurb, and the ads had that truck blurb too, and book one had the truck blurb, and that was all any casual observer could know about the series.

Well. As ever, I’m experimenting, and after talking with the movie guys, and thinking about the arc of the first 7 books in the series, something shook loose and combined with the general advice to keep your product marketing copy fresh – and I came up with a new angle to use in my marketing.

I’ve already pretty much exhausted the FB audience and the truck blurb is wrung dry. I had the idea to focus the ad blurb, and then the series page, around his father. Here’s what I came up with:

His father tried to kill him. Now he’s coming to try again…

When he was only 12 years old, Chris Wren’s father slaughtered their family and left him for dead – but Wren survived.

That’s a mistake his father now aims to correct.

But Wren’s not a little boy anymore – he’s a black-ops legend for the CIA, infamous for putting evil men like his father into the ground. He won”t be easy to kill.

Yet his father never did anything ‘easy’. His attacks have grown in line with his madness, propelling Wren, the past and all of America toward a terrifying storm.

Wren failed to save his family when he was a little boy. Can he save his wife, kids and the America he loves now that he’s a man?

The sins of the father will be visited upon the son…

Normally blurbs and ad copy are really hard to write – but this one just kind of flowed. As a series blurb, it covers books 1-7 perfectly. And does it work?

Well, I started some new ads on FB yesterday using this as the ad copy, plus some fresh-ish images I’ve had in my back pocket and rolled out once or twice before. Now, the previous truck ads were down to 3.6% (US) and 2.6% (UK) clickthrough, getting clicks for 16p and 19p respectively, with a frequency of 2.7 and 3.6 – pretty high repetition to the same scrollers.

The new ad, which was dynamic and had other options focusing on Wren’s CIA training, pretty much immediately kicked into gear, immediately favoring the father blurb, and is currently getting 7% (US) and 3.2% (UK) clickthrough, substantially more and almost double in the US, with clicks at 9p and 13p, again almost half in the US, and obviously a frequency of around 1.

It’s early days, but this bodes very well – paired with sales of the series being 30% up yesterday, even though the ad spend was only £40 total, well down from previous numbers around £70.

Pretty exciting stuff. One other fascinating demographic shift is along gender lines – the previous truck blurb was appealing primarily to male readers, something like a 70/30% split in favor of men. Perhaps that makes sense – men like trucks and stories about men fighting for their trucks. The new ad however splits (so far) 70/30% in favor of women!!

I hadn’t expected that. It’s about sons and fathers, and briefly mentions a wife and kids, but I suppose women relate to family dynamics more than men, and more than they care about trucks. If this bears out, it could be big second lease of life for the Wren books, bringing in women who were turned off by the truck focus in previous iterations.

Maybe I should change the book 1 blurb too, to take that into account more. Move it away from the truck, which is a very minor part of the story anyway, and make it more about white-knighting and his kids and such…

This raises another thought I’ve had, which is to split the series after book 7 – since that’s largely the father arc – and essentially start a new series at book 8. There’s an easy way to do this – books 1-7 are all focused on his father and domestic terror threats, so they can be the CHRIS WREN DOMESTIC THRILLERS. Books 8 onwards are all international and deal with global terror threats – this wasn’t exactly on purpose at first, but it shakes out nicely and would be easy to continue, so this series can be the CHRIS WREN INTERNATIONAL THRILLERS.

The goal would be to have 2 series, readable in either order, offering two entry points to the series. It risks confusing readers a little, as they won’t know where to start, but it could be a whole other lease of life and draw a clear line under the father storyline. It’ll be easy to try. I’ll report back.

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