Why I Un-Published My Entire Backlist

Eight books across two complete series. Written and published between 2013-2017. All young adult romance.

They helped me start a small fan base, which proved crucial when I launched my written to market series this spring. They used to make an average of $600-$1000 a month.

And I just un-published them. Why, you ask?

Good question.

They used to make between $600-$1000 a month. But YA contemporary romance is a hot genre lately, and these books fell down in the charts a lot. Before I hit un-publish the books were well into the six-figure ranks. Not good. Even AMS ads weren’t helping anymore.

So for several months, my entire backlist was hardly selling at all. They definitely weren’t pulling their weight. Between all 8 books, they were only making $100 a month if that ever since I released my new series. Before the new series came along, these books were bringing in around $300-$600.

Like I said, though, YA romance has gotten incredibly competitive recently.

All of these books weren’t written to market. They were written for love and before I learned everything I know now about story structure, craft, tropes, marketing, and launching properly.

At first, I thought maybe they just need a facelift. New covers and titles, a little polish on the first few chapters.

So I made a plan to reread them, diagnose what was going on, and get them going again.

Well, I began reading and was like WHOA.

And not in a good way! Haha.

I have come so far since writing these books. My craft and writing style is many times better. So is story structure. I know how to start the story in an engaging way now. Kind of important. Not to mention my covers and titles are so many times better.

Plus these books had a tiny bit of steam and a few curse words in there. They just were not ideal for my new readers who’d loved the tropey and clean cute romances I was writing.

And that was another HUGE thing. These books weren’t really tropey at all. My initial fan base had fallen in love with them and raved about the characters, but the stories definitely weren’t reaching their full potential.

And I realized it would be much easier to scrap them and try again. Same characters but focus on the tropes. Writing to market. Titling and covering to market. All that jazz I now know how to do.

It’ll be a huge endeavor but I’m super excited and now I know what I’m writing when my current series is done!

Plus I’m actually at an advantage. I KNOW these characters. I know the tropes I can use and use well. I know so much more now.

So I feel like a complete newbie again with only two published books (LOL), but they’re already making great money on their own.

I’m actually making more money with these two books right now than I ever did with all of those 8 backlist books combined.

I can’t even imagine what’s next for me once I have two more written to market series in the same genre.

I almost can’t believe how far I’ve come since 2013. But all of this to say: if I can do it, SO CAN YOU.

And also, PIVOT!