Earlier this year, I promised some posts on marketing. And today, Mary Helen Sheriff, the co-editor of a collaborative anthology entitled Launch Pad: The Countdown to Marketing Your Book and the author of The Ultimate Book Launch Workbook, gives some advice. Mary’s debut women’s fiction is Boop and Eve’s Road Trip.
Collaborative Marketing is a strategic approach in which authors work together to market their books. By joining forces with other writers, you can amplify your reach to find new readers and sell more books. Other benefits of it include sharing workloads and resources and building community. Let’s explore various ways you can leverage collaborative marketing to enhance your book’s visibility and achieve greater success.
Where to find collaborators: Online platforms, such as social media groups, forums, and writing communities, provide excellent opportunities for authors to find potential collaborators. Attending events in real life can provide similar opportunities. The ideal collaborators are authors of books that share your readership and who demonstrate a commitment to the larger book community.
- Participate in joint events such as webinars, panel discussions, or Q&A sessions. You can either find and apply for these opportunities through existing conferences, organizations, bookstores, libraries, festivals, etc. or you can host your own. By participating in these events, you can attract a larger audience, share more expertise, and build connections with readers.
- Host group giveaways. Offer a grand prize of one book from each participating author. To enter require entrants to sign up for the collaborators’ newsletters and follow them on various social media platforms. Many authors use Raffelcopter to organize these giveaways.
- Feature other authors’ works on your website, newsletter, or social media platforms and ask them to return the favor. This reciprocal promotion benefits all parties involved, exposing authors to new readers and increasing their chances of attracting loyal fans. Grace Sammon and I encourage this type of promotion among our guests on the Launch Pad radio show. Each episode features four guests who are asked to follow and support one another on social media. This increases promotion for the episode itself, helps each guest to broaden their visibility through one another’s platforms, and boosts engagement within their own platform. The familiarity they gain with one another’s books and platform makes for a better episode as well.
- Create an anthology. These collections offer authors the chance to contribute stories or essays that revolve around a common theme, attracting readers who might be interested in the works of different authors. The radio show mentioned in #3 evolved into just such a project. Grace Sammon pulled together dozens of people from the literary community to create Launch Pad, a three-book series on writing, publishing, and marketing books. Each chapter is written by a different expert. Contributors benefited by increasing their credibility and visibility through the marketing around the book and within the book itself. I had the pleasure of project managing and editing the third installment of the series on marketing with Sammon. Benefits for me include broadening my own knowledge of marketing, making new author/book marketer friends, deepening previously existing relations, other invitations to collaborate, and increased credibility for my own pitching efforts.
- Form a mastermind. Meet regularly with fellow authors to share marketing expertise, leads, and tips.
- Make themed lists/catalogs together. Create pdfs on topics like “Summer Reading Lists,” “Best Book Club Books,” “Books that Make Great Gifts,” etc. Then have all the featured authors share the lists on their platforms. These lists can also be posted to Goodreads and Shepard Books.
- Read each other’s books and write book reviews for one another. Be careful about doing this on Amazon as you don’t want to get flagged as participating in some sort of quid pro quo arrangement. The best advice I have for this is to spread the reviews out by a month or so. Bookbub, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple Books, etc. don’t appear to have such stringent guidelines in place.
- Band together to build your own community. These can be in real life or online–book club, Facebook group, writing organizations, writing blog, podcast network, marketing cohort, etc. Starting from scratch allows you to complete control and can be super rewarding. It can also be a crazy amount of work. In my experience, setting up and running Bookish Road Trip for the last three years, this journey is made all the better (more manageable, more successful, more fun) by my fellow tour guides (our cutesy name of collaborators).
Collaborative marketing is an essential strategy for authors seeking to maximize their success in the competitive publishing industry. Over time collaboration and support provide a valuable network for advice, encouragement, and mutual growth. Sharing book marketing responsibilities makes it easier, less expensive, more successful, and even–if you choose your collaborators wisely–more fun!
Hooray! Your book is written, and published, and headed for the NY Times Best Seller List! Ah, if only that were true. Regardless of the path that got you here, even award-winning bestsellers have to embrace a marketing plan that helps their book soar. Join us here for LAUNCH PAD: The Countdown to Marketing Your Book.
From Dan Blank’s marketing mindset guidance to practical tips on leveraging social media, book clubs, reviews, and so much more, this book, the third in a series of three on writing, publishing, and marketing your book, LAUNCH PAD will help you get it done! Each focused chapter engages you in a process that will raise your marketing IQ, build your skill set, and set you on a path for a successful book launch and marketing plan. Replete with countdown tips, ways to connect directly to the authors, and bonus downloadable planning sheets, LAUNCH PAD delivers a marketing book that speaks right to you.
The brainchild of entrepreneur, author, and speaker, Grace Sammon, this book series builds on the wildly popular radio show LAUNCH PAD – which celebrates book releases and the authors who create them. This volume is endorsed by James River Writers and is led by Grace Sammon and Author Marketing Coach Mary Helen Sheriff.
Welcome to the LAUNCH PAD. Now, let’s see you and your book soar!
Many thanks for the great advice, Mary. Wishing you great success with your writing. Mary Helen Sheriff is also one of the authors behind Bookish Road Trip, designed for travellers and book lovers in pursuit of their next destination and their next read.
FOR MORE ON READING & WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION FOLLOW A WRITER OF HISTORY
M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel is THE ADMIRAL’S WIFE, a dual timeline set in Hong Kong. Mary’s other novels, PARIS IN RUINS, TIME AND REGRET, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Google Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.