Do you ever feel like you’re in this book marketing game all by yourself? It can seem like a pretty lonely experience at times, right?
Why not counter that by working with other authors to get the news out about your book and how it will entertain, educate, or otherwise help people?
This doesn’t mean that you should approach other authors and ask them to share information about your book with their fans, audiences, and followers. That won’t get you very far.
The golden rule
You want to work collaboratively, always following the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
If you want help from others, help them first.
With that in mind, here are 10 creative ideas for supporting other authors in ways that will encourage them to support you, too. You’ll be much more productive and far less lonely.
1. Create a blog network for your genre.
Identify a handful of other writers in your genre who will join with you to promote each other’s blog posts. In addition to listing everyone/s blogs in a “blog roll” on your sites, commit to commenting on each other’s posts on a regular basis.
This will build traffic for each site and help generate greater awareness of the books involved.
2. Plan a “local authors night” at a bookstore or library.
The connections you make with other local authors will support you well beyond this fun night of book signings and sales.
Consider solidifying the connections by meeting in person on a regular basis to brainstorm or share information.
3. Form a book marketing group on Facebook or LinkedIn.
Groups built around a shared interest or challenge offer opportunities to get feedback, request opinions, or ask for help solving a problem. You might be surprised at the level of support you can get from a group of like-minded individuals.
Authors are talking about book marketing challenges and sharing their experiences in the Build Book Buzz Group on Facebook. Join that one, or form your own there or on LinkedIn, where there are lots of existing groups to join, too.
4. “Like” each other’s author Facebook pages.
It’s quick and easy. Will it change anyone’s world? Probably not, but it’s the least we can do for each other.
Make it a point to stop by the pages periodically and “like” and comment on the content, too.
5. Form a Meetup group.
Connect with local authors by organizing and promoting a regular Meetup.
Defining in advance what you hope to get from group meetings will help you be specific about the people you’d like in the group. You might want to meet only with novelists or with just nonfiction authors, for example.
Get started at Meetup.com.
6. Guest blog for each other.
This is such a win-win.
It’s one less post for you to write while you support another author. Plus, your blog will benefit from the exposure to your guest blogger’s fan base. Maybe you’ll find a few new fans in the crowd.
To be the best guest blogger ever, download the free Build Book Buzz Guest Blogging Cheat Sheet.
7. Get a little link love going.
Generate backlinks (links that connect one site to another) to author sites by sharing their blog posts and other content on your social networks.
This will help improve everyone’s SEO — search engine optimization.
8. Read and review each other’s books.
Arrange with your network to write honest reviews of each other’s books. Minimize problems by establishing rules in advance about how to handle books that members don’t like.
Also, if you give each other review copies, be sure to declare that fact in your Amazon review. You’re required to state when you receive a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
For a bonus boost, buy the books on Amazon so your reviews show up as verified purchases. These reviews show up first, ahead of those that aren’t verified as purchased on Amazon.
But always, always, always, write an honest review.
9. Use their books as contest giveaways.
Contests are a great way to expand your social media following or email subscriber list.
You’ll probably want to give your book to the winner, but your friend’s book could be an excellent second prize.
10. Interview each other on your blog or podcast.
Help readers get to know other authors and their work by interviewing them on your blog or podcast.
This will help both of you reach new audiences while it provides content for the host. How can you lose?
Implement even three of these ideas and you’ll feel more connected and less isolated while you move forward with your book marketing.
What other ideas do you have about collaborating with other authors to make the book marketing experience less lonely and more productive?
(Editor’s note: This article was first published in July 2014. It has been updated and expanded.)
Tip of the Month
This month it’s Elementari.
Elementari is a free online platform that lets writers connect with artists to create and share interactive stories.
The site is home to more than 7,000 illustrations and sounds you can use in your story. Published stories automatically credit and promote the artists involved.
The site’s goal is to promote arts and literacy for all ages, including children. Learn more at Elementari.io.
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