Many authors are stuck in the promote my book, promote my brand, promote everything me cycle. Stop the insanity.
Am I saying not to promote your own work? Heck no. You’d better promote it. Find a few groups that focus on your genre(s) and actually participate in them. If there isn’t a group, create your own but don’t make it all about YOU. Self-promotion is not the only way to go.
Why Cross Promote?
Word of mouth from a friend the reader knows and trusts is the best form of promotion there is to expand your reader base. So let’s say your loyal readers have a buzz going on about your book. GREAT! So what now? Do you plan to promote the title to those readers again, and again, and again… After they’ve seen your promo once or twice, they’ve already decided if they will be purchasing it. Sending additional promos can turn the reader off.
In steps cross promotion.
I have a following. They know about me, my books and my reading habits. These folks love to read, and not just my books. As a matter of fact, I don’t know of any reader who only reads one author’s work, but that’s a post for another day. Back to cross promotion. Just about every day, I promote some other author. I point people to a blog, book into, share good news, reviews… Every once in a while I hear from a reader thanking me for introducing them to [fill in the blank with an author whose work they hadn’t previously read].
Other authors have promoted my work, and I’ve benefited from it directly. I’ve also received emails from readers saying they learned of my books from author So and So. Does it work as well as a recommendation from a friend the reader knows and trusts? No, but it’s a great addition.
Here are a few ways to cross promote. It is best to cross promote with authors/readers in your genre. You want to get the most bang for your buck.
- On your blog, invite authors to be guests. This will bring readers to your site, where the readers will also notice your fantastic covers displayed, and your content will always be fresh. For example: http://deatrikingbey.com Or create a genre specific blog. For example: http://readinginblack.com
- Set up a blog with several other authors in your genre. Invite bloggers, conduct reviews… anything to keep the content fresh. For example: http://romancenovelsincolor.com and
- If you do a guest post, do not expect to receive a lot of comments. People rarely comment. I don’t know why, but that’s how it is. Think about it. Major blog sites receive MILLIONS of hits yet only a few thousand comments. Yes. My ego would love a thousand comments to show the world that people are engaged with whatever I’m posting, but I’d rather have the silent sales that come later from people who have read and shared the post. I just wish there were a way to track it.
- When an author whose work you know and like has a new release, do a short Happy Release Day post that also includes a buy link. You’ll find authors will do the same for you.
- Create an in person event with authors from your genre.
- Set up a sale (online or in person) with authors from your genre. Be sure to promote the titles of the sale, not just yours. Remember, the people you are promoting to probably already have your book.
- Create an online group with several authors that is genre specific. Again, don’t make it all about you.
- Create a scavenger hunt using other authors’ web pages. Here’s an example: Scavenger Hunt: The Blind Date by Delaney Diamond
- Set up a Twitter party where you and other authors Tweet a post
- You get the picture. Here are a few helpful hints when cross promoting
- When you are a guest on a blog, be sure to promote that blog. For example, I did a virtual tour with my last book. The people I promote to already know about my book, so for each stop of the tour, I told them to go and see what the author whose blog I was on had to offer.
- Just as readers don’t want to see you continually blast promos about your book in the groups, they don’t want you to do this with another author’s book.
- Target all of your promotions to large groups of people who read the genre of book you are promoting.
- When participating in multi-author events, be sure to mention the other authors. You’re readers hear from you every day. Just as you are guiding readers to the event for other authors, those other authors should be doing the same towards you.
Cross promotion benefits all parties involved. A year or so ago, I created a Cross Promotion group on Facebook. This is a non-promo group where you can leave your information and find other authors who write in your genre to cross promote with: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CrossPromotion/
Now get out there and cross promote!
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