The Power of the Group: Collaborating on your 2015 book marketing goals
by Laura Orsini
GROUP: A group is any identifiable collection of people. This could be formal or informal. The important thing is they have a clear identity. The members of the group need to identify with the other members.*
TRIBE: A tribe is any group of people, large or small, who are connected to one another, a leader, and an idea.**
MOVEMENT: A movement is thrilling. It’s the work of many people, all connected, all seeking something better.**
One of the most powerful things you can do as an indie author/book marketer is to embrace the power of the group. Whether you stick with the traditional concept of a group or lean more toward viewing yourself as a tribe leader who is on the cusp of a movement, many people acting in concert is indisputably more powerful than one person acting alone.
Rather than viewing other authors as competition, view them as collaborators – and then go out and collaborate with them! What does this have to do with you, your books, and your 2015 book marketing plan? Everything, if you want it to.
Rather than trying to do all the lifting yourself, why not reach out to one or several other authors in the same or a similar genre – or who have the same general audience – and invite them to share in some of your marketing efforts? This will enable you to pool your resources for a collaborative marketing campaign. Put simply, this means you share the work, the expense, and the rewards.
Here are a few ideas:
- Plan group book signings. Rather than just one of you doing the work to secure the venues, purchase the food, and handle the PR, you share the costs and, more importantly, leverage your mailing lists and connections to reach a wider group of potential attendees.
- Share collateral material like bookmarks, flyers, and business cards. By printing double-sided, one author’s promotions can appear on the “front,” while the other author appears on the reverse. Sharing the expenses might allow you to create a more professional product than either of you could have afforded on your own.
- Interview each other on your social media sites. Again, this about sharing the wealth. If you’ve got 1,200 Twitter followers and 950 connections on Google+ and your partner has 1,000 fans on his Facebook page and 1,100 LinkedIn connections, take turns promoting each other to your respective connections.
- Create a joint blog. No one ever said that a blog had to be written by just one person. We prove that every day with this blog! But this blog is a bit of a mish-mash, with every author contributing topics of his/her choice. And while generally interesting, it’s not tailored to a precise theme, other than vaguely being “information by authors for authors.” A joint blog with another author in a similar or allied genre will enable you to expand your reach while saving you time and effort. If you each post twice a week, that’s double the effect you could have on your own in half the time.
These are just a few ideas to get you started – I’m sure if you put on your Creative Ideas Cap, you can think of many more.
You will want to take a few precautions, however. If the author you’d like to partner with is not someone you know personally, do your research and get to know them before you jump in with your partnership offer. Then, when the time is right, be sure to ask for references. Ask good questions to be sure that you’re both on the same page, in terms of your goals and willingness to do the work and split the cost. And always follow your instincts. If you have an uneasy feeling about your prospective partner, listen to your intuition. Don’t just go ahead with the plan because they’ve got lots of connections or you’ve already begun the process. Book marketing is your goal, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to look out for your interests, too.
Here’s to powerful collaborating in 2015!
** Tribes, by Seth Godin
LAURA ORSINI is a self-publishing consultant who works with authors who want to change the world. From concept to publication to the first-time author’s book launch, her expertise will help you make a better book and find more readers. Laura is the organizer of the Phoenix Publishing and Book Promotion Meetup and the host and creator of the Holiday Author Event, coming up on December 6. She will be exploring more about the power of the group in her coming posts for this group blog. In the meantime, read her posts at Marcie Brock – Book Marketing Maven. Friend her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter, and check out her pins on Pinterest.