The Power of the Group: Partner with a Nonprofit to Increase Your Reach
Regardless of the subject or genre of your book, chances are good that there’s a nonprofit organization that would be a good fit as a partner. Books from members of our Meetup run the gamut on topics, from a novel about bullying to a collection of firefighters’ stories to a detective novel to a book about surviving three organ transplants – and that’s just scratching the surface. We have nearly 400 members and many, many titles to our names. And I’m willing to be there’s a great nonprofit partner out there for the vast majority of them.
A special report titled “Building Partnerships that Work” published on the handsonnetwork.org site defines partnership as “a mutually beneficial working relationship entered into by organizations in which each partner has needs and brings value.” That’s a key thing to keep in mind when approaching a nonprofit: you’re proposing a solution that helps both entities, not coming at them with your hand out.
What does such a partnership entail? Well, that will depend on the nature of your book, the focus of the nonprofit with which you decide to partner, their needs and budget, and your willingness. You could:
- Donate books
- Donate a portion of your proceeds
- Speak at their events
- Organize or participate in co-branded community events
Partnering with an organization that has a strong social and traditional media presence can be very instrumental in helping spread the word about your books and/or programs. Again, look for organizations that are a natural fit for the topic of your book, even if it’s fiction.
One of my clients wrote a book about conscious parenting. She decided to partner with a nonprofit organization that supports abused, neglected, and abandoned kids. The organization sent out its own media release about the partnership, and generated this response in the search engines:
Following this release, our client saw a spike in her Amazon ranking, from the 400,000th spot to 200,000! This was 3 weeks after her launch, out of 30 MILLION+ titles.
Do your research to be sure the nonprofit is well run and a good steward of their money. If they appear to be a good fit, research their board of directors and their community relations liaison. FoundationCenter.org has a great resource for nonprofit collaborations.
Before approaching your nonprofit of choice with your offer of partnership, you’ll need a proposal that includes:
- An introduction – who you are and the goal of your communication
- The benefits of partnering with you
- What, specifically, you are proposing/offering
- What you are asking the organization to do
- A proposed calendar/timeline
- Your media kit
Find out who their other partners are and the kinds of events, marketing, and general community outreach they already do. There are benefits to offering something similar, in that some people are always more comfortable with what they already know to work. However, a brand new idea that they’ve never considered might just be your way in.
As long as you do your research and create a true win-win proposal, you will likely find a partner or two to help you grow your platform and expand your notoriety.
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.