The Power of the Group: Who would make a good book marketing partner?
by Laura Orsini
On my own blog, I wrote a post yesterday about an author who had a successful outing with a vendor table at a very small special event, Coolidge Days, which took place in Coolidge, Ariz., over the weekend of October 2-4, 2015. The main thrust of the post is that it’s important to determine both your goal and your budget for such an event. One way to cut costs is by finding people to partner with.
This, of course, is true about many aspects of marketing. As we discussed in my December 2014 post for this blog, you can partner to accomplish many things beyond book signings, like:
- Sharing collateral materials (e.g, bookmarks, flyers, and business cards)
- Interviewing each other on your social media sites
- Creating a joint blog
- Going in on video marketing
- Sharing PR costs
- Designing creative promo products.
Marketing is fun because the only limit to what you can accomplish is your own imagination.
Here’s the question, though:
Who’s the right person/organization to partner with, and how do you find them?
The first thing is knowing who your reader is. What – besides your book – do they read? How old are they? What gender? Sexual orientation? Marital status? Where do they live? How much money do they make? How do they make it? How educated are they? Are they churchgoers, atheists, or somewhere in between? Parenting – are they helicoptering or empty-nesters? What kinds of websites do they frequent? What are their favorite apps? Which social media site do they use most often? How do they get their news? Do they still have a cable TV subscription, or have they moved to watching TV through the Internet? Are they sports fans? On what other kinds of hobbies do they spend their precious spare time and money? In short – you want to know everything you can about your ideal reader – so that you can know where to find them.
Then, make a list of the top 10 places you might find your reader, both online and in the real world. Then, scratch those and come up with five more. Even if it takes a while. Start with those last five, as they are your more creative ideas.
Now, who would be good partners for you if you were to market to readers via those last five places? Individual partners might be other authors, musicians, artists, speakers, coaches and trainers, and people with non-book products your readers want. But which businesses – small or large – might also make good partners?
You will, no doubt, want to look for the right nonprofit partnerships. Among other things, nonprofit organizations usually have a marketing infrastructure in place, so by partnering with them, you can leverage their existing social media, PR, and other connections. Be sure to carefully craft your pitch, though, so you are truly offering a partnership that benefits them at least as much as it does you. The last thing you want to do is be seen as coming at them with your hand out.
Look for partners who have already have sizable platforms. Again – how is this a win-win for them? They’ve got 100,000 members on their mailing list, but what are you bringing to the table? Do you have mad design skills? Access to a recording studio? Is your spouse a professional video editor? You’ll need to have both something to offer and proof of that offering. If you tell them you’ve got a strong social media presence, but your last tweet was in 2013 and you’ve only got 100 likes on your Facebook page, they’ll know you’re lying.
Do your due diligence before extending the offer, and then be sure to follow up! If you extend an offer to have someone come and speak to your group or create a workshop at which you will also sell your books, make it happen. Don’t cancel or randomly change your mind. If you offer to make your partner’s books, services, or products available to your list, follow through! Don’t forget or drop the ball. These kinds of mistakes will come back to you later.
Lastly, keep your eyes open. Sometimes great partnership opportunities may be the least obvious or likely ones. Here’s to finding the perfect book marketing partners!
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, which hosts this blog, creator of the Holiday Author Event, and conjuror of many other author opportunities. She will explore the power of the group in her posts for this group blog. In the meantime, read her regular posts at Marcie Brock – Book Marketing Maven. Friend her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter, and check out her pins on Pinterest.