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Are you wondering how to promote a book in a new and exciting way? One thing I know for sure, collaborative marketing is the way of the future.

When it comes to selling books, 95% are sold through word of mouth. Readers trust people they follow or subscribe to, so a mention or shoutout could go a long way to hitting that word of mouth goal.

Working alongside and in collaboration with other authors is a creative way to up your marketing game to the next level. You may not have anyone to collaborate with yet, but hopefully this post will motivate you to network with similar authors and join forces.

Let’s dive in to how to promote a book with creative collaboration!

Setting the Stage

Years ago, I started doing multi-author book events. One reason I’ve always liked these lineups is because having multiple authors on an event pulls in a bigger crowd. Why?

Well, if each author promotes the event to their followers, it’s a way to quadruple each single effort to draw more readers. Does it work? You bet.

Of all of the author events I’ve ever done, those with multiple authors pulled in the largest numbers. The idea behind this marketing strategy is that other/similar authors can draw readers you otherwise may not have access to.

Think about other authors you know in the same or a similar genre to yours. Maybe you’ve met them at events, followed them on social, or been to a book event they’ve hosted.

Your goal is to focus on connecting with one or two other authors who might be interested in collaborating on a promotion. And creative collaboration doesn’t have to stop at book events, though that’s certainly a great first step.

There are so many fun answers to the question of to how to promote a book with creative collaboration. Below you’ll find some of my favorites.

Promotional Swaps

Using this strategy, you and another author agree to share each other’s promotions or pricing specials in your newsletters or on social media. With a promotional swap, you can gain more visibility for your specially priced eBook, for example.

You might even share mailing lists if you’re both comfortable with that exchange. Keep in mind that someone sharing your book promotion lends more credibility – because their followers trust them as much as yours trust you.

Combined Social Media Efforts

You might wonder sometimes if social media is worth all the effort; what if you could share the burden with another author — or with a few of your peers?

In this strategy, all of you join forces to answer the question of how to promote a book!

If you can round up three or more authors who are willing to join in on a Facebook Group, you can create a great place to share the effort of posting while promoting your books and pulling in new readers.

Keep in mind that this will require that you perhaps create a posting schedule so you’re all on the same page. You might agree to divide the days for posting; for example, one author takes Monday, someone else takes Tuesday, etc.

It’s a fun idea if you can find other authors interested in taking this on with you. Much like the author events I mentioned earlier, you double or quadruple your efforts to pull people onto the page and into your message.

Books or Anthologies

Sometimes the answer to how to promote a book comes in the form of another book!

I’ve participated in anthologies with some success. Each author writes a chapter and all of you push it to your mailing lists.

When planned correctly, collaborative books are great. It’s a tried and true idea as long as the book keeps a solid focus on the market. When the assembled authors are all writing for different audiences, it never works.

You can also take the collection approach by bundling together one book from each author in the collaboration. We see this for fiction titles a lot, but it works well for non-fiction, too.

When you get the finished product, you’ll once again divide and conquer the promotion, which really helps to pull in more readers. And whether you’ve contributed a book or a chapter, this is a fantastic way for new readers to get to know you.

I recommend waiting until you have a few titles out before you endeavor to produce something like this. Why?

Because if you’re bringing in new readers, you ideally want to have a library of two or three other books that they may want to buy. Introducing new readers to you without having a backlist defeats the purpose of this effort to tackle how to promote your books.

how to market a book

Giveaways

Unlike many promotions that pull readers to a paid opportunity, giveaways ask only for a reader’s time or information. They’re a great way to approach the question of how to promote a book. Let’s look at an example.

Last year I met an author at a conference who had invited authors she knew to participate in a goodie bag giveaway. She asked for one book from each of them.

She wound up with 25 books (a mix of print and eBooks) as well as t-shirts, bookmarks, and other cool swag. She put together a fun giveaway event for the tote bag and asked each author to share it with their newsletter list and social media followers.

The result was that they each pulled in new followers and newsletter sign ups, they all saw a spike in book sales, and one very happy winner of the tote shared her prize on social media, tagging all of them, which landed each of them a lot of social media love.

Multi-author giveaways can be anything from a tote crammed with all sorts of goodies to a whole bunch of virtual products. Whatever your approach, putting something like this together with a few other authors is a really fun way to build new readers and promote your book.

Social Media Takeovers

This is another awesome promo idea, one that could easily be folded into an eBook pricing promotion or a new book launch! The idea here is that you take over someone else’s social media for a day.

On the chosen day, you’ll start in the morning by posting a short video announcing what you’re doing and inviting questions. Doing this gives your collaborator’s followers some context and lets them post questions on the video string.

You don’t have to do a video, but it’s helpful. If you choose to forego that piece you should coordinate a first post that gives context to the takeover and explains what you have planned for the day.

How you promote your book during the social media takeover is up to you, but I suggest that you get creative with what you post – remember that you have a limited time with your borrowed audience, so make the time count!

Book Event – Live or Virtual

Back in March of 2020 my team and I planned a virtual event on how to promote books. We called it Book Marketing During a Pandemic, and we had four national bestselling authors on the video event. It was a huge success: we had over 500 people register!

Doing multi-author book events is always a fun idea. And if you can’t get onto a bookstore calendar, or if you’re collaborating with authors all over the country or the world, a virtual event is a terrific way to share your knowledge and pull in new readers!

The idea behind collaborative marketing is simple: work smarter not harder. Tapping into other reader networks and sharing your readers with other authors is a fabulous way to build momentum and interest and sell some books!

Good luck with these efficient and effective book marketing and promotion strategies!

RESOURCES AND FREE DOWNLOADS

How Can I Sell More Books?

Monthly Book Marketing Planner

How to Market a Book with a Virtual Event

QUIZ: How to Market Your Book on Social Media

Jane Friedman: Reporting and Consulting on the Publishing Industry

ALLi: Alliance of Independent Authors

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