Today we dive straight into promotion for your author’s group with Barbara Bettis!
When starting a new author’s group, promotion of the group and the individual authors is a major consideration. Social media is your biggest asset. [Tip: start with the simplest of these and work up to the more complicated as the group matures and becomes more cohesive.]
Getting out the information. I hate to call it ‘promotion’ because that word brings all sorts of stress. Whatever it’s called, spreading the word about a new group isn’t always easy. Here are the basics. Pick the ones that work for your members.
Newsletter—It can be monthly, quarterly, whatever consistent time length the group decides. But be consistent in getting it out. Establish a routine that everyone can live with. Can you do a ‘special issue’? Sure—as long as it’s really, really special. Honestly, readers get tired of seeing newsletters pop up every week especially if there’s nothing except chit-chat. But I digress. Make the newsletter newsy. Offer giveaways. Contests. Excerpts. Readers love prizes as much as they love knowing when authors they love have another title coming out. Every chance you get, run contests or events that invites newsletter sign ups.
Blog—Not always for every group. Various reports show that blogging may not be as effective as it once was. However, if your members have specialties and they like to share the information, blogs can be strong tools, with interesting, reliable facts, data, obscure sidelights, etc. See “Two Nerdy History Girls” or “History Undressed” as examples of successful historical blogs.
Facebook [FB]—A group FB page is a necessity. At the beginning, try to post daily [and not only ‘buy my book’ posts, please]. Our web designer explained that a new FB page takes time to get into the main stream of FB activity, and the best way to insure this happens is to post frequently, even daily, until the page begins to be picked up. [Later, this can be eased back, but the recommendation is not less than two or three times per week.] Not only can you post individual information, you can promote individual member activities, group activities and even post short pieces of information on the order of blogging. Run giveaways. Ask questions that elicit responses from readers. Get them actively involved.
Street Teams—While these are very effective for individuals, they can work for groups, as well, through FB participation. Street teams for the group can help out with releases for each member, even if the individual fan is from another member’s base. Fans love the chance for gifts and early peeks at upcoming releases.
Facebook Parties—Have them. Often. Celebrate new covers, new releases, holidays. You can choose to include just a few author guests to promote your specific sub-genre, or to bring in as many author guests as possible from various sub-genres. Offer giveaways. Start the party promo early, offering prizes [even daily].
Twitter—A group Twitter account should be established with daily posts, if possible. As with FB, at least until you’re established, the objective is name recognition. Tweet each others blog visits, releases, parties, good news, sales, etc. Have Thunderclap campaigns. There’s a new one out now Headtalker. Early reports from one group show a good, wide reach. Not everyone swears by the effectiveness of Twitter, but it does get your name out. True, we’re talking about individual information, but promotion for one member can reflect on all.
Pinterest—Many folks swear by Pinterest, and pages there seem to draw a good deal of attention. A central group page can contain links to pages of individual members. It does involve time, especially at first.
Facebook ads—As a shared expense, worth consideration.
Group Anthologies—Consideration must be given to contractual obligations of traditionally published members, but still an excellent option for group and individual name/brand promotion.
So far we’ve looked at the basic ways to promo as a group. Here are some others:
Support each other’s announcements on all your Social Media outlets.
Host each other on your individual sites.
Add the group name to your email signature line. (It’s all about name recognition, right?)
Create a pin that members can wear at conferences. Use the group logo, perhaps, or develop a design around the initials of the group name. Those unique pins do attract attention at conventions/conferences, personal experience has shown.
Put on a themed event at a conference or convention. Depending on what you decide to do, these can be expensive. However, if you all pitch in, plus use your collective creativity, you can attract attention, have fun, and create fans.
Form a group panel at a conference/convention to discuss your sub-genres, issues with writing in your sub-genres, etc.
Through it all let your individual personalities shine. Interact with each other. If you have fun, others will want to share in the good times. And they’ll buy your books. Perhaps they’ll buy the first because of a FB party or a conference event, but they’ll buy the second because, darn it, the first was so good, they can’t resist.
Good luck with your promotions!
RU Crew, how do you promote your group?
Join us on Wednesday for the final part of the series with Beppie Harrison!
Bio: Award winning author Barbara Bettis has always loved history and English. As a college freshman, she briefly considered becoming an archeologist until she realized there likely would be bugs and snakes involved. And math.
She now lives in Missouri, where by day she’s a mild-mannered English teacher, and by night she’s an intrepid plotter of tales featuring heroines to die for—and heroes to live for. You can visit her group author’s website at Romancing Yesteryear.
- Starting a New Author’s Group—Part One: Getting Started By Màiri Norris
- Starting a New Author’s Group—Part Three: Working Toward the Future By Beppie Harrison