Please welcome Heatherly Bell and Amy Lamont!
Thank you Jen and Romance University for inviting us. Today we’re here to talk about cross promotion, a buzz term in today’s new publishing climate.
Being an author can be a lonely pursuit. We’re so thankful that connecting with other authors is now as easy as logging into Facebook or joining an online writing community. Makes the days in front of our computer screens a lot less solitary—with the added benefit of never having to put on real pants.
It also makes it easier to create opportunities for cross promotion. For those who haven’t had a chance to delve into cross promoting, it’s basically connecting with authors who write similar books to yours and finding ways to share your audiences.
Here are just a few of the ways we use cross promotion:
Amy’s fans are voracious readers. Since they read several books a week, some of them even more than that, she can’t possibly keep up with their demand on her own—no matter how much she wishes she could. They’re always happy to get recommendations for what to read next. This makes them the perfect audience for newsletter swaps.
A newsletter swap involves connecting with authors who write books similar to yours. When you send out a newsletter, you feature the other authors’ books and in turn, they recommend one of your books to their fans in their newsletters. This allows you to connect with a broad audience of readers who love exactly the kind of books you write, and it’s far easier than trying to add thousands of new readers to your own mailing list.
The best thing about newsletter swaps is that when it comes to advertising, nothing beats word of mouth. Readers are more likely to pick up a book recommended by a friend than try a new author they come across on Amazon. For this reason, it’s important that you keep the trust of your readers by recommending books that you truly believe they’d enjoy.
Book Giveaway Swap
This is a great way to share your appreciation for another author’s work and reward your readers with a free book. When Heatherly and author Marina Adair had new releases at the same time recently, Heatherly gave away a copy of Marina’s new release and Marina gave away a copy of Heatherly’s. They did this from their Facebook author pages, and the only requirement was a Facebook “like” and a comment. Two readers got brand new, autographed releases and hopefully discovered a new-to-them author.
Many authors consider their mailing lists their most valuable marketing tool. But trying to get readers to sign up can be tough. Cross promotion can make this easier.
To get started, connect with other romance authors in your subgenre and have everyone chip in for a giveaway. Some popular options are gift cards, signed books, and Kindles. Readers gain entry to the giveaways by signing up for the authors’ mailing lists. Once it’s set up and underway, each author works to promote the giveaway through their own newsletter and social media. At the end of the giveaway, each participating author gets a copy of the newly compiled mailing list.
Themed giveaways are especially popular. In November, with the release of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, Heatherly participated in a giveaway with several author friends—What to Read after Gilmore Girls. Readers were able to obtain a free copy of a book in a multi-book, small town quirky characters series similar to the show. The only requirement for the free book was to sign up for the author’s newsletter. If you’re going to do these themed giveaways, keep the numbers of authors in it small and effective.
Cross promoting has the bonus of being personal. It’s not the in-your-face “buy MY book” self-promotion that makes most authors cringe. Instead, you’re sharing readers with someone whose work you know, admire, and appreciate. Preferably, this will be an author who writes similar books to yours, so that you’re more likely to find cross-over readers.
When you do participate in cross-promotion, first have a relationship with the author. Don’t just approach another author because of what they can do for you, but do so because you’re a true fan of their work. When you tell your readers, “I want you to read this book,” mean it!
What cross-promotional ideas have you participated in?
BREAKING EMILY’S RULES – [Harlequin Superromance – February 2017]
Weren’t rules made to be broken…?
Play-by-the-rules good girl Emily Parker is finally flying free. Literally. After a broken engagement, she’s about to live out her wildest dream: getting her pilot’s license. With former Air Force pilot Stone Mcallister teaching her, though, it’s not just the altitude making her dizzy….
Once he settles his father’s estate, Stone’s heading back to the Air Force. When Emily expresses interest in some no-strings fun, he can’t resist, but a single kiss proves that a fling won’t be enough. As the clock ticks down to his deployment, will he be able to break his own rules for her?
BAD BOYS UNBOXED – [Amazon Digital Services – March 2017]
Amy lives in a small town outside of New Yorks City with her husband, twin daughters and their two rescue mutts, Maggie and Toby. When she’s not writing or hiding somewhere with her nose stuck in her eReader, she loves spending time with her family, taking in shows in the city, and traveling every chance she gets. Find Amy at AmyLamont.com and in her Facebook fan group, Amy Lamont’s Reading Room.
Heatherly’s bio: Heatherly drinks copious amounts of coffee, craves cupcakes, and occasionally wears real pants. She’s the author of Breaking Emily’s Rules, book one in the new contemporary romance Heroes of Fortune Valley series for Harlequin. She lives in a small northern California vineyard town with her family, including two entitled beagles.
Find Heatherly at HeatherlyBell.com, on every social media platform in the world, and her Facebook reading group, Heatherly’s True Blue Belles. To learn more about Heatherly, visit her website and sign up for her newsletter, or connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
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