Promoting Alongside Other Authors
By Guest Author, Ruth Kaufman
Many authors seek ways to get the word out about our books and ourselves. One cost effective and sometimes even remunerative approach is to partner with other authors. Here are some ventures that have worked for me.
1) Boxed sets: Sets may contain as few as four or as many as 25 books, often of the same genre, and usually sell for .99. Authors share royalties and expenses, such as the cover, formatting and ads, as explained via an emailed agreement. The more books included, the more ways royalties have to be split, but there’s also the possibility for greater reach to more readers who might seek out your other books.
Readers appreciate getting multiple books for a low price and the chance to meet “new” authors, but can be frustrated if they’ve read some of the books before. Authors have to weigh receiving pennies per sale against selling more copies than they might on their own.
I was fortunate to have authors ask me to join sets, such as Stolen Kisses. And that meant someone else did the work of putting it together and serving as treasurer.
So far I’ve only put previously released books in a set. Some offer new/never before published content. My first set in 2015 had 1.2 million Kindle Unlimited pages read in one month. The boxed set market is fairly saturated, but some may reach Amazon category bestseller rankings or at least make it to the top 10.
2) Write in a Kindle World: Kindle Worlds offer fan fiction-like opportunities for authors to write in the world of an author or TV show they love, and split royalties with Amazon and the author or show. Amazon all-star Kathryn LeVeque invited me to write a novella in her world, World of de Wolfe Pack. The good: exposure to her legions of readers when she promoted her world in general and new additions in particular. She also included one of my novels in a set. The challenge: she gave me the specific assignment of telling the story of her hero’s best friend’s parents, meaning I had to set the book in a time period not familiar to me.
You don’t have to be invited to write in any of the dozens of worlds. Maybe one is right for you.
3) Facebook parties: authors gather on a FB event page on a designated date for a certain period of time (often a half hour or less), and post anything from giveaways to games to information about themselves, books and/or process. The schedule is posted and shared to entice readers to attend. The more well-known the authors, the more likely readers are to stop by and join the conversation. Some visitors are genuinely interested in learning about authors new to them and books they haven’t read, others seem to join only for the giveaways and prizes, which can be free books, Amazon gift cards, or even an e-reader.
4) Blog hops: Participating authors post on the day of the hop. Readers start at one blog, then visit the others via links beneath each post and answer questions found on each post to be entered to win prizes. Someone organizes the event, gathers other authors and makes sure that the links work and the posts are available on time.
5) Guest post on other authors’ blogs via opportunities posted in online author groups. You’ll gain exposure to that author’s audience, may get shares, have something to share with your followers and contribute to your content portfolio. Writing good posts can be time consuming, and, as with many types of marketing, often it’s hard to tell if a post garners any sales.
6) Joint promotions. If you spend enough time following groups in your genre(s), you’ll come across an offer of a joint promotion. Author goals might be newsletter subscribers and/or Facebook, Amazon or BookBub followers. There’ll be a small buy in to contribute to prizes and perhaps an administrative fee, and you’ll probably be expected to give away at least one book and perhaps post on a certain day and/or submit bios, cover images and social media links. In my experience, sign-up is via a Google docs form, and payment is via PayPal.
Something I haven’t tried (yet?) is 7) Newsletter swaps. You promote another author’s book and/or sale to your list, and s/he does the same.