Hometown Reads Authors Combine Book Marketing Forces as Goal-Buddies
As Hometown Reads authors living two blocks apart in Minneapolis, we’ve found power in partnership. For nearly a decade, we’ve been buddying up to promote ourselves and sell our books. It’s a marketing best practice we stumbled on but now treasure—and highly recommend to others.
We first met as neighborhood volunteers and quickly learned that we were both authors struggling to market our books. We had limited time and limited budgets, plus a host of competing priorities. But as we got to know one another, we discovered something surprising: what was hard to do for ourselves was easy to do for the other.
Realizing that transformed us from professional colleagues to joined-at-the-hip goal buddies who work just as hard promoting each other as we do promoting ourselves.
We sing each other’s praises to agents and editors, and edit and proof each other’s articles and press releases. We share leads, platform-building tips and lessons learned. We follow each other on social media, post and retweet. We set specific marketing goals and hold regular check-ins to chart progress and overcome obstacles. We applaud each other’s success and prop one another up when the going gets tough.
Our efforts have resulted in several wins. Thanks to Bev, John landed a half-day training workshop and an order for 50 books. With John’s help, Bev reached her goal of 1,000 Twitter followers. And while Bev encouraged John to sign up for Hometown Reads, John’s the one who pitched the idea for this blog post, and we wrote it together. (This is draft No. 4.)
Here are three things that make our goal buddyship successful and will do the same for yours:
• Be open with your goals. Share your specific goals with your goal buddy: how many books you want to sell, where you dream of doing a reading, who you wish would write a review or cover blurb. Talk openly and honestly about what you want to happen with your book—and your career.
• Make time for one another. As people with full lives who are trying to make a living in the freelance economy, we both work hard. That often means saying no to family and friends. But we rarely say no to each other. Even when it requires a late-night chapter edit or a Saturday morning brainstorm session, we’re there for each other … in person, on email and via phone. (Thankfully our partners understand.)
• Celebrate each other’s success. When something especially good happens for either one of us, we celebrate, often over a glass of wine. And conversely, when we’re particularly disappointed or upset about something, we meet for a glass of “whine.”
Not only does buddying up motivate us to set and keep goals, it reminds us that anything is possible when you have a goal buddy who believes in you.