6/11/12

Group Promotions: Authors Helping Authors



You wrote a fantastic book, the cover is perfect, you've asked your friends and family to help spread the word.

Now what?

Some authors decide to pay for publicity, some take it on themselves to use social media as a marketing tool.

Is that really enough?

The answer is probably not.

There is a secret weapon that inexperienced writers need to discover, or risk being buried under the masses.

Before I tell you what the secret weapon is, let me tell you a story:

Last week I was browsing through my Twitter stream when the hashtag Reads4Free showed up several times in a row. I am only human- I love free things, so I investigated!

There was a group of Indie Authors running a promotion to support each other and offer their 8 books for free all on the same days. I browsed through the list and came across a YA title by Elise Stokes, Cassidy Jones and Vulcan's Gift. It looked interesting, so I followed the link to grab my free copy.

Throughout the day, the hashtag kept popping up. I followed it again and read the story of the authors banding together. I thought it seemed neat and checked out another title by Shannon Mayer, Sundered which has a freaky zombified cover. Nuff said.

 After I closed out the Amazon page from my second freebie of the day, the post with all 8 novels was looking back at me. We're FREE, it said to me. You might like us!

Oh, R.S. Guthrie- I enjoyed a blog post you wrote- Click- I downloaded Black Beast...

Yes. I downloaded all 8 titles. 

As I clicked the Buy Now title for the eighth time, a light bulb went off in my little brain.

These authors, they know what they're doing. I had never heard of half of them, but there I was- downloading their titles.

Being introduced to their work. And to them. Brilliant.

You see, there are a lot of readers in this world looking for your book. They read a book a day, some of them. Can you keep up with that demand?

I didn't think so.

So, how does your reader find your book? Maybe friends tell each other about books they loved. But, rather than wait around for that to happen, there is the secret weapon we talked about earlier.

Authors sharing their audiences. There is no competition, the turnaround rate is too fast.

Authors forming groups, tweeting each others links, posting on each others blogs. 

At first the idea of promoting free books seems like a small thing, but think of the effect getting your name out there will have on your career.

ISYOT- I See You Out There. Readers, whether they read your free book or not, will remember your name. They'll recognize your book when browsing and see what else you have available. You're not a nobody stuck in a sea of nobodies anymore.

Leave a message in the comments if you've gone Free with a group, or if you know of an author who has. We all want to know your story!



11 comments:

  1. Very interesting. Another group that does this is the Blog Tour de Force, or something like that. I think they're fairly successful.

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  2. Hey! I meant to G+ this (and just did) to my Author Friends circle. I've been buddy-ing up with other authors lately, and here I find you've written up a post about something similar. Thanks! (I haven't tried the twitter thing--brilliant idea, though)

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  3. Great idea. I'm working on setting something like this up with a group of Australian authors. I think it's great to harness the energy of a group.

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  4. Social networking is meaningless without the "networking." Many authors use auto-tweets or retweeting services that take up half the 140 character limit with generic hashtags and self-references. Those aren't going to get much help from me. The tweets I'm most likely to pass forward are the ones with a human being behind them. Yes, I can actually smell auto-Tweets.

    I'm not on Twitter to repeat messages. I'm there to see what people are saying, to ask questions, to interact, to meet people I can help, and who can help me. If I can pass some of THAT along, I pass it along. So far, I have found these networks of great value, but I firmly believe they have only been of value because I actively participate.

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    1. Good point John! It's hardly social if it's automated!

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  5. Laura, this was a great post about group promotions!
    Your title on Twitter was catching too. When I read it, I was hooked.

    If you have a lot of blog posts to tweet, there is almost no other way than to automate, as one cannot sit all day on Twitter. But it should be the smaller part of the whole tweeting. Interacting by far the bigger. Replying and Retweeting are the most important ones.
    After a couple of months I learned to scan very quickly and pick out the interesting tweets (like yours) from tweeps who are not trying to sell their book constantly. Or how many followers they gained in the last 24 hours, or in which bar they are at the moment... : )
    Cheers, Doris @111publishing

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    1. Thanks, Doris.. that is the best compliment I've had in a while! It's nice to talk to people who share your interests, not bots or people just tweeting about the color of their coffee cup!

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  6. Just spotted this post today on Twitter and wanted to share some thoughts. I've been published for a year now and I agree that Group Promotions are a good idea. In fact, I think they are ESSENTIAL. But there's a key component missing from this post. And that is AUDIENCE. Authors can team up to offer their books for free, tweet each other's books, host each other on their blogs, etc. BUT it won't pull in readers unless their stories are all targeting the same AUDIENCE. Audience is everything. Brand is everything. You have to stand out, or you drown. Twitter can be a mind-bogglingly powerful tool if used the right way.

    I have been incredibly fortunate to meet one other author who published a similar book to mine around the same time and have teamed up with her countless times now to market our stories. But the reason this works for us is because we both write Irish fairy tales and we have the exact same audience. I am constantly looking for people to add to our niche market. I remember when I first met you on Twitter and you mentioned you were working on an contemporary fantasy set in Ireland based on Irish mythology/folklore, I almost fell out of my chair. There aren't that many of us! But I believe there WILL be many more over the years. And it is crucial to be patient and build your Group Promotion team with only the best matches--quality writers whose books draw the same audience as yours.

    I envision and look forward to the day when I know 5-10 authors who write the same kind of stories that I write and we can all promote each other as a group. But until I find those writers, I will be thankful for the one I have found and know that when I tweet her books, host her on my blog, etc, I am truly, honestly recommending her book to my readers and drawing in new readers for both of us. :)

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  7. We have a big Science Fiction Promo coming up like this soon...24 books, all 99 cents or free - all Kindle Board Indies. :)

    And a MASSIVE giveaway...MASSIVE.

    Sneak peak at the promo page...not live yet) http://www.freefantasybook.com/sci-fi-spotlight/

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  8. Great post, as usual, Laura. You're becoming quite the powerhouse in the author-help department. Suggestion: mention MY book in every post from now on. Figure out a way to work it in. Be subtle. You're smart, you can do it. Your readers will thank you. Probably. Maybe. Okay, so maybe mention it once in a while? No? Nevermind. I still like you.

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  9. Great post, Laura! Some friends of mine sent me the link--they were inspired to create a collective event to get their stories (and their names) out there. They set up a blog at http://specficcollective.blogspot.com/ and had some pretty good success, too. And I got to read some free fiction, so thanks!

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