Promoting your book can be exhausting work. Wouldn’t you love to have a team of authors who support your marketing projects. Ones that can help you spread the word or let you guest blog or keep you updated on new opportunities. We have this for our writing. We join writers groups and critique groups to energize our writing and feel the support and encouragement of community. So why don’t we create the same gift for ourselves when it comes to marketing?
The first step is to build a list of writers who are similar to you. This will take a bit of brainstorming. Consider the people in your critique groups, on your twitter feed, Facebook or other social media. Evaluate whether these authors and writers would be good candidates for your marketing machine. Start by writing those people down on a list. You’ll want to gather a list of twenty or thirty and then whittle them down to a core group. Why? Because, just like in critique groups, you want to be sure that the people you choose will be the right fit. In order to be successful, you’ll want them to meet some specific requirements.
Requirements for Your List…
+ Add to Your List Some Writers In Your Genre – Find authors who are in your genre and read their books. If they are someone who writes like you, you respect their writing and their writing appeals to a similar type of reader, then put them on your list.
+ Add Similar Writers – Add to the list people whose writing is in a similar genre but may not be in exactly the same as yours. Again, be sure that they attract a similar type of reader. For example, if you write adult mystery, then YA mystery writers would not attract the same audience of readers. Instead, try adult thrillers. The writers you choose should be someone who’s writing you enjoy and respect. If they wow you, put them on the list.
- Subtract Those Not On A Publishing Track – Some people are wonderful writers, but they have no urge to publish. You will want people on your list who have books—or plan to have books—on the market. They can be self-published or traditionally published, but they can’t just be bloggers or short story writers. You want your marketing machine to be populated with people who relate to your experience, know the processes and difficulties of publishing and have a fire to get books to market.
- Subtract Non-Marketers – Pay attention to the actions of the authors on your list. Are they on Facebook? Twitter? Do they blog consistently? Do you see them promoting themselves appropriately? Being persistent, but not spammy? They don’t have to do all these things, but they must regularly do one or two of them. Take anyone off the list who doesn’t put effort into promoting their own books. Because if they don’t promote their own, why would they promote yours?
It may take you awhile to build a list of people for consideration. Don’t worry. Take your time and build it right. You want approximately twenty-five candidates, to start. Also, in this initial step don’t tell the people that they are on your list and don’t approach them about marketing each other. Instead, take time to get to know them. Connect with them on their blog or on the social network they use most often. Talk about their books. See how they respond. You want to make sure that these are people you can work with and that they can work with you.
If you find that some people just don’t mesh with you, take them off the list. This doesn’t mean that you don’t like their writing, or you don’t want to keep following their blog or their twitter posts. You just don’t want them on your marketing team. This list is not a friendship list; it’s a marketing support list. Keep up this filtering process until you have a list of about ten quality people who will be active, positive marketing members.
In the next few weeks, we’ll talk about what to do with these candidates. Some will become a part of your Blogging Crew and others will be your Social Media Allies. You’ll learn how to approach them and get them excited about promoting each other’s work.