The control and freedom we have as indies means we can do some pretty amazing things when it comes to marketing. The problem is time. Shouldering the load of writing, editing, researching, publishing, marketing and promoting alone can be exhausting, especially knowing our industry is growing more crowded and competitive by the day.
- Swap Valuable Links. Gather together indies (six or so) who write similar books to what you produce, authors whose books you’ve read and admire. Create a What to Read Next page at the end of your ebook, and then list & link each member’s book. This way you suggest a book of theirs to your audience, and they suggest a book of yours to theirs. Instant wide scale exposure, and everybody wins.
- Brainstorm & Be A Champion. Once a month, meet online (say a Google hangout) and take turns running a brainstorming session that features one of the team members and their book(s). Discuss how collectively you can use the next month to help raise awareness for that book, increase the author’s platform, plan marketing strategies, etc. It’s often easier to come up with ideas and a plan when it isn’t your book. Take turns promoting and running events to spread the word (without spamming of course) to create a marketing surge. Repeat with the next member, and then the next, continuing throughout the year.
- Create Team Book Pages. Have each member create a page on their blog called “Books To Read Next.” Similar to the ebook links, you can use this to profile each team member’s books, showing off the cover, a short blurb and a link to Amazon (and make sure it’s an affiliate link, so you earn something from each sale). If you each have this page on your blog or website, you will expose each other’s book to different audiences.
- Spread Library Love For Print Books. Write down the ISBN of each member’s book and go to your local library (or visit their website) and ask them to order the books. They may or may not, but either way you gave it a shot. Again, it’s uncomfortable sometimes for an author to ask for their own book to be brought in, and so much easier to ask for someone else’s book. If the members of your team have more than one book, you can do this a few times throughout the year to spread requests out.
- Share Research. Time is always in short supply when you’re an indie, so work together. Each month during your meeting, pick an area of marketing or promotion to look into. It could be advertizing, books awards, finding review sites, or understanding price pulsing. Discuss what you know and ask questions to see what others have experienced. If there’s an area you all want to delve deeper into, divide and conquer. For example, maybe you want to focus on “audience discovery.” One of you can poke around Wattpad and bring back your findings, another can investigate the Figment community (if you are all YA authors) to see how engaged members are to see if it’s a reading community worth joining. Assign each member a site to look into and share the load of research. Send out a group email to report what you find.
- Put on a Group “Author Meet and Greet,” Q & A Panel or Other Private Online Party. For a modest fee, it is possible to rent a virtual room at Tech Surgeons and host your own event, allowing you to interact with your readers. Run a giveaway for seats to the party on all your blogs, building excitement. Then, collectively put on an amazing event for the winners. This is an opportunity to get together with fans in real time, either using audio interaction, chat, web cameras or all three. You could have prize giveaways, answer insider questions about your books, or pit authors against one another in a crazy and fun contest. Consider a theme to encourage participation, like a pajama party, a “come as your favorite book character” party or even a BYOWAC (bring your own wine and cheese) shmooze-ganza.