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Marketing Self-published Books: An Innovative Idea For Building Global Reach

Marketing Self-published Books: An Innovative Idea for Building Global Reach

cover of Mother of Millennials

Kathryn Mortimer describes her collaborative marketing with partners around the world

It has never been easier to spread e-books across the world. Just a few clicks is all it takes. Instantly, your lovingly-crafted words can be transported into the hands of a commuter crammed on the Tokyo subway, or a parent relaxing in a yurt in Outer Mongolia.

But how do you persuade people to buy your book if you don’t speak their language?

Kathryn Mortimer describes her innovative method to expand her global reach for her book, Mother of Millennials.


head shots of Kathryn and her daughters

Kathryn with her millennial daughters, Harriet and Sally

This is a challenge I’ve been grappling with for six months since Mother of Millennials was published. The book is non-fiction, and covers subjects of global importance such as the environment, mental health, education and diversity. I would like to reach out across the globe, and engage ordinary people in conversations about things that really matter to us as human beings.

Although I have the time, energy and passion to promote my work, I don’t have the financial resources to do anything more than scratch the surface.

But I’m not ready to give up and watch as an amazing opportunity fades away. Instead, I’ve decided to try a different approach.

Building Global Reach by Networking

I’ve started to build a network of collaborators from non-English speaking countries. People who are willing and eager to promote Mother of Millennials in their home market.

The role of the collaborators is to reach out to potential readers, and engage with them in their own language. And since they understand their fellow citizens, they are perfectly placed to ensure all communications are tailored effectively to local sensitivities and cultural norms.

The work will be funded through royalty share, with collaborators receiving 50% of royalties from all books sold in their country.

Royalty share. Two dirty words in traditional book marketing, but they shouldn’t be. I believe it is a model that offers many advantages to authors and translators alike. Let me tell you why.

Why Royalty Share Works for Collaborative Marketing

As a small business owner, I always want to know what Return on Investment (ROI) I can expect, and when I can expect it. These are vital questions for any business, but they are questions traditional marketing companies struggle to answer. I may be alone on this, but ‘It’s complicated’ and ‘it depends’ are responses that don’t fill me with enthusiasm. They certainly don’t encourage me to part with my hard-earned cash.

Royalty share requires no investment. As a consequence, questions about ROI become irrelevant, and the dark cloud of risk begins to melt away. There are also benefits for the author that go beyond financial considerations. If you choose your collaborators well, you may find you have landed more than just a translator working a short-term gig. Instead, you could be blessed with a translator, blogger, social-media guru, cultural consultant, and long-term ambassador for your book, all rolled into one.

Yes, of course there is a chance a collaboration will fail to develop, and an opportunity will be lost. However, with so many discrete markets available, the occasional failure should be of little concern.

What's In It for the Collaborators?

So if royalty share offers benefits for the author, what about collaborators? What do they get out of this arrangement? The best people to answer this question are the three courageous souls who have taken the plunge. Here’s what they say.

Esther (Student, China): Through this exciting journey, I get to know and meet new people, gain new work experience, and learn more about English culture.

Lisa (Student, China): It is a process to co-operate with each other and what I need to do is not just translating, but also editing, researching, promoting, etc, which equips me with the ability to start my own career in the future.

Beatrix (Architect, Hungary) Collaborating on Mother of Millennials was the perfect opportunity to promote an important story to Hungarian readers, while at the same time building my confidence for my own book.

world map with countries marked where she is represented

The first steps of an exciting global journey

What Next?

We are at the start of an exciting adventure. Four like-minded strangers coming together, ready to take our first steps into the unknown. There will undoubtedly be challenges ahead. But what sort of trip would it be without challenges? No lessons to learn. No stories to tell. No achievements to be proud of.

We hope to make many new friends along the way. Whether you’re an author, translator, publicist or just an interested observer, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

#Indieauthors - wondering how to expand your #bookmarketing to countries that don't speak your language? Check out this innovative #networking method from Kathryn Mortimer. Share on X

From the ALLi Author Advice Center Archive

Author: Kathryn Mortimer

Kathryn Mortimer has been married to David for 30 years and is mother of Harriet and Sally, both in their twenties. Born in Liverpool, she moved to the South West of England at the age of 18, where she has remained ever since. She has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Bath, and a long career in Information Technology. Drifting towards retirement in a steady 9 to 5 job, life was routine and predictable. But on Christmas Day 2017 that changed. After conversations with her daughters about their own employment choices, she made the unexpected decision to write a book. This started her fascinating journey into the world of publishing, and the strange, exciting world of the Millennial Generation.


This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. A fresh empowering approach. Wonderfully subversive to traditional marketing, and it signposts the future direction of authorship. No longer is the writer or the reader constrained by old norms. I love it. Write your book and get those ideas and stories out there. Its a scary workload but this author shows how it is possible.
    Thanks for sharing. Simply compelling.

  2. Impressive post specially the points you mentioned about the strategies could help me in my business. Some of the points were familiar to me and some them is very new for me.
    Thank you so much for sharing this post with us. I’ll follow your blog posts from today onward.
    Great Job!

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