Last year, I wrote about co-promotion and got a few questions like: how do you choose an author to co-promote with? How do you co-promote? I also heard authors complain that co-promotion didn’t work for them and it was a complete waste of time. So today, I’m gonna try to help you have a positive co-promotional campaign. If done right, co-promotion can be a powerful technique to scale your readership and it can also help you connect with your peers. So let’s get started…

Tip #1: Choose Wisely

Just because someone has a huge email list or large social media following, it doesn’t make them the right partner for you. For example, I know 50,000 email subscribers may look like a lot but you need to know firstly, are they responsive? An email list is useless if it has 50,000 subscribers but only 4 of them actually open the emails. An unresponsive list can be due to a lot of reasons, first of all, the author may have purchased those email addresses and is actually spamming people (which is illegal by the way). Secondly, they might just suck at email marketing. Either way, these kinds of people need to be avoided at all costs if you want a successful co-promotional campaign.

So how can you tell if someone’s legit or not?  Well, you start an investigation, you start by seeing if this author has an actual business. You can do that by:   

  • Looking at their sales rank on Amazon
  • Seeing if their social media accounts are active
  • Checking out their website, to see if it’s professional

Those authors who are poor business owners or hobbyists, generally don’t think of their audience let alone interact with them. Websites and social media sites are good indicators of whether they care about their readers or not. In other words, if they don’t have a relationship with their readers, they can’t help you.    

Tip #2: Join Their Community

Now that you’ve established this person has an actual business, it’s time to join their community and start supporting them. Not only are you to support them, but you are also to offer value. If they need help with something, offer your services if you can help. For example, if they need a recommendation for a virtual assistant or need a better scheduling app, speak up.    

Tip #3: Review Their Book

This should go without saying, but you should review their book BEFORE requesting anything. You should do this to see if it’s up to industry standard. You may not like the style of someone else’s writing but that doesn’t have anything to do with the audience you’re trying to reach. If the book cover is professional and the formatting and editing are fine then this is a good thing.

Warning: Under no circumstance should you review a book you don’t like. Trust me, giving an author a one star review won’t endear you to them. I’ve had authors insult my work then, in the very next breath ask for a favor. I’m sure you can already guess what my answer was.  

Tip #4: Promote Their Book First Before Pitching

If you really want to ingratiate yourself to your target author, then it would help if you went to your social media account and shouted them out. Trust me, they’ll notice. Even if things don’t work out, at least you’ll have a new contact in the industry.   

Tip #5: Have An Angle

We’ve all heard the advice, before sending a pitch, make sure to answer the question: What’s in it for them?  However, it would be wiser if you answered the question: What’s in it for their audience? 

If this author is legit, they will care deeply about their readers. They won’t just blast random promos at them. So instead of just selling your book, have a contest for those readers where you offer something like swag or a free box-set. A contest is ideal because it allows you to capture their email addresses or get them to follow you on social media when they enter. You can do this by using services like Rafflecopter or Woobox.  (Not affiliated)

One Final Thing

Before I wrap this up I have to warn you, this takes time. Many book marketers say it takes around 2-3 years to build solid relationships with readers and those within the industry. So it would be smart to start as soon as possible otherwise, you’ll risk looking and feeling like a beggar when you make your pitch. This is why most authors don’t bother with co-promotion. It feels salesy or fake to them. And of course, it will feel awkward asking a stranger for anything. However, a relationship gives you equal standing with your peers and co-promotion is all about equals. You shouldn’t feel like you’re bothering someone when pitching, as long as you’re offering something valuable. In fact, you should be confident when approaching a potential partner for co-promotion.  Remember, it’s a partnership, not a favor. 

Okay, before I go, I urge you to read my original post: Co-Promotion For Authors.  There, you’ll get more details on co-promotion sites that can help you connect with others looking for partners. 

Anyway, if you found this post helpful, please like and share.