Guest Post By Author Karen Banes
Do you ever work with other authors to cross-promote your books, or find new readers for your blog? Some authors see other authors as their competition, rather than their colleagues, but working together can be very rewarding. It’s a great way to expand your network, find new readers and make more book sales. Here are five great reasons to reach out to other authors and start collaborating with them.
1. Other Authors Are Your Allies, Not Your Competition
Other authors are not your competition, even if they write in the same genre. A company that sells a similar product to yours is a competitor if there is a straight either/or choice. This is the case with big ticket items that you only need one of and that rarely need to be replaced.
Books don’t fall into that category. The person who buys just one book a year is rare. The person who buys one book in a particular genre is probably even rarer. Book buyers tend to buy lots of books, often spread across a few favorite genres, but they don’t stick to one author. Collaborating with other authors to cross-promote your books makes sense because book buyers are your joint customers.
2. Authors Have Readers In Their Networks
As authors we should be working to build a network of readers who are interested in buying books. As we’ve established, these readers won’t buy one book this year. They’ll buy several, by several different authors.
This means that cross-promoting with other authors will allow us to reach potential new readers in their networks, and allow them to reach potential new readers in ours. If our readers love our books we won’t lose any sales. They’ll buy a book by another author as well as (not instead of) ours.
3. Authors Are Passionate People
We’re particularly passionate about books. We love to share new books and authors with our friends. We’re members of online communities like Goodreads and Shelfari. We attend offline book clubs and reading groups. We have Pinterest boards where we pin our favorite books.
We’re sometimes advised (rightly) to stop networking exclusively with other authors and make an effort to connect with readers. That’s good advice, but we should remember that while not all readers are authors, all authors are readers, and often very passionate ones.
4. Other Authors Understand You
There’s a reason why unsolicited reviews from readers are rare. They don’t really understand the importance of them. Authors do. Your author friends will post reviews, mention your book in a forum, or send out a tweet about it, because they know it’s important to spread the word.
Authors love to help each other out, especially when it’s a win-win situation. And authors are clever people (OK I’m biased) so they usually find a way to make it so.
For example, I host author interviews and post book reviews at my blog and offer free content for others to use on their blogs in my media room. This means I can help other authors and bloggers promote their books, while obtaining interesting content for my website, and they can do the same for me.
5. It’s Easy, And Fun, To Connect With Other Authors
It’s never been easier to make connections with other authors, and you can do it in a way that’s enjoyable for you. There are online groups, forums, and networks. You can follow another author’s blog, Pinterest boards, or Twitter stream. Wherever you like to be online, you’ll find fellow authors to connect with there.
You might like to start by following this blog.
About The Author:
Karen Banes is a freelance writer and the author of two Kindle books How To Start Your Freelance Writing Career From Scratch and 52 Tips For Freelance Writers. Connect with her at her website KarenBanes.com.
Carole M. Kanter says
I have written a book for children that is so unique. I say this because when 10 children read my book and do all of the activities within it, there will be 10 different books completed.
I. Have never seen a book like this before.
My book needs to be explained as it is being read so that the child will be able to do the activities. I have provided a C.D. for this purpose.
I truly believe that children will have fun with my book as it allows them to be creative with it.
Thanks for writing this article, I agree. I’ve found other authors on some social networking/book-related sites that I consider to be colleagues now and am happy to have met them. We’ve shared work with each other and exchanged our thoughts, feelings and experiences with writing. It’s nice to have these sorts of exchanges because as you’re talking about other authors know what you’re going through, especially if the person you’re talking to writes in the same genre. And like you said, connecting with other authors connects you each to different networks. You might make even more connections along the way and find some great new reading whether it’s new books, new blogs, or new articles. In addition you might find you readers, or them you.
One thing I’ve really enjoyed is connecting with authors through these sites. Lately on Goodreads there has been a lot of discussion about what self-published authors can do to find new readers. This is yet another benefit to connecting with other authors: LEARNING.
Thanks again for sharing these five reasons!
author of “That Which Lives Within”
A couple of more things…
Case in point, I’ve posted the reviews I’ve done of other authors I’ve connected with on my website and subscribed to follow their blogs when I enjoy the content. I also had another author review my work and post the review on her website.
Before I was a writer book reviews just made me thing of grade school and how we were required to write reviews for every book we read (I think I’m remembering 3rd or 4th grade in particular). But now that I’m a writer I have a much deeper understanding of the importance of reviews. They really do help authors whether you go into great detail or just say how you feel about the book. Especially for self-published authors, reviews can be akin to a sort of validation that traditionally published authors get just by being accepted by the publisher.
There’s really a lot authors can do to work together and help each gain visibility, become better writers, and expand our audience no matter your genre. Last example, talking with other authors on Goodreads forums I’ve learned about MANY other book-related sites that I was not aware of before like World Literary Cafe, Book Talk, Shelfari, Savvy Authors & more, all sites that I am now a part of. Just being on these sites and talking with people, never mind the promotional posts where appropriate, makes me more visible to readers and let’s them know my book exists. Readers like to know more about writers and I can thank the authors who share these sites with me.
Thanks for reading,
author of “That Which Lives Within”