Why are more and more authors using Cross Promotion and Newsletter Swaps to promote their books? As an author who has grown a mailing list super-fast with cross promotions, I've broken down this complex yet simple enough process into the nuts and bolts so anyone new to this concept can see how joint author cross promotions work. You may want to join some of our 2017 cross promotions for authors keen to boost their book marketing campaigns.
What is Cross Promotion?
Plural noun: cross-promotions
The cooperative marketing by two or more companies of one another's products.
For authors, cross promoting is co-operating with other authors to share books amongst readers.
Why Cross Promote?
For starters, it normally doesn't cost much or anything at all. Many authors offer newsletter swaps on a one for one basis. For example, you promote my book and I'll promote yours in our next newsletters.
There's also a bunch of authors who run cross promotions such as book giveaways to capture reader emails, which brings me to the benefits …
Benefits of Cross Promotion
Clearly the benefits are:
1. Make your book visible to new readers
2. Build your mailing list
3. Increase book sales
Authors who have participated in my Author Cross Promotions have said that it is by far the fastest way to build a mailing list. Some doubled or tripled their subscriber list within two weeks of the promo.
Readers are valuable assets. And by joining forces with other authors you can maximize on finding readers who may download your book.
How Does This Benefit You?
In case you’re new to this concept of cross promotion, let me break those benefits down …
1. Make your book visible to new readers = by joining a promotion where all authors are emailing their subscribers your book is now visible to their readers.
2. Build your mailing list = some promotions offer the chance to add your ‘Reader Magnet’ which is a free book where you capture emails for anyone wanting to read it, this is done via your website.
3. Increase book sales = some authors in my promotions have reported hundreds of book sales. Again, this is because you are now exposed to all these other authors readers who may be interested in your book and buy it.
Cross Promotion Giveaways
Many authors who first stumble across my Cross Promotions For Authors struggle to get their head around what the promotion is, what they do and what they get.
- A cross promotion giveaway is a contest or competition for readers.
- Authors join forces to all donate a pile of books to give away.
- Promotions vary by numbers, some have long lists of authors.
- I have come across one that had about 150 authors all giving books. WOW, imagine the delight of the readers who were told about this promo!
- Most promotions can vary between 10 and 50 authors giving away one book each.
- Some promotions stick to certain genres to ensure the authors are getting readers who love reading in that genre. Other promotions accept any genre because lots of readers tend to try a new genre now and then or even regularly read across multi-genres.
- Some promotions offer paperbacks but this is costly to authors most promotions offer eBooks which is easy to email the winner with a download link via BookFunnel (protecting your digital rights).
How Cross Promotions Work
Generally, the promotion will run for a week or two. Any longer than that and the promotion could become stale with the readers impatient to know if they are the winners.
The important thing to note here is that readers enter to win books not money or other gadgets. I have run a Kindle competition before and found many of the entrants were simply after the device to give to someone else or sell. Books are different. Anyone signing up to enter a competition with a bundle of books to be won are genuine readers. And that is the most important part! You get real readers entering the competition, not people who are just after freebies.
You commit to emailing your subscribes about the competition on the day the contest goes live. And then possibly to remind them when it is closing. That also brings in a flurry of entrants. It is also best to share the competition details via your social media sites as well.
Very, very important to note is that you DO NOT give away your mailing list. You don’t share this with anyone. The cross-promotion organizer will give you text and graphics to use to add to your newsletter. Some provide templates which you can use or amend.
The readers on your list ~ and all the other participating authors’ lists ~ decide if they want to enter to win those books on offer.
In the competition terms or on the giveaway form it is explained to entrants that they're sharing their email with all the participating authors. Of course, they can unsubscribe from the authors afterwards if they don’t want to remain on their mailing list.
When the competition ends, the wines are announced and all the emails collected are given to the authors.
What You Do
Find a suitable promotion (here is our list of Cross Promotions). Most of them will charge to cover the costs of running the promotion. You’ll be asked to add your book’s details so the organizer can show it through a graphic image bundled together with all the books.
You email your mailing list on the day the promo starts and again before it ends. You also need to share the promo through your social channels. Some authors think they can sit back and not do much and let the other participating authors do the work.
Think of it this way, every new person you reach with your mailing and sharing means a new entrant to the competition and thus a new subscriber to your mailing list.
Remember too that you’re now part of a supportive unit of authors all after the same thing: book promotion. So, everyone pulling their weight means the wagon WILL move! My Mom always had a saying … “Many hands make lights work” which essentially means all hands-on-deck will be sure the ship sails.
Don’t underestimate the power of all those participating authors. The impact is awesome!
What You Get
Depending the promotions you will either get book sales, readers signing up to get your free book (Reader Magnet) or a copy of the full email list of subscribers to add to your own email lists.
Now that you have a good idea of how the cross promotions work …
After Cross Promotions
Depending on what type of cross promotion you do, there are a few things to do after the promotion.
1. Thank all author that did the cross promotion. They take up a huge amount of their writing time so respect that and appreciate their time commitment.
2. If you do a newsletter swap (more on this coming soon, share the success with the author and thank them for adding your book to their newsletter. If you’ve had sales from the newsletter swap or reader magnet downloads, mention this so they can share in your good news. Be sure to reciprocate the swap as soon as you can if you haven’t done so already.
3. If you joined a giveaway and now have a stack of new readers who have subscribed to your list you can offer them a free book if you have one or free chapters of your next book. This will keep them interested.
4. Let your new readers know a little about you, but please, please don’t bore them with a long email all about you and your daily life. Believe me, some authors new to email marketing to do! And it looks so amateurish.
5. Tell them about other promotions you may be running either on your own or with other authors. Run competitions now and then if you have the budget to keep those going. Or join one of the Cross Promotions from the list below which will be more cost effective.
6. Be cheerful, positive and interesting. Show your human side with your natural energy and humour.
1. Whatever you do, DON’T spam these new readers asking them to buy your books!
2. Bog down your email with long layers of text. Break up your email with images and quotes.
3. Don’t have typos and incorrect links. You’ll be amazed at easy this can happen. Always email yourself a test to check the email before it goes out and then test it again if you make any changes.
4. Show style. So many authors don’t get this. They ram their emails with a jumble of different fonts and colors and they even use CAPITAL LETTERS LIKE THIS, which just looks like you’re shouting!
5. Find reviewers = once you build up reader relationships with these new subscribers, ask them to review your next book.
There’s no doubt that the best way to promote books is through email marketing. Indie authors who are top ranking with sales swear by this fast and instant method of communicating with readers. For just one moment imagine you could have access to all those people who either buy your book through Amazon and other retail outlets or who download it through one of your KDP Select promotional days. Only one of my promo days on KDP netted me 2638 downloads. Imagine I had all those readers to talk to and email them about new books.
Sadly, I must burst that lovely image in your mind as we don’t have that luxury. Amazon does not us. That alone should fire you up to grow your mailing list. But we can’t sit on the fence burning with what we don’t have. Instead, use that positive energy to drive new subscribers to your mailing list.
Don't be put off by this phrase. You don't and won't actually swap a newsletter or your mailing list. Instead, you'll swap a space or slot in your newsletter with another author. This book marketing strategy is highly successful and drove my book into the paid bestseller charts. Read how I did this with 7 steps to a bestselling novel.
Paula Wynne is the founder of Book Hub. She started Book Hub out of a need to market and promote her own fiction. As well as running Book Hub, Paula is an author with several published books.
Paula's Book Marketing for Authors Series features the following books: Book Marketing for Authors: Essential Steps for Before, During and After Your Book Launch; Book Promotion for Authors: How To Grow Your Readers Fan Base With Cross Promotions; Email Marketing For Authors: How To Use Email Marketing To Find New Readers and Book Selling for Authors: 7 Steps to a Bestselling Novel. Find out more about Paula's Book Marketing for Authors Series here.
If you would like to find out how to get your book into the bestselling charts with little money needed, download a free copy of Paula's Book Selling for Authors: 7 Steps to a Bestselling Novel.