Though she didn’t explain why, I assume she’s afraid of giving a bad review to an author whose book she may not like. (I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt here). I acknowledge that could be a sticky situation. Most authors, including myself, are reluctant to “knock” a fellow writer because we know how much energy goes into a book even if we don’t feel the product quality is up to par. My personal policy is that I don’t write reviews for books I can’t honestly rate at least 4 stars.
But to have a policy of not reviewing another author’s work is a missed opportunity – for the reviewer. By promoting another author, you can promote yourself indirectly by leveraging their readership. If they have a following for their shapeshifter romance and you write shapeshifter romances, their readers could become your readers. The strategic goal is to use their name to draw attention to you. Not, it’s not altruistic; it’s business. It’s why companies use celebrity endorsements. Co-promotion is win-win for both authors. You draw attention to them; they draw attention to you.
You don’t have to spend a lot of time promoting other authors. A few small efforts can make a difference. Here are twelve quick and easy ways to improve your co-promotion efforts:
1. Use your full names throughout a Q & A when interviewing a fellow author (and thank author Shoshanna Evers for this tip). Repetition helps “brand” both your names.
Cara Bristol: What is your latest release about?
Jane A. Author: More to Love is about a polygamist family….
2. Use searchable key words in your headline and the very first sentence of the interview. If you’re writing a guest blog, you need to do this also. I can’t tell you how many blogs I’ve run across where the host titled the post, “Author Interview” or “Guest Blog.” When was the last time YOU searched for “Author Interview” or “Guest Blog”? Use words that search engines will pick up . Also, your blog might be on a feed on someone’s site and their followers might see the start of a sentence. “Guest Blog” won’t entice anybody to your site.
No-no title: Author Interview
Better: Jane A Author: How eroticism improved a polygamist marriage
3. Everything I said about titles holds true for tags as well. Tag your guest posts with the author’s name and any key words that might be searchable. Months, even years after I’ve interviewed an author, I’ve gotten hits on MY blog by people searching for that author.
Tag example: Jane A. Author, polygamy, plural marriage, polyamory, More to Love, erotic romance.
4. If you’re hosting a guest, for YOUR sake, promote it! Tweet it. Facebook it. Post it on your chat loops. Remember, their readers might become your readers. And if you are the guest, ditto for you. Promote your appearance.
5. Write reviews of books that are in your genre and use your author name. You want your name to be associated with the genre.
6. When you write a review, give the author a “pithy” comment she can quote and tweet.
Example: My fave for False Pretenses from TRS was: “Cara Bristol sets the pages on fire with a delightfully sensual and naughty temptation the reader won’t be able to resist!”
7. Rate the books you read on Goodreads, even if you don’t write a review. Your 4 or 5 stars will help to counteract the 1s and 2s that every book receives.
8. When you purchase a book, or review one, remember to “like” and “tag” it on Amazon. But read the tags before you click agree. On occasion someone will give a book a negative tag – don’t compound the problem by clicking everything that’s listed.
9. Use your full name and key words when you post a comment on another author’s blog. But don’t don’t plug your own work.
Not so good (and I’ve done this too): “Congrats on your new release”
Much better: “Congrats on the release of More to Love. A polygamist, polyamory romance sounds like an erotic read.”
10. When tweeting, repeat the name of the author’s book in your tweet.
Warm and fuzzy: @JaneAAuthor congrats.
Warm, fuzzy and strategic: @JaneAauthor Congrats on the release of MORE TO LOVE.
11. If you plug another another’s book on Twitter with an #amreading, include the book’s link to Amazon or another seller. It will only take seconds but it can make the difference between a sale or no sale for that author.
12. Lastly, if you’re buying books in your genre (you are, aren’t you?), buy your own book on Amazon. Why? Because Amazon recommends similar books. Your book will pop up as a recommendation when someone views similar book that you’ve purchased. Buying your own book is the cheapest advertising you can buy.
So yes, promoting another author is a nice thing that makes everyone feel warm and fuzzy, but it also can have a strategic purpose that benefits both authors.
What are your quick and easy tips for co-promotion?