By Carrie Fancett Pagels
RWA’s magazine, RWR, recently featured an excellent article on marketing. One of the points they made, besides the obvious point that you must write the very best book that you can, is to link up with other authors and cross promote. As a blogger for many years, I’ve had the privilege of promoting many bestselling Christian authors’ work. The article mentioned how authors who don’t engage with their readers may find themselves without buyers for their books in the future. Readers today want to know the author and be able to interact with them. That’s a tad hard to do if you are hiding in your writing cave. Again-the writing must get done, but so must engaging the reader.
Often I see authors promoting their own work (I’m guilty of this, too) but not ever promoting anyone else’s writing. That’s just plain sad. For one thing, if they’ve been reading their comparable novels, as they should, then there should be a number of fellow authors whose books they can suggest to their readers. One idea suggested was to bring other authors’ books to your book signing events to recommend them as being someone whose work the reader might also enjoy. I love that notion of “sharing the love” of reading and promoting!
I’m a Joyce Meyer fan and I love “The Robot” who goes “What about me-e-e, what about me-e-e?” and too often that’s how I see Christian authors “engaging” on social media sites. They pop in and promote their own books on a Facebook page and then scram. And I’m guilty of doing that with blog promo, too. But we all need to make an effort to think of others. I believe the day of thinking you can write a book, put it out there, and people will just buy it is gone. And I think the day of just slapping up publicity for yourself may be winding down. Personally, I love doing cross promoting because I enjoy engaging with other authors and also seeing reader friends find another author’s wonderful books to read. I won’t recommend someone whose writing I don’t enjoy. So that’s the flip side of the coin-you’re not going to be trustworthy if you simply promote everybody in your particular group, including those whose writing isn’t something that delights you.
A number of marketing articles focus on the sales numbers-how to get your book out there and how to track sales. I’ve seen very little in the Christian market about reciprocity amongst authors and cross promotion. I’m blessed to be in a group of eight authors right now in the Christian Traditions Series, with “The Fruitcake Challenge” as book #3. There’s comfort in fellowship and we have a wonderful promotional group of readers who’ve encouraged us all as we cross promote.
Question: Have you ever promoted other authors? Have you received reciprocity or not? How did you feel when the favor wasn’t ever returned?
Carrie Fancett Pagels Author of Amazon bestsellers The Fruitcake Challenge (2014) and Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance (2013). “Snowed In” appears in Guidepost Books’ A Christmas Cup of Cheer (2013). Honorable mention 2014 Maggie Awards for Excellence, Winner – Historical Genre Family Fiction’s “The Story Contest 2014”.