You’ve just sold your debut book?
You want to join a debut marketing group?
What’s that? You’re not exactly sure what a marketing group is? How to find one? Or what kind of group to look for?
Don’t worry! Check out my tips on how to not only find a marketing group, but how to find a great one!
A book marketing group is made up of authors who join together to help promote each other’s books. Most groups are organized around a common attribute, like debut authors, or middle grade authors, or books publishing in 2021.
You can find marketing groups by:
- Asking your agent and/or editor if they have other clients with books launching in your genre and/or launch year and then reaching out to those authors.
- You can put a call out on Twitter and other social media asking for group organizers to contact you.
- Tap into your networks and ask your fellow writers, critique partners, and writing groups to help you find a marketing group. You never know who has a friend, who has a friend, who has a friend who is organizing a marketing group. Make sure folks know you are interested! Post a search for a marketing group on the 24 Carrot Facebook page!
- Scan Publisher’s Weekly for book deal announcements and reach out to authors with books launching in your genre and publication year.
- If all else fails, start your own group. And if you need some guidance on how to organize and start a group, sign up for the Soaring’20s Debut group’s newsletter and they will send you a free guide on setting up a marketing group.
Marketing groups are a huge help in plugging your book and in offering support and comradery during a launch. But you only need one group. While the benefits of a group are many, you will not multiple the benefits with more groups. One is plenty.
For "branding" purposes, it’s also better to identify yourself as belonging to one group. There will likely be a group logo, and a cool group name that you can include on your website, and in your social media. Best not to confuse folks with multiple tags.
Finally, a marketing group requires time and energy on your part. There is no need to juggle the responsibilities of more than one group. You’ll be spending plenty of time marketing and you don’t need to double the workload!
It can take a few months to collect a group of like-minded authors for a marketing group. Once you have a group, it can take a few more months to agree on a name and logo, build a website and platform, and introduce your group to the world. It’s not too early to start looking for or forming a marketing group – um – today!
Your marketing group will want to start interacting with potential readers, librarians, bookstores, and teachers about six months before anyone’s book launches. That means you'll want your group to be forming about a year before publication dates. If your 2022 debut group wants to announce your fabulous new books to the world in the last half of 2021, you’ll want to find your marketing group in the first few months of 2021.
Don’t be afraid to be picky if you get asked to join more than one group – you want to be in good one! The best way to do this it to ask a few questions and do a little research. I’d look for the following things in a group:
- Size Limit: You want the group to be a manageable size that allows for constructive interaction. I think 30 is a nice number. It allows for a good distribution of workload while keeping the group small enough to form meaningful working friendships.
- Diversity: I loved that my debut group intentionally looked for folks around the country so that we had different contacts at bookstores, libraries, schools and writing groups. This allowed us to really amplify our marketing reach geographically. We also looked to be diverse in terms of gender, race and ethnicity. Finally, we intentionally included illustrators. This was a huge help when it came time to create logos and website art. The more diverse your group, and varied the skill set, the more you will be able to accomplish.
- Commitment: You want the group to work and that means the group members must be willing to work. Make sure that your group is asking for a commitment right up front – maybe a few hours a month or a requirement to volunteer to be on a sub-committee (giveaways, social media, reviews, newsletter...). You want to be in a group with folks willing to put in time and effort.