Guest post by author Kirsten W. Larson
Let me guess. Your favorite part of making a book is marketing it, right? No?! You’d prefer to sketch in your studio or type at your computer versus boosting your book on social media? Well, you aren’t alone.
But what if I told you there’s a way to make marketing your book far more fun and productive? All you have to do is form a book marketing group. Don’t believe me? Read on for the top five things I’ve learned coordinating a book marketing group.
1. Book marketing is better together — part 1.
You’ve probably seen them online: the Soaring 20s, Las Musas, STEAMTeam books. These are book promotion groups, clusters of 20-40 creators who partner together to boost their books. Why? Because it works. Imagine: you write a cover reveal blog post on your group website, then tweet a link to it. The same day 30 other creators from your group plus your group Twitter account retweet you. Then your blog post is excerpted in the group newsletter. You’ve reached a far bigger audience with that one group post than you ever could on your own.
2. Book marketing is better together — part 2
Publishing is a tough business. Publications dates can change. Reviewers can be less-than-flattering. Any book creator needs support. Book marketing groups provide a sense of camaraderie as you bring your book into the world. Group members are people at a similar point in their careers and can provide needed advice and support as you weather the ups and downs of book publishing and marketing.
3. The right team is everything.
Having the right people on your team is everything, after all, you’ll be working with these people closely for a couple of years or longer. Make sure your team members bring a variety of skills to the table — web design, graphic design, copy-editing, school visits, book-selling. These will provide valuable perspectives and much-needed skills as you divvy up the work. Also, make sure your group reflects all of our young readers who need to see both themselves and kids with different experiences and backgrounds in books.
4. Move beyond social media.
Almost all book marketing groups have a significant social media presence. Yet there is often more going on behind the scenes. Are you trying to get 50+ reviews on Amazon? Your book group could help if everyone commits to reading and reviewing each other’s books. Group members can ask their libraries to buy each other’s books. They can pitch panels of group members for events including national and regional conferences, and pitch group podcast or media spots. For many creators, pitching a group instead of themselves is far more comfortable. And any opportunities for individual creators that arise can be shared with other group members.
5. Are you leading or am I?
Even though groups make decisions together by vote or consensus, someone needs to keep the group on track, make sure decisions are made, and deadlines are met. In our group, that’s me. I post a monthly “to do” list with deadlines for our various activities and remind people of impending deadlines. I also facilitate any group voting or decision making to make sure everyone is heard.
Want to learn more about book marketing groups? The Soaring 20's Picture Book Debut Group is offering a free group marketing guide (PDF downlaod) if you sign up for The Soaring 20's newsletter. Click here to visit The Soaring 20s website and sign up for your free guide.
Kirsten W. Larson is the author of WOOD, WIRE, WINGS: Emma Lilian Todd Invents an Airplane (Calkins Creek) and THE FIRE OF STARS: The Life and Brilliance of the Woman Who Discovered What Stars Are Made of (Chronicle, 2021), as well as 25 books for young readers. Learn more at kirsten-w-larson.com and follow her on Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest @KirstenWLarson
Click here to order a copy of WOOD, WIRE, WINGS: Emma Lilian Todd Invents an Airplane.
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