How to Plan a Multi-Author Cross Promotion Event

Every writer I know feels pressure to build their platform. From the pre-pubbed stage, sending out proposals to an agent, then editor, to published authors working on keeping their numbers up, it can be a constant maze of hunting through websites telling you how to do it the best way.

Despite how you package promoting, be it in a contest, giveaway, or ad, there is only one thing that truly matters to determine its success. Are you giving your target audience something they find of value?

Join five mountain fiction authors with our virtual cookie recipe exchange, and downloadable Bible verse garland and gift tags.

Notice I didn’t say something valuable to a reader. There are many readers out there, but not all readers are your target audience. You need to have a deep understanding of your reader before you plan any promotional event, especially a multi-author one.

1. Start by identifying other authors who have similar target audiences or readers as yours. For cross promoting to work, the audiences must be linked by a similar interest.

2. Decide what will be the common theme for the event. You’ll need to decide before inviting the other authors to your event what the theme or purpose will be. And it is not to sell books. This is what you hope will be the end result, but the purpose of the event will be to somehow reach readers and enrich their time spent with you.

3. Send out the invites with a time frame for response at least two months before the date of the event. Expect to have some authors not be able to join you. Be gracious and thank them for considering. Move on to the next authors on your list.

4. Ask for ideas or comments on how to make the event better. Allow the other authors to have a say in the event, but be sure you have one person who is the leader. When planning the Mountain Hearth Christmas, it was my original idea to just have it be a virtual cookie recipe exchange. Amanda had the idea of incorporating the printable Bible verses for garlands and or gift tags.

5. Be very clear on what is expected of everyone. While all of the fabulous authors in the Mountain Hearth Christmas worked together, it’s best to let everyone know what you’d like them to do. For example: everyone is expected to share links on their social media pages each day of the hop, not just the day it’s being hosted on their own website. Cross-promoting only works if everyone helps.

6. Send out reminders leading up to the event. The leader should send out reminders as things draw nearer. Keep them short and to the point. Always be respectful of others’ time. Three weeks before, two weeks before, and the day before are a good time frame. You may want to have the leader send out daily emails the morning of the event with the link to that day’s highlighted article and composed social media updates for people to copy and paste if pressed for time.

Want to see a multi-author cross promotional event in action? I’m thrilled to be part of A Mountain Hearth Christmas. 

What multi-author events have you been part of? Have you attended any multi-author events you thought went well? What did you like about them?

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How to Effectively Use Twitter for Authors

We all know that as successful authors we’re expected to market ourselves and this includes social media sites. Most find Facebook easy to use, but I’ve seen several authors confused or disheartened by Twitter.

I used to be one of them. For basic Twitter use, including #hashtags and follow back explanations, check out 8 Twitter Tips for Authors at the Blogging Bistro’s site. (She’s got great content, search through her archives & consider signing up for her daily tips.)

1. Who are you marketing to? Remember who your target audience is. Every tweet or link you share should provide value to this audience. You should tweet links to your blog posts and website, but here’s a good rule of thumb, for every 10 tweets, only 1 should be about your blog/book/website.

Retweet others, it’s a great way to build report, but remember, only retweet things that you think your audience will find useful in someway.

2. Finding followers. Here’s where #hashtags come in to play. Search for the key words that define your target audience. I often look up #quilting, #crocheting, #cooking, and #christianfiction. Start a conversation with these folks. After all, that’s what Twitter is about. Most times, they will follow you back.

Don’t start a conversation simply for a follow back. Talk with them because you have something in common. People know when you’re being phony. Even if it’s just two folks a day, it adds up over time.

3. Use Lists. I’ve heard the argument that it’s impossible to keep up with hundreds and thousands of friends/followers. Yes, that’s true, but Twitter has the glory of lists. You can make a list and categorize your followers there. I have several, you can make them private if you don’t want people to see how you have them listed, or public and others can follow your list.

For example, I have a list of readers where I put folks who chat about the books they’re reading. I have one for my fellow writer friends. The possibilities are endless and you can pull up your list and chat w/ folks about that subject when you’re in the mood or have time.

Lists are the key to making Twitter work in my opinion.

4. Engage with other users. If you never talk with people, you’ve missed the point of Twitter. It is called Social media for a reason. In fact, if someone follows me and I check out their profile (I always do) if I don’t see Tweets including other people’s @handle, then I don’t follow them. I want to talk w/ people, not have them just talk at me.

Are you a Twitter user? What’s some of your tips or cool people who you’ve found via Twitter?

Follow me on Twitter and let me know if you found me from this blog. 🙂