How and why to cross-promote with other authors

SFF sale

I’m taking part in a sale today organized by another author. Shiftless and 46 other science fiction and fantasy novels are marked down to 99 cents for New Year’s, and each author is spreading the word to his or her readers. Who knows if Shiftless will get lost in the shuffle or whether the extra outreach will boost sales, but the idea is a good one — team up with authors who write in your genre and reach new readers.

“But aren’t those other authors your competition?” my father asked me when I started to explain indie cross-promotion. “Not really,” I replied. After all, none of us can write fast enough to sate the average reader, so why not recommend books by authors your fans might also enjoy…especially if those authors are also spreading the word about your titles? Best-case scenario, the result can be that everyone involved ends up with new fans, which means more sales for everybody.

The holy grail of indie author cross-promotion is using bundles of novels marked down to 99 cents to break the USA Today bestseller list, while also reeling in thousands of new fans for other books in the series. Organizing this kind of bundle is probably beyond the abilities of most of us (taxes alone can be a huge headache), but if you hang out on kboards long enough, chances are you’ll find several bundles your book might fit into. I’ve applied to take part in a paranormal box set (although it’s pretty competitive and I might get rejected) and will also be included in an indie-author cookbook, all thanks to networking through kboards.

What’s your favorite method of cross-promoting with other authors? Do you have a success story to share or big plans for 2015? I’d love to hear your own experiences in the comments section.

4 thoughts on “How and why to cross-promote with other authors

  1. Timely post for me 🙂
    I’ve been meaning to give kboards a go for ages and just signed up 2days ago. I had no idea you’d find that sort of connection on there – will be investigating asap.
    I joined a multi-author promo on Facebook last year and had my best sales day so far – 109 copies – and I plan to do it again this year, although with the new fb limits I don’t know if it will be as good, so I am on the outlook for new ventures – thanks!

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  2. Since I haven’t found a really successful way of marketing at ALL yet, I haven’t much to share with you in that regard, but I definitely think you’re on the right track, and I’m learning from you. I do want to say that I don’t believe writers are EVER in competition with each other…unless they are submitting something TO a competition, of course. If you wrote 24 hours a day, every day of your life, from birth to death, you couldn’t reach every reader out there. And even if you did, when they are done with your book, they’re reaching for another.

    It seems obvious to me that a strong community of writers helping writers is one of the best tools we have for reaching new readers, hence, The Write Stuff. In the corporate world, it’s called Networking. Same thing, really. We can learn and grow from helping each other. Thanks for sharing this with us, Aimee. Your posts are always filled with good ideas and advice.

    And Happy New Year. Hope 2015 is a great year for you! Back to bed for me, now.

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