Friday, September 5, 2014

Group Efforts: Things to Consider When Taking the Team Approach to Marketing

In past posts we've talked about cross-marketing and teaming up with other authors in various ways to promote your books. We've touched on author scavenger hunts at conferences and co-ops to spread the love and the workload.

In this post, we'd like to take a moment to raise some practical points of consideration when organizing a group effort.

1) Pick your partners carefully: 

Pause for a minute and think about your books. Now, take a few more minutes and think about your AUDIENCE. NOW think about your author friends that you might approach with a group marketing idea. Do you share the same audience? Are you at a comparable level with regards to the progress of your writing career? Do you all have the same level of dedication to marketing? If the answer to any of these questions is a big fat "NO," then reconsider the roster of participants. There is nothing worse than having to drag someone kicking and screaming on your journey. Picking the wrong partners will sap your energy and your time...which brings us to our next point....

2) Plan your time wisely:

Remember, the goal is to pool your energies to multiply your efforts. Set a schedule for deliverables, plan topics for a group blog, and clearly communicate the time required for the intended outcome. Never forget that the best marketing for your backlist is a great NEW release, so be sure to consider your writing time and make it a priority over your marketing time.

3) Set goals:

For pre-published authors, your goal may be to see an increase in your author website or blog hits. For published authors, your goals should be to see an increase in sales. Whether that increase is large or small is really up to you, but have 'a' goal to help you determine if all your hard work is bearing fruit. 

4) Have an exit strategy:

Ok - You have to give yourself and the other members of your team a way to exit your marketing venture. For some activities, it's clear cut - the group brochure copy deadline for print layout is a hard deadline for an 'opt-out.' Other activities can be a bit more squishy like an ongoing shared website, blog, or podcast. When you form your group, make sure there is a space created for open and honest communication. If someone needs to leave your group, don't take it personally. It's a business decision. In the end you are the one who needs to manage your career and at times the best thing for your career is to walk away from a bad (or at least unproductive) situation.

Yes - life happens and your bandwidth will ebb and flow based on long and short term demands on your  time. A well structured team effort will be able to withstand shifting circumstances. However, if you find that your team effort is more of a drain than a draw, exercise your exit strategy, focus on your next adventure, and write your next book.  :D


  1. You should really consider your personality. Do you work well with others and enjoy collaboration or do you like having all of the control?

    1. Great point, Kristen! YES, in addition to picking your partners carefully you also have to consider your own work style. Though we would imagine that a 'lone wolf' would automatically veto joining a group effort. :D