As the name suggests, the concept of “self” publishing centers around the idea of an author bringing a book to market on their own.
It’s a fact that many writers covet the idea of being able to publish their fiction and non-fiction works without having to jump through the typical hoops, barriers and gatekeepers associated with the industry such as publishing agents and houses.
The advent of self-publishing has made it relatively easy for just about anyone to turn their thoughts and ideas into a manuscript that can then be published in print or digital format with just a fraction of the time, effort and money that it used to take with one of the more traditional avenues.
If you’ve already been flying solo with your book publishing efforts you may feel like you can find your success without help from anyone else. You definitely can, however, even the most independent self-publisher can benefit from combining their efforts with the efforts of others in order to achieve a mutually beneficial and common goal.
One example of this is using cross promotional marketing to improve the visibility of your brand and offers.
What is Cross Promotional Marketing?
Cross promotional marketing means targeting customers interested in a specific product with the promotion of a different but related product.
Here’s an example….
Imagine that you’ve just written a book that teaches readers about the basics of starting an online business. Next, imagine that you’d previously written a book that outlines the steps one needs to take in order to start a WordPress blog.
You could use your original book on blog building as a launch pad for your new book about starting an online business.
Likewise, if you launch your book on starting an online business and it becomes popular, you can cross promote your original book about WordPress blogging to the same audience since it is closely related to the process of doing business online.
But what happens if you don’t have two or more related book offers lined up and ready to go?
Even if you’ve only authored one book you can still reap the benefits of cross promotional marketing.
All you have to do is team up with another writer who has an offer that closely relates to your own and promote their book along with your offer while they return the favor using their own marketing channels.
A huge benefit of cross promotion is that you are not limited to a single partnership.
You can gain incredible leverage and massive exposure for your books by teaming up with several other self-publishers at the same time and cross promoting each other’s work.
The only caveat to this method is that you should always stick to promoting offers that you would be proud to call your own, because in a sense they do become yours and represent the overall quality of the books you offer to your audience.
The key to making cross promotional marketing work for your self-publishing business is to maintain a high level of quality in your own offers as well as the offers you promote.
How Do You Market Using Cross Promotion?
If you’re wondering exactly how cross promotional marketing works and how you can use it to improve your book selling prospects, there are several different methods you can try that each have the potential to boost your business results.
- Co-Authoring – One of the simplest ways to cross promote is to co-author a book with another writer. That way you do approximately half the work while reaping tremendous rewards for the finished offer.
- Bundling – Bundling is a very clever way of cross promoting book offers. It requires you to put two or more related offers together to create a single value-packed offer. Bundles allow you to earn more per sale and expose your customer to additional offers at the same time.
- Marketing For a Cause – Depending on the kind of books you write, another very effective cross promotional marketing technique is partnering up with foundations or charities for specific book offers. You can donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each book to that organization. Many people love to support products endorsed by their favorite charitable organizations, so books are an excellent vehicle for this type of arrangement.
- Cooperative Marketing – If you regularly spend money on marketing efforts that include email blasts, Facebook ads or any other similar form of paid promotion, partnering up with another self-published author to create a single promotion that highlights both of your offers goes a long way in saving you money.
By combining your efforts and sending out one promotional message instead of two, three or more, you can save a lot of money and enhance the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns over time.
- Joint Interviews – Interviews are one of the most effective ways to be viewed by prospects as a credible source of information while also helping to spread the word about your offers. Teaming up with other authors in a panel style interview about a central topic gives potential customers insight into your individual brands and personalities.
Joining forces with another author can also make it easier for you to book interviews if your partner is already well-known and sought after for media appearances.
- Price Breaks and Specials – Whether you do it exclusively with your own books or in collaboration with another author, an easy way to take advantage of cross promotional marketing is by offering specials and price breaks if prospects buy more than one book title in a single purchase.
Offering quantity discounts is an effective way of encouraging higher purchase volumes.
- Special Mentions – If you decide to team up with another author to cross promote your books, simply mentioning their name in your articles, social media blurbs and blog posts will get them on the radar of your audience and pique their curiosity enough for them to want to get more information.
Have your collaborator return the favor by name dropping you, your author website and your most popular book titles to get the covert promotional ball rolling in the right direction.
- Link Exchanges – Building on the idea of mentioning your cross promotional partners throughout your marketing materials, why not take things a little further by including a link back to their author website whenever it’s natural and appropriate to do so.
Linking to your marketing partner’s blog provides your website visitors and other prospects with an easy way to get more information about the author in question. It also provides the all-important link juice that helps search engines to identify quality websites and position them higher in their result pages.
- Pooled Mailing Lists – If you do any kind of promotion online you should be well aware that one of your most valuable assets is your email subscriber list. Having a list of people who have voluntarily given you access to their email is still one of the most powerful marketing tools that exist.
Imagine for a second that you could double, triple or quadruple your audience overnight with just a click of a button? What would it mean for your business to have 4 or more times the pre-qualified eyeballs than you have now seeing your offers on a regular basis?
It is very possible if you partner with other authors and cross promote your offers to each other’s lists.
While you cannot share your subscribers actual email addresses with anyone, there is no rule that prevents you from promoting offers to subscribers on your partners mailing lists and vice versa. So, go ahead, team up and create as many winning campaigns as you can.
By joining forces with other authors and using cross promotional marketing techniques you quickly increase your audience, your brand visibility and your reach without having to use up anywhere near the amount of time, money and resources that would be necessary to achieve similar results while going solo.
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