Whether your book is young adult fiction, a non-fiction self-help book, an historical thriller, or any other genre, associating your book with other, more famous books, is an excellent marketing strategy.
But how, as a first-time author, do you do this? You have to make the connection in the minds of your readers and potential readers. Amazon does this all the time. Check below the description for any Amazon book listing and you’ll see “Customers Who Bought This Book Also Bought,” and a listing of several books. Below that there is the “sponsored content” area where you can pay to be listed next to another author’s book.
Of course, the listing you don’t pay for is always best, but considering a “sponsored content” ad may be a good way to jumpstart a new book. Do this carefully and selectively. You want to make sure that you choose the right author to list your book next to.
But before you pay for an ad—any ad—there are some things you should do first.
Using Your Social Media
Use your social media to develop a relationship in your readers’ mind between your work and that of other authors. When blogging, tweeting, and posting develop a list of six to ten other authors in your field, then talk about their books. At the bottom of your post make sure you add a link to your own book. Use hashtags with the other author’s name, as well as hashtags for you and your book.
Why should you promote someone else’s book? Particularly someone who is already famous? Because people already recognize that name and may share your post. The author you have mentioned may even share your post or tweet! And because it is just good karma.
While you should certainly include a couple of the most famous authors in your field in your list, your should also have a few “midlist” authors (authors who are less well-known but have been out there a while and have a following) and some newer authors, also. You may want to contact some of these authors and consider a joint promotion, trading guest blogs, or other promotional strategies.
Finding Partner Authors
Where will you find these lesser-known authors? Why on the Amazon lists, of course. Start by checking out the “Customers Who Bought This Book” and “Sponsored Content” lists. Next, type in your own categories and search for similar books. Buy the books and read them, so you can talk about them. Review them on Amazon. Check out their websites and Amazon author pages. Are they active? Do they blog or tweet? You can’t effectively partner with someone who isn’t interested in promoting their work, no matter how good it is.
Pulling it All Together
First, use your social media to talk about the authors. Next, contact some of the authors through their websites and see if you can develop a relationship with them. Third, don’t give up after only a few weeks or even months. These types of strategies take time. You are in this for the long haul. Set up a schedule that includes social media, book promotions, in-person promotions, etc. Put reminders on your calendar and make sure you follow up.