Writerpreneur: Cross Promotion

gregorywotr_002.gifCross promotion, sometimes called collaborative marketing, is the perfect way to grow your writing career. How does cross promotion work? Two or more people combine their efforts to promote a product or event.

Here’s a nice example. Writers on the Rise’s Christina Katz had a super cross-promotion event in September: The Writer Mama Back to School Daily Giveaway. She held a daily drawing and gave away someone else’s book or product every day for a month. The result: Christina promoted all those give-away authors to her email and blog lists; and each of the authors participating in the giveaway promoted the event to their own blog, newsletter and email followings. Together, they collectively introduced themselves to thousands of people.

One benefit of cross promotion is that everyone involved with the promotion gets access to everyone else’s audience. And, you don’t need to go as big as Christina on your first cross-promotion effort. The Internet makes cross promotion simple and effective. If both you and your cross-promotion partner have email or newsletter lists, you could suggest an advertisement exchange.

Ready for something a little bigger? First, decide what you want to promote. It might be your new book, a teleseminar, class or live event. Next, find a perfect partner match– another author or business with an audience that will find your product or service beneficial. Contact them and propose a cross-promotion event and brainstorm to find the perfect promotion. Finally, promote your event to your email lists, blogs and newsletters.

One of the reasons cross promotion works is trust. The folks who read your blog and sign up for your email list have a relationship with you. They trust you. When you introduce them to new authors and products, they extend their trust for you to what you promote. It’s therefore important to only promote people who are worthy of that trust.

Do you see a trend here? Cross promotion works best when there’s a mutual benefit for everyone involved. Not just you and your cross-promotion partner, but also for the audience you are both trying to reach.

If you’re not ready to go it alone, you might want to combine forces with a larger group to start. If you’re an author, check out Author’s Coalition (AC) at Red Engine Press. They do frequent cross-promotion and collective marketing events that include attending major west coast book fairs. One of my own cross-promotion efforts, LAMOO Books, is in this category, too. The site offers autographed books at a discount and features a different author each week on all the pages. As authors promote these programs, they are also cross promoting the other authors involved. A little effort from each creates a collective marketing landslide.

How can you use cross promotion to build your writing career?

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Gregory A. Kompes, author of the bestseller 50 Fabulous Gay-Friendly Places to Live and the Writer’s Series, speaks at conferences and teaches Internet self-promotion courses online. Gregory is editor of Queer Collection: Prose & Poetry, Patchwork Path, The Fabulist Flash, and Eighteen Questions, a Q&A series that collects published authors experiences (chosen a “101 Best Websiteby Writer’s Digest ). In Las Vegas, he hosts the Writerpreneur Workshops and co-host’s the Writer’s Pen & Grill. Gregory holds a BA in English Literature from Columbia University, New York, and a certificate in Online Teaching and Learning and an MS Ed. from California State University, East Bay.

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