August 25, 2010

Book Marketing Collaboration Wins by a Mile Five steps for great teamwork by Julie Weinstein

Book marketing is not a solitary event. It’s not like writing a book. It’s a social process involving networking and promotions to generate buzz about your book. One of the more fun ways to get the momentum building is through marketing collaboration with other authors.

Collaboration among authors works like a track relay team where each player runs and passes the baton to the next runner. If one member of the team drops the baton and forgets to do his or her part the whole team loses.

In athletics, teamwork is a necessary component for success. The same is true in a collaborative environment like book marketing—where an idea shared can transform a good promotions effort into a great one that catches on like wild fire. Collaboration makes the sum greater than the individual components.

Instilling the attitude for true collaborative teamwork is difficult. In a way, it’s like a “think tank”—a place where ideas and strategies develop and are nurtured. Inherent in this process is acceptance of the collaborative effort without fear of recrimination or rejection. Respect is crucial.

The core elements to collaboration involve:

Setting up expectations
Developing open communication
Trusting each others input
Willing to share
Committing to teamwork

Setting up expectations

The collaborative process works best by setting up expectations from the getgo. Understand what each person wants and needs. Have fun exploring this and seeing how you can work together to help market each others’ books.

Developing open communication

Trust each one another. Respect the other’s viewpoints, and listen to what each other has to say. It also involves including each other in the process. Remember, they’re part of your collaborative team.

Willing to share

Brainstorm together. Test out opportunities that benefit both parties. Recognize when the other’s niche is needed, even if there’s nothing in it for you. For instance, one author might see a call for a column on mystery writing. The other might notice a call for something on magic realism. It takes all a couple of seconds to share this kind of information. When the other party knows you’re thinking of them in this way they’ll be quick to reciprocate.

Committing to teamwork

All parties need a willingness to work together. When one party pulls out of this process it’s as if a team mate drops the baton in the track and field race causing the process to fail.

How to do you get collaboration started?

Start talking to other authors. Get to know each other. Make friends in social network media environments like Facebook and writer related forums and in your local community.

Open the dialogue. For instance one author might say to another,” Hey, I admire your books. Are you looking to do more marketing? Would you be willing to brainstorm and see how we can help each other?”

An author might answer, “Wow, that sounds great. How about we do some joint book reviews? Why don’t we interview each other? Hey, what about guest blogging on each others’ blogs?”

The sharing of opportunities like this can not only be beneficial, but a joyful learning process. Once you agree to help each other out in this collaborative way, remember to always emphasize trust and comfort in the process. Remind each other,” Book marketing is not a solitary event. We’re running this race together. We’ll sell books and have fun.”

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1 comment:

  1. Collaborative writing can be quite intimidating for some writers. Thank you, Julie, for presenting guidelines, helpful hints,to make this kind of joint effort less overwhelming!