Over the years, I’ve run a lot of cross-promotions and participated in many of them too.
Here are my top 5 dos and don’ts for author cross-promotions to help you make sure they are successful and you will be invited back.
Don’t make it hard to contact you.
Whenever I’m reaching out to fellow authors to see if they would be interested in a collaboration, I head to their website first to find their email address. If you either don’t have a website or your website doesn’t have a contact form or your email address, I won’t be able to contact you. By the way, another good reason why you want to make it easy to contact you is so people can alert you when your book was pirated.
If you are invited to participate in a cross-promotion, read the instructions carefully and then follow them to the letter. For example, when the submission form asks for a 1-sentence description of your blurb, don’t send the entire blurb.
Don’t rely on your memory alone.
You really don’t want to gain a reputation for being unreliable. The moment you sign up for a cross-promotion, put the dates, deadlines, and details in your planner and/or set reminders on your phone. What book did you promise to give away? When do you have to change the price of your book in order for it to be free/discounted by the time the cross-promo starts?
Take careful note of when the promotion starts and make sure you don’t send out your newsletter or post on social media before or after the agreed-upon time.
Keep time zones in mind. For example, if the promo starts at 10 a.m. Eastern Time, convert that time to your time zone so you don’t start promoting too early or too late. Time zone converters can help you with that.
Help promote to the best of your ability.
Don’t let the organizer or your fellow authors do all the work. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, most cross-promotions require for you to send out a newsletter and to share on social media at least once. Not sending out a newsletter doesn’t just cheat your fellow authors, but also your readers. Part of the reason why they signed up for your newsletter is to hear about exciting events like giveaways or sales.
If for any reason, e.g., an emergency situation, you can’t help promote, let the organizer know so they don’t kick you out of the cross-promotion or put you on their list of people not to invite back.
Promote the right way.
Make sure your newsletter and social media posts include:
- An image. In many cases, the cross-promotion organizer will provide you with a graphic you can use. Make sure you use the right image size for each social media platform.
- A text that describes the cross-promotion and why readers should check it out. Don’t rely on an image alone—that’s true for all newsletters you are sending out, by the way. Many email clients don’t display images by default, so if you only put the graphic in your newsletter and no text, all many readers will see is an empty space.
- A call to action. Tell your readers what they should do next, e.g., “Enter the giveaway,” etc.
- A link. The cross-promotion organizer will send you the link to share with your readers. Make sure you use the link they sent you, not any other link. Don’t just paste the link on your image—make sure the link is easily recognizable as a link (or use a button). Don’t make it hard for readers to figure out where to click. Before sending out your newsletter, send a test email to yourself and make sure all links work.
To show you what it might look like in a newsletter, here’s an example of how I promoted a joint audiobook giveaway I organized and a BookFunnel promo I participated in.
If you heed these five simple tips on author cross-promotions, you’ll quickly gain a reputation as a team player and a good collaborator that any fellow author or cross-promo organizer will be happy to invite again!
Do you have any questions?
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions about how to cross-promote your books, let me know in the comments.