Cross-pollination and Book Promotion

I’ve been flinging around cross-pollination as a way to promote and market novels. What it means (at least when I say it) is that instead of competing with other writers in your genre by elbowing or pushing and competing as adversaries, why not take a tip from the bees? Bees help flowers pollinate and the flower nourishes the bee. Plus, bees are equal-opportunity pollinators.
Writing Tip for Today: Cross-pollination isn’t hard or expensive. Here’s how to start your own cross-pollination campaign:
Know your genre. Find out the names and websites of at least ten other authors in your genre. If you know who your competition is, you’re more likely to stay current and you may even make friends.
Get to know them. In a friendly email, Facebook note or on a blog, mention that you noticed this other author’s work. Ask if they have guests on their blog or whether they do book reviews and offer your book(s). Hold off asking to swap publicity until they know you’re not some spy or enemy.
Ready, set, swap! Once you establish a relationship, ask if they’d want to swap publicity. By this I mean that you agree to announce/plug/shout out their book on your network in exchange for their announcing your book on theirs. Be sure to be clear that you’re not asking for stuff that costs money or even much time. In my experience, most are willing to make a brief announcement on your behalf.
Spread the pollen!: Book promotion is much more pleasant and rewarding if you maintain a cheerful, nonthreatening attitude. By cross-pollination, you can stay as busy as a bee for free. Go out and find your 10 authors today!
For my readers: I’m out of town, in Arizona for a week, so if I miss a post, don’t worry–I’ll be back in Oregon on Sept. 16th. Keep writing!

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About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

4 comments on “Cross-pollination and Book Promotion

  1. And Cheryl, you are on the right track by building a blog audience now. Once we get the idea that other writers aren’t mean or jealous, we’ll be able to increase our readerships.

  2. OK, being a farmers wife, I love this analogy. It’s really what keeps the world going round. I like knowing that any success of mine can be passed along to help someone else.

  3. Great tip and so true! I know I wondered (once upon a time) about why I should bother promoting and networking with other authors who are basically doing the same thing. After all, we honestly can’t afford to buy all of each other’s books! But then I began to realize exactly what you said – it’s about making friends and connections within the industry, which can have valuable pay offs later on when you need friends to ‘swap’ promotions with etc. (And it’s fun and encouraging, too!)

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