Expert publishing blog opinions are solely those of the blogger and not necessarily endorsed by DBW.
A lot of people that ask me how I got started marketing my books. There are so many options out there for marketing your books, and as you probably know, some are effective, and some… not so much. I’ll tell you about the number one way I marketed my books early on when I didn’t have a list or a fan base. It’s a way of sharing the marketing effort: joining with other authors in anthologies.
Group Marketing is a Win-Win
First, let’s think about shared marketing at its core. It doesn’t exactly bring up a good feeling for most of us.
Remember back in junior high when you were in a group for a project? If you’re anything like me, I HATED group projects because one or two members would pull the weight of the whole group while everyone else lounged around, taking advantage of the “free ride!”
Group marketing sounds like it might be the same scenario, but when working in Anthologies, that’s not the case. Another thing to clear up in your competitive mindset (if that’s you!) is that our assets or products are fiction novels for the most part.
It’s not as if we’re selling $80K cars. Most people don’t buy one book their whole lives, but many books. So you joining arms and helping co-promote with another author or group of authors isn’t giving your competition a one-up. If you’re working with other authors in your genre, then it’s spreading the news about all of the books in the co-promotion equally to everyone. It’s a total win-win.
That reader is going to buy books of that genre from several authors, if not many! Might as well be you and a few author pals that have similar works to you.
Authors Work Together
Onto the anthology! One type of anthology is a collection of stories written by various author and complied into one large omnibus. The authors usually come together and create the topic/genre and set up a few standard rules, including due dates for story submission, formatting specifics and the like. They work together to choose the cover, the title, and the blurb.
Everyone pulls a bit of the load, and when you release the book, you PUSH like crazy together. It’s hard work selling a book, as I’m sure you’re aware of, but when you do it in arms with other authors, it makes the load a little lighter.
Now, I said selling, which for me was the wrong term. A lot of authors are using anthologies to make a profit and/or to hit one of the coveted lists with. More power to them. I only used and will ever use anthologies to try and cross-pollinate fans with other writers. All of my anthologies are, and were, free.
After being a participant in 5-6 of these efforts, I finally stepped up and decided to run several of my own. I pulled together some writer friends who had similar genres as myself, and we did novella short stories for Halloween and then again for Christmas.
There’s some time involved in these projects, but the monetary investment was $25, and we hit number 1 in the holiday section on Amazon and broke through the top 100 for Free with very little effort. It was a fantastic way to share my readers, and have my friends do the same.
Give Anthologies A Try
Anthologies are just one way of utilizing marketing with low cost and a small time commitment (unless you’re steering the ship, then get ready for some time involved) and get your books out into the market. We’re all looking for effective, cheap means of marketing.
Anthologies were it for me when I started. If you’ve not done one, give it a try.