Right off, let me first acknowledge that this installment of Marketing Monday is two weeks and a day late. My apologies, especially to those of you who are following this blog. Occasionally other demands on my time get in the way of keeping on schedule, but please know that I do make every effort to post here every week.
I’ve been thinking a lot about creative community lately, and why I believe a commitment to it should be a core value for all artists, especially writers. We all need the support and encouragement of others who think and feel the way we do- for creative support, for business information, but also to experience a sense of belonging.
Another benefit to seeking out and participating with groups of like-minded people are the opportunities this kind of networking creates for marketing. I’m thrilled to see grassroots projects popping up all over the place – from group blogs to indie-author information sharing sites, topical message boards, crowd-sourcing, and more.
In my opinion co-op marketing is just plain smart and practical. It makes sense, it feels good, and when done right, it is powerful. The combined efforts of the group exponentially broaden each participating author’s reach while simultaneously lightening the burden on the individual. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts, as they say.
I first noticed this happening in the world of romance writers and historical fiction authors, and now see it trending everywhere. Authors helping other authors and thereby helping themselves. And let us not overlook the charity drives, public awareness campaigns, fundraising, and the general spreading of good will. Love it. LOVE it.
I’m going to spend the rest of this post giving a shout out to a few of the SFF authors I support, cuz, like, you know, these are my peeps. But these particular folks are also committed to community building and shared marketing, and doing it particularly well.
But first, one recommendation for co-op marketing that you might not have heard about. If you aren’t familiar with or using Triberr, take a look. Awesome tool. Really.
This week one of my favorite fantasy authors Teresa Frohock is touting the launch of a genre / publisher specific collective author site designed to promote and support its members and their books. The kick-off includes an innovative giveaway. SFF fans should check out Booksworn (click here) for some of the most interesting new voices in fantasy fiction from Nightshade Books. Also, if you haven’t read Teresa’s debut dark fantasy MISERERE, I highly suggest that you check that out too! Click on the book cover art to be taken to the Amazon book page.
Last week I had the privilege and the pleasure of attending a local signing by one of my literary heroes – Terry Brooks. Terry was sharing the spotlight with the well-known fantasy artist Todd Lockwood, and his web druid turned author / publisher Shawn Speakman. Shawn, who has been managing Terry’s website and other marketing for years, is a cancer survivor facing mountains of treatment related debt. In an effort to dig out from under, his imprint Grim Oak Press is releasing a fabulous short story anthology featuring the work of some of the best voices in fantasy fiction – including Terry Brooks, Patrick Rothfuss, Jacqueline Carey, R.A. Salvatore, Naomi Novik and many more. To pre-order UNFETTERED, click here.
NEW WAVE AUTHORS is a cooperative e-zine created and hosted by my fellow 47North author Rob Kroese. Rob publishes this site as both a promotional vehicle in support of all Amazon Publishing authors, and as an educational hub for writers. Amazon Publishing authors contribute content on a broad range of publishing related topics. Rob has also created a cross-roads at which many Amazon Publishing authors meet and go on to build friendly networks of mutual support across all the social media channels.
And last, a special shout out to colleague and friend, entertainment writer Tara Bennett, who is an A-lister when it comes to networking and mutual marketing. Her latest endeavor, FRINGE: September’s Notebook (the authorized companion guide to the TV series) was released last week. If you are a Fringe fan, you can get the book here .