With the ever changing world of social media and publishing we can expect to be busy and working hard to stay ahead of the curve. With that in mind, my blog partner Sher and I have hatched an idea that I believe will help in many ways. We are attempting to put together a children’s book author/blogger cooperative. What in the world do I mean by that? Well, we all know how working our social media avenues, whether in the area of marketing, education, or blogging, takes up mountains of our time. If we don’t manage our time effectively (and sometimes even if we do) there seems to never be enough time left to actually write.
Our proposal for an author/blogger cooperative is really quite simple. We would like to assemble a cooperative of ten to twenty authors and bloggers. The individuals would write and/or blog in the same genre as we do, children’s books, from picture books to middle grade and YA. If you have a great idea to name the group or a catchy motto, please comment for all to see and we’ll vote. If you have artistic talent and want to make a group button to share, we could use your help too. The group objectives can be summed up as sharing time, talents, and marketing to help each of us succeed. Here is a breakdown of specific methods we plan to use to achieve our objectives:
– Guest posts.
One sure fire way to increase your exposure is to write guest posts. You are an expert in many things, why not let the world know? Guest posts help get your name out there to the masses. They help readers to get to know you. Many readers are much more familiar with an author’s name than their books’ names. Guest posts also let the world know your expertise. If you think you’re not an expert on anything, remember that nobody knows your books as well as you do. You have a chance to share your knowledge with others and in a sense, give back, and help others in ways that we have all needed along the way.
On a blogger level, guests posts mean one less post that you, the blogger, have to research and write. If the Cooperative were in place as we envision it, it would allow bloggers to actually take vacations. The same idea applies to times of sickness, moves, you name it. You would be able to turn to your fellow authors/bloggers in this cooperative to write guests posts for you. Then they would return the favor when you didn’t have time to write a post, and so on. It is perfectly acceptable to share an older post as long as it’s still relevant. The second time around, it will likely reach a wider audience.
– Cross Promoting.
This would be a no-brainer for the cooperative. What better way to reach the masses than to expand your reach? As we would all travel within the same kidlit genres but most likely have different followers and readers, cross-promoting would open new avenues and allow you to cast your hook in new ponds, so to speak. The power of many is much greater than the power of one. We could post a separate page specifically for group members on our blogs or websites. You won’t even have to create this page. You send us your author promotion information in html (see instructions for what to include and how to make it on our Author Hosting page). As group co-chairmen, Sher or I will make the page including everyone and send you the html code to post.
– Joint Giveaways.
I’ve seen authors collaborate on giveaways and promotions. Some groups coordinate their free promos (if you are so inclined to do such a thing), create a web page and promote it as a group. I have always thought that was a wonderful idea to expand our audience. For the sake of this cooperative, it would remain relatively simple, but I believe, extremely effective and far reaching. We would share the code with each author in the group and link to each other creating a hop for our joint giveaways. We would split costs evenly, so a $200 ereader with a group of 20 authors would cost $10 each. A second prize might be a selection of our eBooks.
– Critiquing and/or beta-reading
I even envision this group critiquing each others WIP’s. I think a close-knit, yet diverse group such as this would make a wonderful critique group. We could share our knowledge and skills and in doing so, create better writers, which after all is the name of the game.
Sher here. When I approached Paul about forming an author co-op, he showed the interest and initiative necessary to get it up and running even though I wasn’t ready to participate yet. I had no qualms about making him a blog administrator and I fully trust him to administer this group in my absence. I couldn’t ask for a better blog partner, so I hope you join us in our efforts to become more successful writers and marketers of our books.
How do you join our group? Add your name to the linky below. When we reach five children’s book authors/bloggers, we’ll create an author co-op page for your blog or website. For each additional person thereafter, we’ll send you an updated page. When we reach ten (including both of us), we’ll send an email invitation to join a joint giveaway, probably for a $100 ereader to keep costs down. Thereafter, we’ll plan giveaways around holidays or book launches with the caveat that each member will be responsible to spend $10 for group giveaways at least four times each year. Don’t think of it as a membership fee because it’s not. It’s an advertising fee or a marketing cost.