Monday, July 27, 2009

Using cross promotion in book marketing

Today I want to share a couple of ways I've used cross promotional opportunities to successfully reach new audiences. Hopefully these examples will help you come up with a few cross promotion ideas to help you market your unique book.

Back when my novel was new, I wanted to reach equine enthusiasts as a secondary market because a horse owned by the main character plays a major part in the plotline. After doing a google search, I contacted the Equine Art Guild and asked if anyone would be interested in working with an historical fiction author (a fellow "starving artist") on a promotional project. I received a handful of responses and picked Kristen Queen, who specializes in equine and animal portraiture. Kristen already had a piece of art that resembled the equine character in my book (named Justus) - and I really liked her style.

In addition to placing information on her website about my book (and me doing the same for her), Kristen also created an entire Justus store on Cafepress which helps get the word out about her art and helps me by showcasing a character in my book. We also incorporated each other's contact information on all our promotional material, including "Justus" greeting cards that I had printed to give out at book signings.

The great thing about cross promotion is it doesn't have to cost anything to reach a new audience. Kristen's art is now being seen at the festivals and book signings I attend, and my book is being seen at art shows and horse events that she attends.

My latest cross promotional project involves the trailer for the Civil War novel Shades of Gray. Since authentic-looking Civil War stock art is a little hard to come by, I requested permission to use the artwork of renowned artist Dale Gallon (never really thinking I would get it). Mr. Gallon not only gave me permission, he is linking his website to mine, helping me to reach Civil War enthusiasts in a whole new way.

No author has the time or money to reach all their potential audiences. Concentrate your energy on a small, defined group, and then think of ways to reach secondary and related audiences without expending a lot of time.