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Help Others, Help Yourself: Everyone Wins!

Here’s to you, Self Published Authors! I know you put in long hours writing and creating your books and then, as soon as you cross that finish line, you enter a brand new race: the book marketing marathon. Even the most hardworking and diligent among us can occasionally get tired and hit roadblocks. When that happens, I encourage you to take a deep breath and call on your network. When you team up, you share the struggle AND you share the love, and you can help each other take your exposure to a new level!

Networking is a mutually beneficial way for you and other authors to increase your exposure and create new word-of-mouth buzz. And in the big scheme of things, it’s one of the least expensive book marketing strategies. It just takes a little collaboration.

Below is a list of marketing strategies that you can do with a partner or two. Keep in mind that all of these suggestions need to be agreed upon by all parties. And you’ll need plan to ensure your collaborators reciprocate in a timely manner. Most always the intentions are good. But people get busy, so agree to a deadline or plan things well in advance.

1. Double up on the swag

Doing an event? Sending giveaway prizes to fans? Maybe celebrating a new release? Instead of just giving your fans your own swag or prizes, include those of another author as well. Why? First, you’re doing your fellow author a solid and helping them sell more books in the future. But also, you’re showing your fans you value their interests and dedication by making personal recommendations about other authors and books they may like.

2. Exchange ARCs

This is an excellent author marketing strategy for gaining early reviews. You should be doing it for your own books. But maybe you hadn’t considered doing a trade with another author to get books in more hands. Hit up your author friend list and see who’s up for a trade!

3. Give some newsletter love

This one is so easy it’s almost criminal! Trade some newsletter space and you both benefit from each other’s email lists. Use this opportunity to announce a new release or giveaway or something exciting. Perhaps you can trade Q&As to introduce your respective networks to the other author’s work. Or maybe you trade the first chapter of an upcoming book for a really good tease! Newsletters are generally consumed by super readers, so it’s a good group of people to potentially sell more books to.

4. Sweeten the deal for a giveaway

Very similar to swag, more prizes are always better! Giveaways are excellent book marketing strategies. Why? Because it’s about the readers, and not so much about the author. Partner up to make the prize that much bigger!

5. Say yes to group events

Whether you’re doing a Zoom event, or you are wishing for an in-person event as things in the country open up, you may have more success pitching it to venues or organizations as a multiauthor event. This goes for bookstores, coffee shops, libraries, you name it: in my experience, all of these outlets have either virtual or in-person, outdoor events going on. The more you can offer the venue, the more likely they are to draw in interest.

6. Share all your big news

A major part of author marketing is keeping things exciting and taking advantage of big news, like cover releases and pre-order listings. Get in the habit of sharing these with other authors in your genre. You’ll gain that much more exposure for each new milestone. And when you see another author in your network doing the same? Share it on social so that your followers can take advantage, too!

7. Participate on Goodreads

Some very savvy authors are involved in groups on Goodreads. They’re really getting in good, no pun intended, with readers in their genre. Jump in and add more insight to these conversations. And go out of your way to connect with these other authors. They are prime candidates for networking and collaboration because they’re obviously dedicated to putting in time. And time is what it takes to sell more books in today’s increasingly competitive market.

8. Make your own book recommendations

This is a great way to get started with your networking. You should be a fan of your own genre, and with that comes reading other authors’ books. Be a little more generous with your recommendations. Start posting them on social media. And don’t forget to tag the author and their respective accounts. It’s one of the more subtle book marketing strategies that can really open doors for you.

The takeaway

If you want to sell more books, you need to be open to author marketing strategies that probably put you out of your comfort zone. If you’re a genuine fan of your genre, then it will be easy to cheer on your network of authors. When it comes to book marketing, helping others to succeed can give you a shot of much-needed adrenaline and help you to move ever closer to that Amazon bestseller flag.


Penny Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc. (AME) and Adjunct Professor at NYU, is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most cutting-edge book marketing campaigns. To learn more about Penny and AME, visit


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