By Jennifer Hallmark
**Previously published on the Seriously Write Blog.
Congratulations! You’ve been asked to join a book compilation. Maybe a friend needs your short story that’s been sitting stagnant in that file folder for a short story collaboration. Or perhaps you’ve been asked to write a novella to go with a series on, let’s say romantic suspense. Or maybe like me, you’ve been asked to contribute to a book with nine other authors, each adding her style and character to make the story unique.
One nagging fear floats in the back of your mind, keeping you from sending that email with a resounding “Yes, I’ll do it.”
To many, marketing is the hardest part of being a writer, whether you write novels, articles, or blog. The thoughts of marketing a book that’s not totally yours can seem daunting. It can, however, be done and actually even be enjoyable.
Yes, I said enjoyable.
Let’s take Unlikely Merger, the third book compilation I’d been privileged to take part in. Here’s the blurb:
No longer needed as her father’s nurse, Mercy Lacewell attempts to step into his shoes at his acquisitions firm. That means travel, engaging strangers, and making final decisions—nothing she feels equipped to do. If her best friend has her way, Mercy will simply marry one of the single, available men she meets, but they overwhelm her. So handsome and kind. And so many. Even if she felt obliged, how could she ever choose?
Should she shove all attraction aside and focus on her father’s business, or is God warming her heart with the possibility of forever?
It proved to be a great story. How could ten women and a publisher work together to make Unlikely Merger successful? The key was simple.
Tracy Ruckman, former publisher at Write Integrity Press, said it like this:
“During our collaborative projects, we stress the importance of cross-promotion. Collaborations give authors a chance to focus their marketing on each other instead of themselves, and their efforts benefit everyone involved.”
It’s the golden rule of book compilations.
Or as it says in Matthew 7:12 in the Message Bible: “Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them…”
Our contributors invited each other to write blog posts. We shared each author’s social media updates: Facebook posts, tweets, Google plus, and more. We belonged to a closed Facebook group where we encouraged each other, shared prayer requests, and talked about the book.
In short, we esteemed one another better than ourselves. At the end of the day, each person was lifted up and everyone had a good time. Best of all, marketing had become a learning experience that we can carry to our next project.
Which for me was another compilation called Not Alone: A Literary and Spiritual Companion for those Confronted with Infertility and Miscarriage, which released in December of 2015.
It proved to be another opportunity to enjoy marketing. With a team.
The secret of significant and successful marketing.
Writing Prompt: Allie stared at the email. They wanted her to write a romance novella for a box set? Did they not realize her love life was…