10 ways authors collaborate to promote their books

There is so much for authors to gain from working together, in very simple terms there is strength in numbers. Collaborating with other authors is a simple, and mostly super low-budget way of promoting your books.

Authors are collaborating in brilliant ways, so I’ve pulled some examples together which should give you plenty of ideas.

  1. Author Collectives

No two author collectives are exactly the same, but there are are a few ways they tend to work:-

  • Social media accounts for the collective (authors often take it in turns to run them)

  • A collective website

  • Authors work together on panels, festivals, bookshop events or indeed organise their own events

  • As a collective, authors can have a stronger voice and more hooks for publicity

  • Authors share skills, contacts & experiences - learn from each other’s success and mistakes.

  • They can blurb each other’s books

Here are a few of my favourite author collectives:-

The Prime Writers - a collective of authors whose debuts published aged 40+

Killer Women - bestselling crime author collective

Word Wenches - a collective of 8 historical fiction authors

Debut Authors ‘19 - a group of authors with adult and NA debuts out this year

Crime Cymru - diverse collective of Welsh crime authors

Blonde Potters - three authors based in Jersey

2. Events

Joining forces with other authors to run events is a great idea, not just because you can share the fear of nobody turning up with somebody else (;-)), but you can create the event you want. If you aren’t getting offered opportunities at festivals and other events, running your own is a great way of raising your profile too.

My Virtual Literary Festival - this is very cool, a new online festival organised by the The Blonde Plotters.

Killer Women Festival - incredibly popular annual festival created by the Killer Women team. Everything you’d expect from a great crime fiction festival.

Authors, Lucy-Anne Holmes and Robert Woodshaw have joined forces for a themed events - this gives the event a little more pulling power over say one author’s book launch. Canny way to attract a broader audience of fans of one author.

Work with other authors from your publisher to create a themed event, like these Unbound authors. This is a much easier pitch to a bookseller too.

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3. Cross-promoting books

It is very common to see a quote from authors on book covers and posters, an endorsement from another loved-author gives the book credibility and plays an important part in marketing books. Authors are very generous with their support for other authors and often share books they enjoy on social media, their websites and newsletters.

This is also a clever way to attract fans of other authors and books to your platform, so works on a marketing level. There are lots of simple ways to do this:-

Clare Mackintosh talks about her favourite recent reads on her newsletter (do sign up for her newsletter, it’s ace)

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Julian Stockwin does a regular round-up of books he recommends on his blog.

Liz Fenwick has a great Facebook page - she ran a competition for her readers to win an early proof of another Kate Riordan’s new book (with her permission). I know this post created huge engagement and reach. Really simple idea executed brilliantly.

Debut author Amy Lord interviews other debut authors on her blog, not just promoting other books but creating great content for her website at the same time.



4. Writing collaborations

There are obvious benefits of writing books with other authors although this is not to be considered lightly. Joanna Penn has some fantastic posts on her site about things to avoid when considering co-authoring books.

That said, the marketing upside is clear - two or more authors have the ability to promote to multiple audiences. You are introduced to the other author’s audience, particularly good if they have a much bigger fan base than yours.

Karin Slaughter and Lee Child have just written an 80 page e-short together which is very interesting. I can only assume this plays a small part in a larger book marketing campaign of their other books. Or they simply wanted to write a book together. Cool either way.

I love this collaboration between Sophie Hannah, BA Paris, Clare Mackintosh and Holly Brown using platform Serial Box. The book is released in episodes and readers subscribe. (As an aside, always a good idea to work with a new platform like this because they usually need content and may give you a significant marketing push).

5. Box sets and anthologies

The Killer Women collective published this anthology of original stories.

4 historical romance authors joined forced in this box set

This was created by a group of authors published by Unbound, a really cool way of introducing mostly debut authors to readers collectively.

6. Newsletter swaps

This is a smart way to build your newsletter list, you put info about about your reader magnet in other authors’ newsletters and they do the same in yours. This makes sense because readers will sign up to multiple author newsletters (especially if you write in similar genres). There are Facebook groups where you can find authors wishing to do newsletter swaps.

Note: You can NOT swap your newsletter lists ie you can’t allow other authors to mail your subscribers directly, this is against GDPR rules and a very fast way to annoy your subscribers.

7. Competitions

Running competitions with your book grouped with other books is a smart idea. You can always run these types of giveaways on Facebook or Twitter. You can also amplifying them with competition platforms that manage the process, encourage more viral type activity and can encourage sign ups to your newsletter or follows on social.

Platforms you can use: Prolific Works (formerly Instafreebie), Rafflecopter & Vyper.io

Rafflecopter multi-author giveaway

A Prolific Works multi-author short story giveaway.

Another Rafflecopter giveaway

8. Social Media

A lot of these ideas could easily slot into the other sections of this blog, but I thought I’d give you some quick-fire easy wins on social media.

Create a hashtag/regular online chat

Author and blogger, Lucy Powrie runs a regular twitter chat #UKYAChat about YA books. She often has guest authors involved and also has themes for each chat.

Interview each other

Another very simple idea - interview another author on your Facebook page. Most authors would be delighted to do so.

Create groups to share best practice, news, successes and failures

Create a private group on Facebook or a DM group on Twitter and share news with your trusted author friends and contacts. This works well for information you don’t want to share publicly.

Post a thread of books you recommend

Alice Slater shares her love of other books with this short, but sweet book thread.

Celebrate Hallmark days together

Join forces for Mother’s Day, Halloween, New Year and all the other Hallmark days of the year - they are great hooks to share book love and are all big book-buying times.

Amplify each other’s competitions

Share cover reveals

Publication day celebrations & online launch parties

Share blog tour posts

9. Author-run podcasts

It would be hard not to have noticed the rise and rise of podcasts and the huge growth in listeners. There are some fabulous podcasts run by authors celebrating other authors, books and writing, a nice variety here:

Author, Claire Handscombe runs The Brit Lit podcast.  A fortnightly show about news and views from the world of British books and publishing

Author, Claire Handscombe runs The Brit Lit podcast.

A fortnightly show about news and views from the world of British books and publishing

Authors Alice Slater and Bethany Rutter discuss a literary theme, from ghost stories to crime to fat women and interview other authors.

Authors Alice Slater and Bethany Rutter discuss a literary theme, from ghost stories to crime to fat women and interview other authors.

Authors, Mark Stay and Mark Desvaux runs this very popular podcast on the secrets of writing a bestseller. Loads of great info and interviews here on writing, book marketing & more.

Authors, Mark Stay and Mark Desvaux runs this very popular podcast on the secrets of writing a bestseller. Loads of great info and interviews here on writing, book marketing & more.

The Honest Authors’ Show  Bestselling authors Gillian McAllister and Holly Seddon discuss the truth about being an author, plus expert insider interviews.

The Honest Authors’ Show

Bestselling authors Gillian McAllister and Holly Seddon discuss the truth about being an author, plus expert insider interviews.

Authors Stevyn Colgan and Paul Waters run the We’d Like A Word podcast.  A podcast & radio show about words: writers, readers, books, poetry, lyrics, scripts, comedy, illustrators, agents & all things wordy.

Authors Stevyn Colgan and Paul Waters run the We’d Like A Word podcast.

A podcast & radio show about words: writers, readers, books, poetry, lyrics, scripts, comedy, illustrators, agents & all things wordy.

Run by author Giuseppe Porcaro, Europarama is a podcast series about science fiction and the imagined futures of Europe.

Run by author Giuseppe Porcaro, Europarama is a podcast series about science fiction and the imagined futures of Europe.

10. HELP!

I don’t have a number 10! I am sure I’m missing some very cool ways authors are collaborating. I’d love to hear from you with a number 10 for this post. Please post your author collaborations in comments below.

Further reading:

How Smart Collaboration Between Authors Helps Sell Books – A Case Study - JJ Toner for ALLi

Why Recommending (other) Books is an A-Game Book Promotion Strategy for 2019 - Penny Sansieveri

Collaborative Book Marketing for Indie Authors - Sarah Juckes for ALLi

14 Ways Authors Can Cross-Promote Each Other’s Books - Diana Urban, BookBub blog

How Authors Can Work Together To Promote Their Books - Book Marketing Tools

Great Prize Ideas for Book Promotion Contests and Giveaways - BookBub blog

How to successfully promote your book with a giveaway - PromoSimple