Friday, June 13, 2008

Marketing with a coauthor


This week a coauthor on one of the projects I'm working on was in town. It was a great time together. The best part is that we were able to have fun while making progress on the book.

So today I want to share some marketing tips for those of you who coauthor books. Consider how tese tips can be applied to your overall marketing plan.

1. Have marketing epicenters.

By this I mean both of you should be hitting the marketing of the project together AND independently. For me and my coauthor the epicenters are geographical. He is in Texas and I'm up by Toledo, Oh. Therefore we're each able to build separate markets while working on our joint project. If you both live close together then your epicenters might be social. Maybe one of you is a homeschooler and the other is in to scrapbooking. There are two separate 'areas' that each can market in.

2. Have a united vision.

Nothing will destroy a collaboration faster than if one person feels they're doing everything and the other isn't contributing. Make sure there is clear, open communication and both of you are committed to not only WRITE the project, but to market it. Now if want to do a division of labor where each works in their strengths [maybe one is a blogger and the other is great at public appearances] then do that. Just make certain each feels that the other is working with them.

3. Have a contract

I believe firmly in putting it in writing and being specific! I was very uncomfortable at first about doing this when I was working with people I know well but it is to protect my friendship as much as any financial issues that may arise from the books. Kathy Ide has some great examples at The Christian PEN. [And that website is a GREAT resource if you'd ever like to check it out.]

4. Have Fun

I tend to be very business minded when it comes to my writing. I take it very seriously and am focused to a fault. My coauthor, Tony, balances that. He is helping me focus on the relationship aspect of writing. My other coauthor, Nora, is great at helping me believe in myself when things get frustrating. By working with these two other people on different projects every aspect of my writing life is growing.

5. Help each other

Always remember, in marketing, writing and life it isn't always what someone else does to help US-we also need to focus on what we contribute to bring out the best in the marketing skills of our coauthors. With Nora it is bouncing off ideas of how to maximize the opportunities she has. With Tony "The Duck" Brown, it is about taking his expertise and applying it to marketing books rather than concerts. I hope that I'm able to use what I know to build both of these people up. It's not about my ego, it's about the projects. Sometimes I'm nearly invisible because that's what the project dictates. Other times I'm front and center. In music there is always a lead singer and there's the Harmony. Know your place on each project and you'll have a far better marketing strategy.

So whether you're flying solo or working on a team, create a marketing plan that capitalizes on the giftings, opportunities and the strengths of the project.

Your Coach for the Journey, Tiffany Colter

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