Getting Your “Tribes” to Help Promote You and Your Book
We all have many “tribes” – family, friends, culture, ethnicity, gender, education, work, religion, politics, etc. Most tribe members enjoy the vicarious thrill of success on the part of someone they know or can relate to: “One of us done good.”
As a published author, you have given them that vicarious thrill. Chances are, they’ll want to help you become even more successful, which will further heighten their vicarious thrill. Seek out those people . . . but don’t just take; you must also give. I call it “cross-pollination.”
1. Someone I worked with decades ago published a novel (work tribe). My vicarious thrill led me to post about it on social media. Also, although we hadn’t spoken in about 40 years, I congratulated him through the magic of the internet. In our emails, I mentioned my dream of publishing my children’s stories. He then introduced me to his publisher, who is now my publisher too. Since then, he has posted about my various endeavors to promote my book three times on his blog. Each time, I re-posted his blog on my social media to give him a wider audience as well.
2. My sister (family tribe) “cold-called” the editor of a newspaper that publishes about our country of origin and people (ethnic tribe). The editor agreed not only to write about me but to organize a book launch party to introduce me to the community cultural leaders too. I also agreed to be interviewed by her about a personal topic for a different publication. Because that other publication has a wide audience, I spent the time and mental/emotional energy for the project in return for greater publicity.
3. I contacted a different editor of a similar newspaper elsewhere (ethnic tribe). She wrote an article about me, which in turn led to her publishing a personal essay I wrote, and an interview of me on a TV show. Because of this exposure, the primary entertainment journalist of the U.S. arm of one of the largest multimedia conglomerates from my country of origin (ethnic tribe) is requesting an on-camera interview with me.
4. My university alumni magazine agreed to include my book in an issue featuring alumni authors (education tribe), adding to their need for content.
5. Someone (friends tribe) recommended I join a Facebook group for certain moms (racial/cultural/gender tribes). Because the group rules prohibit self-promotion, I made myself known by posting on issues that mattered to the group or that helped others in the group. Several members googled me, saw my book, told the group about the book, and bought it for themselves.
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This will often feel like networking on steroids. But because the current marketplace of competing ideas is overcrowded and noisy, your tribes can help you be seen, heard and, ultimately, read.
Marissa Bañez is a lawyer and author of the children’s illustrated book, Hope and Fortune. Her second book, Hues and Harmony (How the Rainbow Butterfly Got Her Colors) will be published on July 20, 2023.
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