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This blog was featured on 03/13/2018
How Authors Can Partner With Influencers
Contributor
Written by
She Writes
March 2018
Contributor
Written by
She Writes
March 2018

An influencer is someone who has the attention of an audience you share. This can be a blogger, book reviewer, social media all-star, librarian, fellow author, industry expert, celebrity or any other professional who is currently leading and “influencing” a particular niche.

Influencer marketing – or working with an influencer to promote your product – has become really popular, but many authors struggle with how to approach these influencers and what to actually ask for when they get their attention.

Research

The best way to initiate a quality relationship with an influencer is to start putting in the work long before you ever make contact. It’s really important to make sure that the influencers you’re interested in connecting with have direct contact with your actual audience.

An Instagrammer who posted a picture of a book one-time is not necessarily a good fit for an author. And even a book reviewer isn’t always an exact fit if they only review outside of your genre.

To find good influencers, you want to look for:

  1. Genre alignment – The influencer should not only be interested in books, but also in your particular niche. Some influencers who don’t typically review books could still be a good fit, but if they don’t operate within your same topic, it’s unlikely they’ll be interested.
  2. Big fish and small – Some tend to aim for the top of the mountain when they think of influencer marketing, but an influencer doesn’t have to be a whale. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the 5 million-follower social media star, but an influencer can also be someone with 5,000 followers and may be more accessible.
  3. Long-term opportunities – Working with an influencer shouldn’t just be about what they can do for you. They also should be someone you can see yourself engaging with and interacting with over a long period. Getting the attention of an influencer is a long-term play so whoever you’re interested in engaging with should be someone you could see being in a professional relationship with for more than a just the time around your publication day.

When reaching out to influencers you’ll want to engage over a long period of time and get to know them as a person before you start asking for favors. Like any partnership, you can’t just dive in headfirst. You have to be willing to nurture the relationship over time.

How to Partner with a Book Influencer

How you start working with an influencer will depend largely on them. There is certainly room for new ideas and innovation, but you should try to get a feel for how the influencer typically works with people and products.

Some of the ways we’ve seen authors work with influencers:

Book Reviews – A lot of times authors are most interested in getting reviews from big bloggers. Understanding a few things about bloggers is key to getting close to reviewers:

  • They get pitched a lot. Focus on building a relationship so you’re not just another email.
  • When you’re asking for a review, you’re offering very little. Try to find a way to make this a mutual partnership. What would be helpful to the blogger?
  • Give the blogger a lot of time. Their “to be read” pile is as tall as it gets. If you want a review, it could take a while before they get to your book.

Giveaways – Giveaways can be one of the easiest ways to work with an influencer. It offers something their audience can enjoy and is often relatively easy for them to execute on social media.

Interviews – If you are interested in working with a fellow author, professional or industry expert, the best thing you can do is to start by interviewing them. Their audience can get to know you better that way and you’re offering something of value to the influencer. It is a great arena for building a relationship.

Events – Whether you’re doing a Facebook LIVE or attending a conference for writers, finding ways to partner for an event can be a mutually beneficial opportunity. If you are working with multiple authors to reach readers, you’re using your collective audiences to grow.

Guest Post – This can often be a simpler way to work with an influencer. A valuable piece of content keeps them from having to produce additional work and gives you a moment with their established audience. Just keep in mind that influencers know that guest posting benefits you as well, so it still has to be a good fit and a welcome opportunity for them.

The most important part of working with influencers is understanding that they are people too. Often, very busy people who are regularly pitched by those hoping to use their reach. Make sure you are offering value and trying to actually build a relationship so that you can get the maximum value both out of the opportunity and the newly formed friendship.

This article is a part of the BookSparks Influencer Issue read more and unlock the secrets to reaching some of the most impactful social figures. 

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