by Rebecca Roberts, Customer Support Supervisor
New authors face a common dilemma in building their brand: how to get noticed. Media and retailers are the obvious targets to try and get an author’s name out to the local and regional community, but the “chicken and egg” scenario of needing a brand name to build a brand can make any author frustrated and weary. Working with non-profits is a mutually beneficial proposition and an often over looked entry into the local consciousness.
Here are a few key benefits from an author / non-profit relationship:
1) Non-profits are looking for volunteers and partners to support their message. As with any sales or marketing plan, the most important step is showing up. A literacy group will need hours of relevant programming for a fundraiser, and who better than a local author to spend the time and effort to put together a community presentation on the role of creative writing in schools or volunteer to run a writing workshop at a prison? Always keep in mind the types of non-profits that are a good fit for you and your work. Partnering with a non-profit is most effective when the author has something to bring to the table, so being selective in whom you approach by finding causes that match with your skills, background, or subject matter is important if you want your brand to be consistent.
2) An author with a professional networking attitude might just gain access to a non-profit’s often substantial network. Non-profits function by building crucial relationships with the media, retailers, schools, and other non-profits for space, community postings, and group gatherings. Helpful authors with a volunteer mindset will often get a chance to meet other partners in a non-profit’s networking base. Being prepared in these situations is key, so make sure to have your press release, business cards, and a one sentence explanation of you and your book ready for those impromptu conversations.
3) Promote your brand by promoting a cause you believe in. Building relationships with non-profits is not just about getting to relationships that would be more difficult to gain on one’s own, but an opportunity to really help with causes near and dear to an author’s heart: literacy, the arts, education, and science, whatever your forte may be. This isn’t just good marketing, it is also good citizenry, and who – author or book buyer – doesn’t like that?