Book Marketing: Generosity, Social Karma And Co-opetition

This post, by Joanna Penn, originally appeared on her The Creative Penn blog on 11/10/13.

One of the reasons we write for publication is for other people.

We either want to help them through information or inspiration, or we want to entertain people and perhaps make them think.

Considering marketing in the same way can help you, because it focuses on the other person, the customer, not on you. That serves several purposes:

◾ It makes you think about what they really want

◾ It takes the focus off you and stops you feeling self-conscious

◾ It will give you ideas as to what to share

◾ It will help you to connect with a community


Generosity and social karma

The word karma implies that you get back what you give, and I believe this is true in the social environment. If you give, you will receive.

Being useful, helpful and generous is satisfying to you personally, but also builds up a bank of goodwill. When you later mention that you have a book out, or people are attracted to you because of your generosity, and see you have books/products available, they are more likely to buy.

This isn’t woo-woo. It’s based on the science of influence. Read Robert Cialdini’s book ‘Influence’ and you’ll understand that the principle of reciprocity is one of the keys to influencing people’s behavior. I believe that we can utilize such principles, but we don’t have to do it in a scammy or unethical manner.


Co-opetition is all about the idea of cooperating with your perceived competition so that both parties benefit. When there is a congruence of interests, cooperating together can create greater value than acting alone.


Click here to read the rest of the post on The Creative Penn.