Here's another cross promotion idea. I'm really a big supporter of cross promotional anthologies. That's a way of introducing ourselves to each other's fan bases. It does take someone to coordinate it, and in the short term I'm too busy, but it could be worthwhile. A thematically based anthology can allow for the inclusion of different genres, and using a short form like flash fiction can make it easier for people to participate.
I'll share my experience with George Donnelly's Halloween flash fiction anthology, Monster Maelstrom
. (FYI, he's planning a series of such anthologies, and they're very worthwhile.) The idea was purely promotional, so the anthology was wide and permafree (Amazon price-matched within a day.) The anthology had significant downloads, at one point hitting 596 in the free store, as well as doing well in some of the international stores. Barnes and Noble stats looked good. It garnered one review on Google Play and several at Goodreads. It still seems to holding up well after Halloween, with top ten rankings in two subcategories.
Prior to Halloween, my own sales experienced two spikes, and I had one huge burst of KU activity. I was also getting more international sales. I've had sales in the UK, France, and Germany before, but seldom all three in the same month. I not only had sales in all three, but also in Canada and India (where I virtually never sell), and I picked up my first sale in Italy. All of this could be coincidence, but I think at least some of it comes from the anthology.
(By the way, George's Christmas anthology is still open if anyone is interested. http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,241013.0.html
That one will be out in permafree ebook and paperback.)
While I wouldn't want to just copy George's holiday emphasis, there are several ways to create thematic collections. "Stories to read when you're___" (collections geared to a particular emotion) is just one example.
Is everyone who reads such an anthology going to become the fan of every author in it? No, of course not. However, since participation would involve no cost (except the time), it's pretty good free advertising. When the figures are in, I imagine my story will have been seen by at least a few hundred people who would never have had my stuff otherwise. Even a few sales would make it worthwhile, and conceivably one could get more than that. (Over time I think the downloads on that Halloween one will go into the thousands.)
Now, logistics. I am simultaneously involved in about four projects right now, so even though it's my idea, I can't be the coordinator for it now (though perhaps in a few months I could do one). If someone else is willing to take point, though, I am willing to contribute the cost of the cover, and I should be able to contribute at least a little time to help with editing--if we decide to do this, we want the resulting product to be good quality.
By the way, the anthology doesn't need to be limited to just us. We could start another thread and solicit submissions if we wanted. (The coordinator/editor would have to screen.)
Obviously, this couldn't happen instantly, but what do you think of it as an idea for the future?