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Get Your Book Noticed by Piggybacking on Holidays, Observances, and News

Girl riding piggyback on her borther's shoulders

 

You’re not one of those people who grumbles about stores rolling out their displays many weeks before a holiday or observance, are you?

I hope not!

You can’t afford to think like the average consumer.

If you have a book for sale, you are a business person. Take a lesson from the retailers and get your book noticed early and often.

This is a smart move for two reasons:

  1. The popular holidays and observances already have high visibility because of pervasive ads and their many followers, devotees, Facebook fans and so on. In addition, you can get loads of ideas from the groups and websites that already promote them.

It’s no wonder that just before the Super Sunday businesses offer a “Big Game Special” or a gift basket retailer names a design “Extreme Tailgate Super Sunday Party”

Tip: If you decide to tie in to that big game on Super Sunday, however, don’t use the actual words “Super Bowl” in your promotion. Not only do you want to keep the focus on your brand, but you want avoid getting sacked by the NFL.

  1. The media is always looking for stories, especially that tie in to the news. This is where you can use newsjacking,  the art and science of injecting your ideas into a breaking news story so you and your ideas get noticed. a term coined by David Meerman Scott,

 

In July 2011 when Los Angeleans learned that a 10-mile stretch of the busy 405 freeway would be shut down for 53 hours, they dubbed the expected traffic delay Carmageddon. Some businesses announced they’d be closed. Others got creative. Jet Blue Air, for example, launched an “Over-the-405” promotion offering special nonstop flights between nearby cities Long Beach and Burbank priced at just $4 each way, taxes and fees included.

Just as big events and news tie-ins can help you get media attention, pairing your business with month, week and special day observances can help uncover hidden profits.

When you find a way to share your knowledge, expertise, and skills to help your readers, subscribers, social media contacts and customers, you enrich your value and uncover potential profits you may otherwise have missed otherwise. These tie-ins are also great content for compelling press releases.

Here are a few ideas to get you rolling.

  • Author Lynette Smith used World Gratitude Day, September 21st to urge her subscribers and readers to express their appreciation to another person in tangible, written form. She directed followers to her site, GoodWaysToWrite.com , for the best tools available.
  • In preparation for Family Reunion Month in July, a marriage and family therapist could offer a workshop on mending fences or an event planner could offer tips on creating a successful reunion.
  • Life coaches, self-help authors and spa owners could suggest ways customers can practice mindfulness during Spiritual Wellness Month in March or host meditation and weekend retreats.
  • National Financial Literacy Month in April is a great time for financial planners, accountants, schools and financial institutions to offer workshops, checklists, and planning tools.
  • You can even create an anti-holiday tie-in or call attention to the dark side of popular days such as when I remind my subscribers in February that Love Shouldn’t Hurt on Valentine’s Day or Any Other Day.

Discover these holidays and observances

There are many sources listing these observances, some even quirky or a day in history. Here are a few sources to get you started.

http://www.celebratetoday.com/callinks.html
http://nationaldaycalendar.com/
http://www.holidayinsights.com/
http://www.brownielocks.com

 

Until the early 80’s in the USA only the President and Congress had the right to declare a day a holiday. But it was decided that Congress was spending too much time in approving and denying holidays, so the practice was abandoned. Now anyone can declare and publicize a holiday, recognition or awareness day. You are free to publicize and celebrate it.

How about creating your own celebration day. There is even an official day set aside for you to do just that. Chase’s Calendar of Events has listed March 26th as Make Up Your Own Holiday Day

Chase’s Calendar of Events is the authoritative guide to special occurrences, holidays, anniversaries, celebrity birthdates, religious observances, sporting events, and more from around the world. It was created in 1957 by two brothers, William D. Chase and Harrison V. Chase, to provide a comprehensive reference to calendar dates and observances. If you want your celebration listed in their directory, submit the required information. Get the details here

Even if you can’t get your day listed in Chase’s Calendar, you can register it http://nationaldaycalendar.com/register-a-national-days

You don’t have to get permission or wait to be listed in either of these directories before creating your day.

 

Promote your day

Creating your day is just the start, however. You must get others involved, promote your day, and create buzz. You can garner publicity by creatively and assertively tying the day to your book, business or service like these companies did:

Go ahead and get busy piggybacking on holidays, observances, and newly created events or your own day. Just don’t forget to send out your press releases and announce it on social media.

Tell us in Speak Your Mind which of these you’ve used to promote your book.

 

How to get strangers asking you about your book

2015-11-12_1059_red_long_sleeveWriters tend to work alone and shy away from self-promotion.

If visions of mega book sales, or even just steady book sales dance around your head, you’ve got to put aside your shyness and get busy. And what better time than now during the holiday season.

Great content is essential, but you must put be willing to promote your book if you want to enjoy sales.

Building your list and creating your social media presence are the most common ways to do this. But you can’t afford to leave any page unturned.

Take a clue from the sign flippers on many city corners pointing passing drivers to a nearby store, open house or special event. They get attention and that means sales.

Broadcast your book at the gym, during your walk, picking up the kids, etc. with a stylish and comfortable t-shirt that has a simple but compelling message: Ask me about my book

No matter what your genre, your book will make a great gift and generate multiple sales.

Grab your promo-on-the go t-shirt or two during the 10-day promo that ends 11:45 pm November 22, 2015

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Available in a variety of styles, colors, and sizes.


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Book Promo on the Go

These make great gifts for your friends and family who are authors too.

Get yours now at http://teespring.com/book-promo-on-the-go

  • Let your shirt do the work!Sell more books!
  • Get buyers coming to you every time you wear this shirt.
  • They won’t be able to resist asking you about your book.
  • Then be ready with your pitch, card, or your book in hand!
  • Great for increasing sales AND list-building.

 

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Available in a variety of styles, colors, and sizes.
NOT AVAILABLE IN STORES!
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How to Sell Your Book Inside Costco and Other Major Stores

how to market self-published book

Sonia Marsh, on the right, greets me and another shopper at Irvine Costco 8-24-13

Go to Costco on the weekend (if you dare) and you’ll pass vendors encouraging you to sample a food or learn more about a home improvement item or other product. It’s safe to assume that letting consumers touch, taste, or experience a product increases Costco’s sales.

Did you know that as an indie author, Costco will let you set up a table to talk to shoppers and do book signings?

(Puts going to Costco on a weekend in a whole new light, doesn’t it?)

That’s what my friend Sonia Marsh did at her local Costco (twice) to promote and sell her memoir, Freeways to Flip-Flops: A Family’s Year of Gutsy Living on a Tropical Island [Amazon Associate link]

When I stopped by Sonia’s table to buy my copy and get it signed, other shoppers paused to hear about Sonia’s tropical island adventure and get their hands on her book as well.

Ka-ching.

And after the book signing ended, Sonia’s book remained for sale in Costco’s book section for another two weeks.

Ka-ching. Ka-ching.

You, too, can promote and sell your book in the same way, but not only in Costco. Did you know that you might also be able to convince Target, Walmart, big supermarket chains, and even airport bookstores to give you shelf space?

But only if you follow the rules.

Amy Collins of New Shelves Distribution knows the playbook because that’s what she does five days a week. She sells her clients’ books to the big chains.

Amy says you can do what she does if you know who to contact, what kinds of books they want, what your book package must look like, and what to do if the merchandisers are reluctant because they’re already stocking titles similar to yours.

She’ll be Joan Stewart’s  guest on a webinar at noon Eastern Time on Thursday, March 20, on “How to Convince Costco, Walmart, Target & Other Huge Chains to Sell Your Books.”

Register at “How to Convince Costco, Walmart, Target & Other Huge Chains to Sell Your Books”

Everyone who registers will get a peek at Amy’s Rolodex, access to her contact information for the big chains, and a sample kit of what to send book buyers.

Register at “How to Convince Costco, Walmart, Target & Other Huge Chains to Sell Your Books” even if you can’t attend live because Joan will be recording it and you’ll be able to watch the video replay and access the other materials.

PS

Getting your book into these big chains and in front of millions more readers takes persistence and attention to detail. You only get one chance to do it right.
Register at “How to Convince Costco, Walmart, Target & Other Huge Chains to Sell Your Books”

PPS

Joan Stewart, the Publicity Hound, has been giving tips on how to get free publicity for your product, service, cause, or issue for decades. I started buying Joan’s products when I began my first Internet business back in the late 90’s before webinars existed. She was shipping audio cassettes then.(Look it up if you’re under 25.) I have learned so much from Joan over the years that I became an affiliate. That means I will receive a commission if you sign up for the webinar, but I was recommending Joan’s products before she had an affiliate program.