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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.



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

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

promo_ending_9-2-15 T-shirt_campaign_ends_9-2-15

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.


Available in a variety of styles, colors, and sizes.
Get yours now at http://teespring.com/book-promo-on-the-go

How a Seed Planted in a Blog Blossomed

Author Carol Bodensteiner appears on Des Moines, Iowa Channel 13 WHO TV to announce the launch of I Grew Up Country Day.



  1. This is terrific, Flora. I can feel a national day recognizing kids who ‘grew up country’ coming in the near future.

A few years later as I was browsing through my blog comments I  wondered what happened to Carol’s plans to start her own national day for kids who ‘grew up country’, so I emailed her in May 9, 2014. Here is the resulting email exchange:

Hi Carol,

Back in 2012 you commented on one of my blog posts

==============Your comment============
This is terrific, Flora. I can feel a national day recognizing kids who ‘grew up country’ coming in the near future.

Did you ever create this national recognition day?

I’m going to update and republish this article so I’m just wondering.


Within minutes I got this response from Carol.

Hi, Flora,

Nuts!  I didn’t! I guess I got so wrapped up in working on my novel, that it slid down the list.Now that you’ve brought it up again, I still think it’s a good idea. Could work for both my memoir and my novel.

I look forward to reading the update on the column.


Our exchange continued

Hi Carol,

LOL. I have many tasks that have slipped to the bottom of my list.

I ran across your comment as I was making a list of tasks for a
new VA I’m considering hiring.  I thought it would be fun to remind
visitors of comments they made on my blogs. You are the first so far.

We’ll see how far I’ll go with this idea.

I’ll let you know when I get to the update.

Happy Spring,


That’s a good idea for staying in touch and building a relationship with your readers.

Here’s a new List I’m starting based on this conversation:

“Ideas inspired by reading blogs that I want to act on someday”  I realize there’s a structural issue in that list title, but I can’t figure it out.

Have a good weekend.


Ten months later I got an update from Carol via a Facebook message and the following exchange took place.

March 6, 2015

Hi, Flora,

I wanted to let you know the seed you planted has taken root. On Monday, March 9, at 2:00 p.m., Iowa Governor Terry Branstad will sign a Proclamation declaring March 18, 2015, “I Grew Up Country Day.” Author Shirley Showalter and I are launching an initiative to celebrate the country way of life and preserve growing up country stories.


March 6

Wow! How exciting to learn that you followed through with my “seed”.



Not only did Carol take this idea and plant it, but she nurtured it all the way to the Office of Iowa Governor Terry Branstad. Thanks to the efforts of Carol and her colleague, Shirley Hershey Showalter,  March 18th is now officially I Grew Up Country Day.

Congratulations Carol and Shirley!

It is my pleasure to share Carol’s post detailing how I Grew Up Country Day came about.

Visit Carol’s  Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/IGrewUpCountry/. You’ll enjoy the memories shared there and perhaps be surprised at how familiar some of them are even if you didn’t ‘grow up country.’

Have you ever followed up on promising comments left on your blog? If so, share the results in the Comments. If you’ve never tried this idea, are you motivated now to check on some of your blog commenters?


Article by Flora Brown