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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.

Promote your business by creating a tie-in to holidays, observances, and events.

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,

Create a clever tie-in to lesser known or bizarre celebrations or newsworthy events.

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.

Use holidays and special observances to promote your business.

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

 

Create your own day to promote your book or business.

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 below which of these you’ve used to promote your book.

 

[Free Training] 7 Ways to Get More from Your Website

Your website should work for you to deliver all the clients you want.

It should easily build your email list…

It should get more people to like and follow you on social media…

It should make it easy for your potential clients to just “know” that they need to work with you…

And it should be “right there” when your people search Google.

You website should serve YOU!
(not the other way around)

If your website isn’t doing everything you think it should to bring you more clients and more sales, then maybe its time for a makeover…

That’s why I’m excited to share this free training from my friend and WordPress expert, Christina Hills:

“7 Ways to Get More Prospects, More Clients and More Money from Your Website”

Register for free right here.

In this FREE LIVE webinar, you’ll see just how easy it is to…

• Grow Your Email List by Offering Free Reports, Videos, Newsletters, eCourses, and White Papers Easily, from Every Page of Your Website
• Automatically Grow Your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Other Social Followers and Send Your Ideas Viral on Social Media
• Get Found by Potential Clients When They Search in Google
• And much more…

Go here to register now.

Your website should be working for you around the clock. And if it’s not, chances are it’s turning people away.

Attend Christina’s webinar to find out how to just how simple it can be to get your website to attract more people and build your email list!

P.S. Christina is soooo good at explaining complex topics in a way that’s easy to follow and FUN. Save your seat for her live training here.


Please note that I am an affiliate in Christina’s program, and will receive a commission if you choose to invest in her program.

 

2017 Indie Author Day Gears Up

My table at the 2016 Indie Author Day October 8, 2016 Anaheim Main Library, Anaheim, CA

 

 

Thanks to my friend Melissa Guzzetta, author of Private Lucky,​ for notifying me of the Indie Author Day webinar , Evidence for Indies, presented on Tuesday, January 31, 2017. Somehow I missed seeing the announcement, but thankfully I jumped on just as it was starting.

The panel of four was made up of the following:

  • Kiera Parrott, reviews director for ​School Library Journal and ​Library Journal and a former children’s librarian
  • Carla Sarratt, Virtual Services Librarian with New Hanover County Public Library
  • Carl Pritzkat, president of ​BookLife.com​, Publishers Weekly’s website dedicated to indie authors
  • K. S. Brooks, an award-winning author and photographer administrator for the superblog IndiesUnlimited.com and member of the Indie Author Day advisory boardRead more about the panel from their biographies on the pdf EvidenceforIndiesWebinar-Bios

The second annual Indie Author Day has been set for Saturday, October 14, 2017, and a few libraries are already making plans.  The organizers plan to have other webinars and encourage libraries to host events throughout the year to help indie authors learn and follow best practices for indie publishing.

While they confessed that libraries have been not always been open to self-published books, the attitude has changed as indie authors are becoming more professional. It also helps that highly successful best-selling indie authors such as Hugh Howell and JA Konrath  have freely shared their journeys and advocated for authors. Check out their websites of these two successful authors for loads of encouragement and guidance.

The speakers encouraged indie authors to approach your local library, but be sure you’re talking to the decision maker. They reminded us that a library’s decision to invest in a book are based on many things, but they strongly rely on reviews from respected third party sources.

I’m not sure the Evidence for Indies webinar was recorded, but they provided a download of the slideshow. Download it here Evidence for Indies Slideshow

Visit http://indieauthorday.com/ to learn more about what’s shaping up for 2017. They will need our support and involvement, so please offer your ideas as they request on the site, and by all means, approach your local library to encourage them to participate.

In the meantime, read the post below to see what authors from last year’s Indie Author Day had to say about their participation.

Indie Authors Have More to Love at the Library: Transformation

Five Unique Alternatives to Making New Year’s Resolutions [Revisited]

Making promises at the start of the year to improve ourselves has a long and colorful history dating back 4,000 years to the ancient Babylonians. They were typically reaffirming loyalty to the reigning king or promising to pay debts or return borrowed items.

In spite of the fact that most of us are unable to keep our resolutions, we can’t seem to resist making them when a new year holds the promise of a new start. Perhaps taking a different approach will help us be more successful. Here are five unique alternatives to making New Year’s resolutions.

 

Do One Big Thing Each Day

Making to-do lists, completing planners, and setting priorties aren’t new, but Nick Burka a developer based in Montréal, Canada made this app for himself that simplifies this process. It’s free. Since I tend to spread myself too thin trying to do too much in a day, this approach appealed to me. You can do other smaller things, of course, but your main daily goal is just one thing. If you insist on themes and stickers, you can upgrade to a paid version.  What kind of developer would he be if he didn’t give you that option?

shadow-ornament

Create a Want List

Jennifer Mattern says ask yourself what you really want for your life, what will make you happy. Then write it all down. Avoid setting deadlines or creating SMART GOALS that may begin to feel like putting pressure on yourself. The things on your want list are not time-sensitive. Some may take more than a day or a year to achieve.  You can do tiny things to move toward your wants, but you also can change your mind when you discover that you don't REALLY want an item anymore.

shadow-ornament

 

Take a Trip of a Lifetime

Suzy Strutner, Associate Lifestyle Editor, The Huffington Post lists 12 types of trips you should take in your lifetime. Forget about setting loads of resolutions, and take one amazing trip instead. As much as I travel, I discovered I've only taken four of the types she recommends. How about you? Check out her list and share in Speak Your Mind which of these you've taken.

shadow-ornament

 

Set an Intention with One Word

Zoe Saldana and her sisters explain in the video below

 

shadow-ornament

Make a Commitment to Someone Other Than Yourself

 

Who says resolutions have to be about fixing what you see as wrong with yourself or going after achievements. Instead, how about donating time to a cause you care about. Or visiting a friend or relative who can no longer get around as they once did. Or supporting a fellow author or entrepreneur at  book signing or other event. These commitments do not have to be long-term or forced. Last year I committed to spend the day with an 80 year old friend once each month of the summer. I also attended book signings to support fellow authors, helped set up an auction for one of my favorite charities, and volunteered as a mentor at my alma mater.

Give your presence. It means a lot.

[This article was originally published in 2017, but since the ideas in it are still worth doing, I'm sharing it again.]

 

Tell us in Speak Your Mind which idea resonates with you or suggest another alternative to making New Year's resolutions.

 

Fun, Functional, and Unique Gifts for Writers and Authors

grunge-image-for-author-gifts-post

Are you looking for great holiday gifts for the writers and authors in your life? Here are some fun, functional, and unique gift ideas for not only the holidays,  but also for birthdays and other special occasions all year round.

1. Favorite Snacks

Writers have rituals that include munching on their favorite snacks to keep up their energy and momentum while they work.  F. Scott Fitzgerald loved canned meat and apples, Nora Ephron could down three Krispy Kreme doughnuts in one sitting, and Julia Child’s favored red meat and gin. What’s your writer’s favorite snack? Give the writer in your life a supply of their favorite munchies or a gift certificate for the store that carries them. They’ll enjoy fond memories of you every time they indulge.

2. Writing Inspiration

 

Aqua Notes

Many writers and other creatives get some of their best ideas in the shower. Now this waterproof notepad, the writer can capture thoughts or sketch ideas while in the shower.

 


Writer with a Day Job

This is the perfect gift for the writer working full time and writing their books on the side. This book offers advice, skill-building techniques, prompts, and exercises on how to keep writing while holding down a day job. It includes setting goals, creating a schedule, finding inspiration and more.

 


 

Writer Emergency Pack

This deck of 26 illustrated idea cards help restore writers’ creativity when it slumps.

 

 


 

The Writer’s Coloring Book

“Whether you are a Plotter, a Pantser or hybrid Plantster, you will love this book. A unique writing guide for novelists, screenwriters, and playwrights that provides a visual playground for both sides of a writer’s brain: the passionate dreamer and the rational organizer. The tools in this unique “how to write” book help you create complex, multi-faceted characters in engaging, stay-with-you-forever stories. “Amazon product description

 

3. Cool Tools

Agatha Christie said, “All I needed was a steady table and a typewriter. A marble topped bedroom washstand table made a good place; the dining room table between meals was also suitable.”

Modern readers may need a bit more. Here are a few ideas.

 



LED Pen, The Pilot’s Pen, Night Writer – Set of 2 LED Powered Ink Penlights

Dancing in the dark is one thing. But writing in the dark takes a special tool, like this Night Writer pen.


 

Sofia + Sam Multi Tasking Memory Foam Lap Desk with USB Light (Wood Top) | Supports Laptops Up To 15 Inches

This is more than just a lap desk, it’s a work station that goes wherever the writer wants to go. Includes mouse deck and slot for tablet or smartphone.

 


 

4. Stress Relief

Since writers spend many hours working in one position, carpal tunnel, neck, and body cramps are occupational hazards. If you’re skilled enough, give the writer in your life a personal massage. If not, invest in a gift certificate from the local massage school or parlor in the area. Groupon may even have a great deal available in your writer’s area http://www.groupon.com/local/massage

5. Smart New Tool–Book Planner–Plans The Entire Book Publishing Process

250x250Joel Friedlander and his team have helped hundreds of authors through the publishing process. They know the rush you get when you finish your first draft. And they also know all the questions that spring up, too: “What do I do now? When do I have to do it?”

Book publishing can be fun and efficient, when you eliminate the confusion.

The power of Book Planner for both first-time authors and seasoned publishing veterans, is in building a customized book plan to meet your schedule and your specific project. The subscriber just picks from the list of book plans based on the time they have to complete their project.

Book Planner is accessible from a PC, MAC, tablet or smartphone, It will automatically generate a workable and realistic schedule that will show the writer exactly what they can accomplish within the time they have available. It’s that easy. Subscriptions are 9.99 per month or $99.99  for the annual plan.

6.  60 Free Book Promotion Ideas in 60 Minutes (an audio program)

60-free-book-promotion-ideas-in-60-minutesOne thing every author must do is promote their book. Give your writer friend this priceless gift where she will join Sandy Beckwith, noted publicity expert, for an idea-packed session that will re-energize her book marketing and leave her buzzing with ideas! $19.00

 

7. Unique Literary Clothing Makes Great Gift Holiday Gifts

library_socks

 

 

 

Out of Print spreads the joy of reading through the teeshirts and accessories celebrating the world’s great stories and featuring iconic and sometimes out of print book covers. Because they realize that some parts of the world have no access to books at all, for each product they sell, they donate a book to community in need through their partner Books for Africa.


tote-1015_banned-books_red_strap_totes_2_1024x1024

 

50 banned books are identified on this one tote bag. 

Some books have become as famous for being banned as they were for being read, You’ll find some of your favorites on this list: James and the Giant Peach, The Heart of Darkness, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, The Call of the Wild, and more.

 


 

8. This Tee Shirt Helps Promote Authors’ Books

bookpromo-woman bookpromo-man

9. Postertext

Ben_Franklin_poster

 

 

Posters are made with the entire text of a classic and some contemporary novels.

 

This Benjamin Franklin poster, for example, is made from the entire text of The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.


 

 

10. Fun and Functional Gift Ideas

Shakespearean Insults Coffee Mug

“From all reports, William Shakespeare was a decent guy. He was generous, funny, and could drink with the best of them. But one thing you didn’t want to do is piss him off. Shakespeare was the Don Rickles of Elizabethan England. His brilliantly crafted insults and witty barbs could bring the fiercest soldier to tears. The Shakespeare Insults mug is covered with the Bard’s funniest and most biting insults from his plays.”Amazon product description


 

Novel Teas tagged with Literary Quotes

 

Novel Teas contains 25 teabags individually tagged with literary quotes from the world over, made with the finest English Breakfast tea.  This gift will help keep a writer hydrated through many drafts.

 


 

642 Things to Write About

“This collection of 642 outrageous and witty writing prompts will get the creative juices flowing in no time. From crafting your own obituary to penning an ode to an onion, each page of this playful journal invites inspiration and provides plenty of space to write. Brimming with entertaining exercises from the literary minds of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto, this is the ultimate gift for scribes of every stripe.” Amazon product description


 

Reading Journal: For Book Lovers

“With checklists of award-winning novels and recommended reading for every genre (spy novels, romance, sci-fi, humor), this classic reading journal also includes plenty of pages for keeping track of all the books you’ve read and want to consume next.” Amazon product description.

 


Oriental Rug Book Marks–a set of four

  • Rugged urethane core layer practically impossible to tear, washable, will last many years.
  • Culturally significant classic images, many licensed from world famous museums. Amazon product description

Surprise your favorite writers or treat yourself to one of these not-so-typical gifts now or any time of year.

Please note: Most of the products listed above are affiliate links from which I get a commission if you make a purchase.

Which of these will you add to your holiday gift-giving list? Tell us in Speak Your Mind below.