What is there more kindly than the feeling between host and guest? -Aeschylus
I am happy to host J. Aday Kennedy today. She’s here with some great book marketing ideas, but first I’d like to tell you a little more about her.
J. Aday Kennedy, the differently-abled writer, is a ventilator-dependent quadriplegic making her dreams come true a story at a time. As a speaker, Aday entertains, instructs, motivates and inspires audiences of all ages. By focusing on what she CAN do instead of CAN’T, she sets and pursues her goals diligently. She surrounds herself with family, friends and positivity in Texas, the friendly state. Her picture books are humorous, reluctant reader friendly and character building. To learn more about her and her writing, visit her website at http://www.jadaykennedy.com/.
Holiday Book Marketing
Have you noticed there are times of the year you have difficulty selling books? A calendar can help solve that problem. How? There is a holiday for the strangest celebrations. These holidays can be used to market your book.
The best time to utilize the calendar is before you have written a single word. Take your character and start giving it likes, and dislikes based on holiday celebrations. Here are a few examples.
In January it is difficult to promote and sell books, because Christmas put a strain on your prospect’s finances. Rubber Duckie Day is Jan 13, so give your character a rubber duck collection. That is an odd detail in a character’s makeup, especially an adult, but it gives them an interesting personality quirk and you have reason to promote your book in January.
Not only do you have reason to promote, but you have opened the door to an unusual setting for a book signing; a store that specializes in bath products or a large store with a section devoted to bathrooms. One of the benefits of selling books at a “non-bookstore” is that your book is not competing with other books. Your book has no direct competition.
Another tie to your character’s collection is that January is Bath Safety month and Bubble Bath Day is the 8th. Create a drawing/contest to collect names for a prospect mailing list. Fill a bag or basket with bath items (The dollar store can provide some inexpensive items.) The larger the prize, the longer you can draw out the contest. Contact radio stations, newspapers, and other media. The radio station will publicize the contest on air and provide you with free advertising for the length of your contest.
Does your main character design clothes for animals as a hobby or career? National Dress Up Your Pet Day is January 14. Schedule a book signing at a dog groomer, veterinarian’s office, pet store, animal shelter or pet supply store. Offer a discount to patrons that bring photos or take a photo at your signing with their dressed pet. For every certain number of animals that get adopted, offer a gift. (Have a sign up and draw names.)
***You can tie your book to holidays that do not seem to have a direct link. Find reasons to promote your book in every month.
February is Library Lovers Month. Offer to hold a book signing or reading session for free at a library. Provide a discount to every library card holder old or new. Donate a portion of each book sold to the library. You can make bookmarks encouraging children to read. Design a contest/scavenger hunt. All the answers can be found in the various resources the library offers.
*** When you offer a prize make sure it promotes your book, you or your services. Baseball caps, T shirts, pens, buttons, etc… You have created good will and a walking and talking advertisement.
March is National Middle School Month. How can you celebrate and promote your work? Schedule an author school visit at a middle school and create a time capsule for the class and make fun questionnaires for them to fill out. Then select the date with the teacher to open the capsule. (The last day of school [if done near the beginning of the year] date of middle school graduation, junior high graduation or high school graduation or a different date that looms in the future.) Donate a copy of your book to the classroom/school you visit. Go to Vista Print and make a promotional item (T shirt, coffee mug, baseball cap, sticky note pad) with a picture of the main character of your book with a slogan about middle school. You could have a contest for the entire middle school. The class with the best theme room wins a pizza party from your main character or a party with your main character’s favorite food.
At the party you can attend with chances for more prizes to be won. You’ve achieved a few things. Excitement about you and your book; incredible photo opportunity [all of those classrooms decorated with your book as the subject]; and a newsworthy event for the local media.
April is the month to celebrate April Fools Day. Visit a local joke shop. You can look online, as well. Collect a bunch of practical jokes and make a basket or joke bag. Run a trivia quiz contest. All of the answers can be found on your website or links to your online publications. Structure the questions and answers to promote you, your services or products. “The Joke Bag/Basket” is the prize.
No matter what time of year it is, there is a holiday to be celebrated. Put on your marketing hat. The more creative you are the more it will put an indelible mark in people’s minds. Each time you are mentioned in the news your reputation will grow and hearty anticipation for your next event will proliferate. Search for holidays on the web and plan a year of marketing your books and services.
Thank you for all the wonderful ideas Aday. My protagonist, Barbie Anderson, loves bubble baths, so I’m definitely marking January 8th on my calendar. I’d also like to mention that Chase’s Calendar of Events is a good source for finding unusual holidays that may not appear on the average calendar.
In Aday’s book, Klutzy Kantor, everyday Kantor Pegasus practices solving riddles. A tricky leprechaun attempts to outsmart him by giving him a next to impossible riddle to solve. To end his clumsy ways he must solve it. Children learn the benefit of practice and to focus on their strengths. Klutzy Kantor (ISBN-10: 978-1616330511 ISBN-13: 978-1616330514) is a 24 page picture book published in April 2010, by Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. You can buy the book from Amazon here.
Aday has also contributed five essays to four Chicken Soup for the Soul books: December 2007, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Celebrating Nurses, "Optimistic Light;” March 2008, Chicken Soup for the Soul: A Tribute to Moms, "The Evolution;" March 2008, Chicken Soup for the Adopted Soul: "The Man of My Dreams;" March 2008, Chicken Soup for the Adopted Soul: "Some Children are Special;" and April 2010, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Dad, "A Real Dad."
Please feel free to leave comments and questions for Aday.
Tomorrow Gary Murning is featuring author, Katie Hines. I hope you have the opportunity to visit.
Thank you all for stopping by today. Have a wonderful weekend. I hope to see you on Monday.
Aeschylus, book marketing, holiday book marketing ideas, Chase’s Calendar of Events, J. Aday Kennedy, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Klutzy Kantor,