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SPAWNews is packed with writing, editing, illustrating, and publishing information. Each month you receive market opportunities, events, and articles you can use now!
Not sure? Check out back issues of SPAWNews on our blog, or in the older SPAWNews archives)


Seasonal Promotion

By Patricia Fry

What are you doing to increase book sales this holiday season?

Sure, Thanksgiving and Christmas 2006 are behind us, but we’re embarking on a brand new year. It’s the season of fresh starts and resolutions. It’s winter. We celebrate Martin Luther King Day in January. It’s the month for the Tournament of Roses and the Rose Parade. Why not use these and other seasonal events and observances to promote your books this year? If you can’t think of any way to tie your book into these things, read on!

Did you know that January is also Family Fit Lifestyle Month, Financial Wellness Month, National Wealth Mentality Month, Jump Out of Bed Month, Learn Spanish Month, National Clean up Your Computer Month, National Hot Tea Month, National Mentoring Month and National Oatmeal Month? And this is just a fraction of the entire list of monthly observances for January 2007. Surely, you can pick one or two of them to use in promoting your book.

But wait, there are also weekly observance—twenty-seven of them, including National Thank Your Customers Week, Hunt for Happiness Week, Creative Frugality Week and No Name Calling Week.

And then there are daily observances. Did you know that January 2nd is Happy Mew Year For Cats Day? The 3rd is National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day. Fruitcake Toss Day is January 6th, Penguin Awareness Day is celebrated on the 13th, the 21st is National Hugging Day and Squirrel Appreciation Day. And don’t forget Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day. That’s observed on January 29th this year. There’s an observance for each day of January except the 9th and the 11th. Maybe you can fill those voids and really make a name for yourself.

OK, so how do we use these seasonal events to promote books? Here are a few ideas. January is Letter Writing Month. Combine that with National Thank Your Customers Week (8th through 12th) and email or mail thank you letters/promotional material to your customer list. Maybe you have a new book to promote or you can simply suggest your book as a gift for appropriate observances and events in the coming year. Maybe your book features ideas for a stress-free life. Remind your customers that Spiritual Wellness Month is celebrated in March and that they might want to present your book to their friends or their customers. Other observances in March that might help to promote your book are American Chocolate Week, National Spring Fever Week, Healing From the Inside Out Day, Act Happy Day and don’t forget, National Workplace Napping Day.

If you’re a freelance writer or an author who promotes your books through magazine articles, write to your favorite editors and thank them for using your work in the past. Suggest new articles based on some of these seasonal ideas. Since print magazine editors work at least five to eight months ahead, you’ll be pitching articles for July or August.

Point out to the editor that July is Family Reunion Month and suggest an article featuring outrageous family togetherness activities. If you happen to have a book on relationships, pitch a piece on how to mend fences and build bridges at a family reunion. July is also Learn Arabic Month, National Culinary Arts Month, National Make a Difference to Children Month and National Women’s Motorcycle Month. Add to that list, some of the weekly celebrations: Single Working Woman Week, Freedom From Fear of Speaking Day, Father Daughter Take a Walk Day, Stay Out of the Sun Day, Be a Dork Day, Gorgeous Grandma Day, Gummi Worm Day and Gruntled Worker Day.

Now if you can’t come up with enough article ideas from this list to buy that little red sports car, you’re in the wrong business. I think I’ll jump on the Be a Dork Day theme and offer a women’s magazine a piece on when it pays to be yourself no matter how dorky you feel. Stay Out of the Sun Day certainly screams for articles on the latest in sunscreens and skin cancer research. In fact, I heard a dermatologist on the radio just the other day saying that most people are using sunscreen all wrong. I’ve already made plans to write some articles to commemorate Freedom from Fear of Speaking Day. And I can pull several pieces out of my reprint files related to making the workplace a happier environment.

What about Gruntled Worker Day? Does anyone know what "gruntled" means? It’s not in my dictionary. But it follows that if disgruntled means a state of sulky dissatisfaction, a gruntled worker must be a happy worker. Actually, gruntle is an old word meaning to grumble, however, it has been revisited by Americans who are using it as the opposite of disgruntled. It’s considered a "back formation" of disgruntled. Serious wordsmiths prefer that we use this word only with humor, but I’m afraid it’s too late. Gruntled is fast becoming a part of the English language to mean the opposite of disgruntled. Now there’s another article idea. Do you have a book on grammar or English usage? Who better to make $500 or $1,000 writing an article featuring back formation words such as gruntle while promoting your book at the same time?

As it happens, January 2007 is also Book Blitz Month. Let’s celebrate this observance with gusto and get out there and promote our books this season and all seasons using every bit of ammunition we can muster.

You’re probably eager to learn where I got all of this marvelous and unusual information. Here’s the URL: http://www.brownielocks.com. You will definitely get a lot of great ideas for promotion from this great site along with a chuckle or two.

–Patricia Fry is a full-time freelance writer and the author of 25 books. Read her latest book, The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book, http://www.matilijapress.com/rightway.html. Visit her writing/publishing blog often at http://www.matilijapress.com/publishingblog.

 

 

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