Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pick A Date And Promote

There are special dates every month — traditional holidays, an assortment of odd observances and awareness campaign themes. Choose a special date that relates to your book topic or to you as the author as an opportunity to send press releases to newspapers, magazines, radio and TV contacts. Write a guest post for a targeted blog or submit an article to a cause organization. Create buzz by generating content to share on social media sites or pass along links that relate to this date with comments of how it connects to your book’s content and/or your story as an author.

Here are some examples:

Sandy Weaver Carman’s book, The Original MBA: Succeed in Business Using Mom’s Best Advice was launched during October — Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Sandy’s mom died from breast cancer and a percentage of sales from her book are donated to breast cancer organizations. In addition, the genesis of the book was a Mother’s Day gift from Sandy — a framed list of life lessons learned from Mom’s advice through Sandy’s childhood. Mother’s Day is May 13th this year and a prime opportunity for promotion and additional book sales.

May is also Lupus Awareness Month with May 10th being World Lupus Day. Author Kim Green and Morgan, the lead character of her debut novel hallucination, share the distinction of living with the chronic disease of lupus. One out of every 200 Americans suffers from this disease and its effects, and African-Americans are three times as likely to get lupus as Caucasians. There are many published statistics around prevalence, prognosis, symptoms and economic impact that could be used to catch the attention of media and create a special promotion.

Co-authored by Echo Garrett, My Orange Duffle Bag is Sam Bracken’s memoir of overcoming homelessness, poverty and abuse by radically changing his life. Initially self-published, the book has been picked up by Random House and pre-sales are being promoted in May for National Foster Care Month. Proceeds from book sales benefit the Orange Duffle Bag Foundation, an organization providing coaching, training and ongoing mentoring to at-risk youth.

My first book, 30 Days of Gratitude, was a collaborative effort with my friends Dr. Robin Kirby and Carolyn Buttram. We launched the book in October 2009 with a social media campaign encouraging people to commit to the daily exercise through the month of November — the month of THANKSGIVING — a time when many are focusing on gratitude. The “Gratitude Girls” were booked for our first speaking engagement within two days of launch and thousands of individuals from countries all over the world have downloaded the book.

Dan Gennari is a survivor of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and the author of the Cureganizer. He developed this organizational tool during his own illness, bone marrow transplant and recovery. November is National Bone Marrow Awareness Month and a time that Dan can get the media talking about how easy it is to register as a donor, who benefits from stem cell and bone marrow transplants and how his book helps those fighting their own battle with cancer.

While May and November are popular months for awareness and holiday options, there are plenty of other special dates to target throughout the year. Pick a date and create a promotion for your own book.

Want help choosing a date and creating your promotion? Contact Anita Paul or Vanessa Lowry for ideas and marketing assistance.


Vanessa Lowry is a marketing consultant, graphic designer, author, radio host and speaker. She leverages nearly 30 years of design and marketing expertise to support book authors who are self publishing.

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