Coming up with book promo ideas can be challenging because it’s hard to really know what your readers are looking for.
Sure, they’re looking for great books, but there are a lot of great books out there, so how do you come up with book promo ideas that will help you stand out from the crowd, that will make your work seem relevant and exciting?
There’s a saying in marketing, “It’s easier to get someone interested in something they’re already interested in,” which is why planning your book marketing around established calendar events can be a creative way to get more interest for your book.
It’s also a strategy that’s relatively simple to incorporate into whatever your current book marketing plan is, which is a real bonus.
Which Dates to Focus On
Let’s cast the net wide here, because when it comes to generating more book promo ideas, it’s great to have a longer list to work from, and I would say anything that you can tether to your book.
And get creative with this!
For example, during National Fire Prevention Week we pitched a book about getting organized, and the book was called: How to Get Organized without Resorting to Arson. It was cute, and catchy, and the media loved it.
We had another author who has a soccer-based romance which, since we’re in World Cup season, is a great time to promote the book, tethering it to the World Cup.
Creating a tie-in could be a calendar item, yes, but it could also be something going on in the news – a zeitgeist as it were. For example, when a big snowstorm hit the East Coast, shutting down most of the airports, we were working with a book on improving family relationships.
The pitch was: When Airplanes and Relatives Don’t Leave on Time.
It was timely, right around the holidays, too so even if you weren’t stuck with family for an extra week when you hadn’t planned on it, the consumer could still relate, and the media knows this.
How to Plan for Calendar Tie-Ins
Bigger tie-ins, like Breast Cancer Awareness month should be pitched pretty far in advance, but something like “peanut butter and jelly day” doesn’t have to be pitched that far out. The media loves off-beat quirky holidays. Like, “hug your dog day” to support your cozy mystery starring a lovable furry friend.
I see so many authors leaving money on the table with these holidays and it’s such a shame because authors often wonder how to get more media/influencer hits for their book and calendar or seasonal tie-ins are a great way to do that and the beauty is you aren’t limited to just one, the only limits are your creativity.
Follow Trends and the Zeitgeist
I mentioned this earlier, but tie-ins to things that aren’t necessarily calendar-related but are in the news a lot – like promoting your book on strong marriages around the Brady/Bundchen divorce – is another way to get more attention for your book.
First and foremost, grab a calendar and start outlining days you could pivot to, even though some of them won’t require a lot of advanced planning, it’s still good to have them ready so you know what you’re doing ahead of the event.
Again, big, national events take up a lot of space in magazines and online and most of that content is booked pretty far in advance, so always keep that in mind.
For example, holiday magazine issues are often completed by July or August – so understand that the bigger the “holiday” the more competitive it will be and the more you’ll need to plan.
Who to Pitch
I love doing local media for many of the off-beat calendar stuff, especially if you can create a fun, local tie-in.
But you can also pitch to bloggers, Influencers, and online media, too – just know that many of them probably have long TBR piles (to-be-read) so you’ll want to plan for these, too – even for smaller observances like National Red Wine Day.
But you can also pitch bigger media and sometimes it’s fun (and a better way to get their attention) by positioning yourself to an upcoming calendar event.
This is especially fun if you’re not in a busy news cycle (like the just-finished election season).
Book Promo Ideas for Older Titles
There are things that can impact how well this is perceived, for example if you’re pushing an older diet and health book, the media could perceive that as being too out of date for their audience.
But in most cases, unique tie-ins are effective for older titles too – they make great informative pieces, filler, or end of segment fluff pieces.
And don’t discount fluff pieces – because consumers pay a lot of attention to those, they’re a psychological break from the heavier stuff.
By the same token, if you’ve been trying to get more online attention for your book, this could be a great opportunity to pitch topic bloggers, rather than book bloggers. Meaning, you’ll go after the calendar topic and your unique perspective or entertaining angle on that, rather than pitching for a book review.
But that’s okay, any exposure is exposure for your book if your platform is set up properly.
The Benefit of Timely Tie-Ins
Calendar tie-ins, pop culture observances and Zeitgeist trends are a great way to stay on top of your pitching game, it’s also a great way to keep breathing new life into your book promo ideas – and it’s a fun and creative way to boost your brand and get more visibility.
Here’s a sneak peek at the kind of variety you can find, literally something for everyone!
January 1: National Hangover Day, Veganuary, and Dry January
January 2: National Thank God It’s Monday Day, National Science Fiction Day, World Introvert Day
January 3: International Mind-Body Wellness Day
January 4: National Spaghetti Day, National Trivia Day and World Braille Day
Using the calendar is a fun and inspiring way to keep your book promo ideas relevant, plus it also means you’ll never run out of options.
Just be sure to download our monthly book marketing planner below and start filling in dates and observances that spark an idea!
Resources and Free Downloads
It’s never too late to snag a few more holiday sales, download my holiday marketing book for only $1.99 right now on Amazon!
Listen to our podcast episode about making connections with your local libraries, there’s plenty of time to get involved in holiday events, usually the more the merrier!