Awareness Days of some kind or other happen just about every day of the year. There can be few authors who can't find at least one day that somehow chimes with their books, if only they take the time and trouble to look. But what to do when you find one that suits you? Here's a case study to give you some ideas and inspiration, by British children's author Jude Lennon, who loves Awareness Days because they make book marketing more fun.
Many authors have wanted to write since they were children. They have dreamt of having their words in print for many years. Many of them can't remember a time when they didn't want to write. On the flip side not many authors can say the same about marketing!
I certainly don't wake up and think “Oooh goodie, today I'm going to get on with my marketing plan”. There are, of course, some writers who enjoy marketing as much as the writing process itself but they are a rare breed.
Despite the hours of research, angst, back ache, neck ache and isolation that goes along with being an author many of us would heartily agree that writing the book is the easy bit. The real hard work is the marketing.
Why We Need to Make Marketing Fun – and How to Do So
As indie authors this is something we have to address. Even large publishing houses expect their authors to do their share on social media these days, so there's absolutely no getting out of it for those of us who are going it alone.
When I was still teaching young children, I always found that the best way to teach something that wasn't exciting was to make it as exciting as possible. And this is how I have always approached my marketing.
Marketing is not something I enjoy. It's not something I want to spend hours and hours of my precious time on but I do know it's an essential. Nobody is going to buy my book, attend my events or tell others about me if I don't tell them first.
So what's the solution? I use a few strategies, including my lovely storytelling mascots, who also feature in some of my books. They have their own Facebook page, their own passports and even came away to South America with us. Their pictures from Machu Picchu in Peru got an incredible amount of likes.
I do realise that not everyone's book or genre lends them towards using a mascot so onto the main part of this blog…Awareness Days.
You'll all have seen these:
- International Day of Literacy
- International Day of Peace
- Red Nose Day etc.
These are an invaluable resource to tap into. So for example 24th -30th July was National Parks Week – the perfect opportunity to take some lovely PR shots of my books in the local park. My first book is set in this park but I also took some of my other books along and got some great shots of the books and mascots up trees, on benches, sitting on stepping stones and more. And even better, I didn't have to be in pictures! Simply use the hashtag for the Awareness Day on your social media posts and bingo – instant PR.
7 Good Reasons to Use Awareness Days to Market Your Books
Here are my top reasons for using them.
- They give you instant content. No more sitting at the keyboard thinking how can I write something interesting and engaging about my book without sounding like I'm doing the big sell? All you need is ‘Happy I Love To Write Day everyone' and a picture of your writing book. It really couldn't be simpler.
- There is literally a day for everything including Hammock Day, Lost Sock Day, World Penguin Day and Straw Hat Day. It's worth setting aside an hour to search for awareness days that relate to your book, its content, your particular hobbies or general literacy days.
- If for some reason you can't find a suitable Awareness Day, you can create your own. Sue Miller from Team Author UK set up Indie Author Week UK because she wanted a week to celebrate Indie Authors specifically in the UK and there was nothing. The response this year was fantastic and we are looking forward to next year's being even bigger.
- The Awareness Days often lead to new links and contacts as you can see who else is using the hashtags. I have found some great people to follow and like this way and have had my page liked by fellow lovers of Chocolate Day too.
- You can plan your book releases around these Awareness Days. I have done this with all of my books using International Yoga Day to launch Floga with Flossie (a very unique version of yoga) and Autism Awareness Month to launch Hal and the End Street.
- When book releases do tie in with Awareness Days it can make it far easier to get PR coverage in local press. Remember they want to sell a story not a product.
- It is actually quite good fun! And, if something is fun we are more likely to stick at it.
So there you have it, My quick low down on Awareness Days. Have fun and don't forget your hashtags…
OVER TO YOU Do you have a great Awareness Day case study to share? We'd love to hear about it!
OTHER GREAT POSTS ABOUT BOOK MARKETING
From the ALLi Author Advice Center Archive