We have a few more weeks before Christmas, Kwanzaa, Watch Night and New Years. Bookstores have geared up for holiday shoppers, so no instore events for you to grab at the last minute. Public libraries have geared up for holiday reading events, so no author readings for you to participate in at the last minute. So what do you do? Table selling your books until 2009 or do you take advantage of Holiday Cheer? I say take advantage. Here are 10 ways to do promote your writing through the holidays.
10 Ways to Promote your Writing Through the Holidays
1. Host a free children's book drive at your local library.
It's not too late to schedule a meeting room or space at your local library or church bookstorefor a free children's book drive. If you plan it now, you have time to get a local reporter and local vlogger to the event. Invite the public to drop off new books to the library for either giveaway or for the libary's children's section. On your event day have holiday punch and cookies and invite the public to pick up their free children's book.
2. Give your book to local coffeehouses to include in holiday gift baskets.
Next week I meet with a popular lil house in my town by request of the owner. He loves authors and great books. And he's Christian. We're going to talk gift baskets with my client's books inside and whether the spot will the my new spot for my Winter Reading Series. Local Atlanta Authors, let's do this.
3. Host an Under the Dryer Book Signing at a Beauty Salon.
Have you ever been in a beauty salon? The long wait, the old reading material. What if someone was selling a book I could read while sitting under the dryer. Bingo!! A client of mine sold out this weekend doing this event.
4. Write a Christmas story and have it published in your local community paper or regional magazine.
I wrote a story for Precious Times Magazine a few years back titled "Kissmas Time" from that story I received so many invitations to write articles for other magazines. I have a mailing list of people interested in my book (whenever that comes.) And I have had speaking engagement requests since that story.
5. Sponsor your local Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts Christmas Parade Float.
I just participated in my town's annual Christmas parade. Loads of fun. I saw many familiar faces and have become a friend of the mayor. Yippee. Just because I'm out and about in the community. Sponsoring a float, making a banner, providing costumes, or just chaperoning kids in the parade will put you out in the community. People will become familiar with you. If you are an author, have the kids pass out bookmarks with candy attached to them or take your little Christmas story package it up and give it out to those on the parade route.
6. Read Christmas Stories at your local elementary school media center.
If writing is your life long passion, if you write for a young adult market, a soccer mom market, then get yourself to your local school and read the coolest book to kids. Host a Santa letter party.
7. Host an Online Book Giveaway, but not your book, instead giveaway:
one you know your readers want like Ted Dekker's Kiss that comes out in January, or
one tied to the holidays like a Paula Dean Holiday Cookbook, or
give away a book to your friends you know are afraid to buy, but would love to read (for instance Carleen Brice' Buy a White Friend a Black Book Month Project)
promote the giveaway and the winner by sending a press release to the winner's local paper.Put the book in a gift basket from your local coffeehouse, Avon lady, you know what I mean...
8. Host a Holiday Book Party at a local restaurant
Publisher and author Dwan Abrams will be hosting a party this weekend in downtown Atlanta to celebrate her birthday, the holidays, and her fourth novel book release Married Strangers. The event is free to attend. It is also a book drive for a Women's Prison Literacy Project. She's got localebrities, book reviewers and bookstore managers popping through. The event has been promoted on local gospel radio stations, online mags, local papers, and to anyone within two paces of her.You do know now is the time to throw a party?
9. Build a tip sheet
Center the sheet around your book's theme and the holidays, submit the tip list as filler for major local magazines and online magazines your readers read. My client's can pull these tip sheets out throughout the year and tweak the
10. Be a frontdoor vendor at your local bookstore.
Ask your local bookstore if you can set up a table on the weekend to sale your books. Ask for two tables. One to sell your book and another to giftwrap patrons book gifts as a free service to the bookstore. All bookstore chains allow authors to do this. However, some bookstores will only talk to publicists or publishers.
Bonus, contact your bookstore every week to see if any big time authors had last minute cancellations for their Holiday In Store Events. But be prepared to get books to them on short notice. You can do that right? If not, you might not to sign up for my BMP coaching sessions in 09.
If you read the lines, you will see that the most important thing here is to become a part of your community. The holidays are the best and most opportune to do this. There's something to say about holiday cheer. It comes once a year. Take advantage of it.
This month Christian Fiction will host it's last 1 question interview series of the year. The question is what's your favorite Holiday book. Send me a private message with your answer, blog site address, and book blurb, and I will post your answers on the blog.
Dee Stewart is a bookseller, multimedia journalist, novelist, publicist and now talk show host. She is also inspirational book reviewer for Romantic Times Magazine, Atlanta Satellite Bookseller for The Mocha Bookstores, and owner of Christian Fiction Blog. Her writings have appeared in: Spirit Led Woman, Gospel Today, Advanced Christian Writer, Atlanta Christian Family, Mosaic Literary, Precious Times, Vertical Fix just a few. In 2009 she will begin hosting book marketing coaching sessions for Christian artists. Follow her on Twitter at DeeGospel. Or visit her site at www.deestewart.com.
Don't forget every Tuesday at 8pm EST join Dee and her gal pal, EIC of Good Girl Book Club Magazine, Marina Woods on Dee & Marina Reports on Blog Talk Radio. It's a current events talk radio show discussing book publishing, media, and Christian entertainment from a progressive Christian WOman's point of view.