It is Memorial Day in the United States. This is a day of remembrance and reflection for those who have lost their lives in service to our country during any war. On this day we pause to honor them.
Memorial Day also caps off a three-day weekend that is considered the unofficial start to summer, so it is often filled with mattress sales, BBQ’s, and other family activities. While a three-day weekend is always welcome, it is best not to wish someone a “Happy Memorial Day.” It just doesn’t work.
So what does this have to do with book marketing and publicity?
Find the perfect hooks for your book pitches:
As far as book marketing and publicity goes, pay attention to what’s going on and look for news hooks, culture hooks and calendar hooks that you can tie into your expertise and your book. Pitching earned media with an appropriate, timely angle can dramatically increase your chances of coverage. For example, if you have a book about the military or war in general, then doing a book launch or another type of campaign around Memorial Day is perfect timing. Media will be looking for story ideas to compliment the day.
Moving into the future:
How does this strategy work as we move into the future? Taking our military book as an example, we also have the Fourth of July coming up, which is another natural calendar hook, and then, of course, there is Veteran’s Day later this year. For now, we are heading into summer, so how can your book tie into this time of year? Topics include great family vacations, how to BBQ, ways to keep the kids busy while they’re off from school, how to keep your pets healthy in the heat, etc. What else?
Labor day falls during the first week in September and there are always the Back to School stories that are a natural part of the calendar each and every year. “Back to work” stories can also work well during this time. Whether you’re in school or not, Labor Day is the unofficial end to summer, and it always feels like a new beginning, so how can you tie into that?
Plan and prepare in advance:
If there is one trap many authors fall into, it’s not giving yourself enough time to plan and execute that plan with earned media. Yes, it seems as though we live in an instantaneous world, and if you look at the hard-news cycle, that is true. However, when it comes to calendar tie-ins, your best friend is planning. Give yourself six months leading up to something to be sure to extract the most out of it.
Remember, media outlets have their own editorial calendars and timelines, so you want to approach them with your ideas with enough time to actually put them into place.
You would be amazed at how many people wait until November to being thinking about publicity for their books to tap into holiday sales. This is fine when you’re setting up events within your own networks and having webinars with special offers, but if you want coverage in earned media, then it’s not too soon to start planning for the holidays in June or July. I promise you. It’s true.
Pull out a calendar (yes, a real calendar, or a digital one if you prefer), and look at all the many holidays and events that are already scheduled in our culture. Which ones can you tie into? Make a list. Count back six months and figure out when you need to begin planning each campaign, and then get going.
There really is no magic to any of this, but flying by the seat of your pants never works. Planning and executing that plan with a smidgeon of luck thrown in is what’s going to get you the kind of publicity you want. And here’s one of my earlier blog post with more interviewing tips: How to be a Successful Author Doing Media Interviews.
To your success!
P.S. If you find these tips helpful, join our Savvy Sunday News to get them first along with other valuable information on your way to becoming a media darling.