Summer’s here and the marketing’s easy
With Memorial Day being the unofficial start of summer, it’s time to turn our thoughts to summer reading – particularly, how to get our books into the hands of summer readers. Summer is traditionally the time we reserve for specific activities. Let’s have some fun as we explore some of the book marketing ideas we can implement as the weather warms and our thoughts turn to vacation and relaxation.
Summer Book Marketing Ideas
WITH STUDENTS on summer break, they may have time for hobbies they can’t quite fit in during the school year. Does your book – fiction or nonfiction – focus or touch on an activity that might be a new summer interest for children or adults? Are there clubs, Meetups, or classes related to your topic of music, stamp-collecting, jewelry-making, vegan cooking, etc.? Think about attending such groups in your area – or starting one of your own – but don’t rule out those in other parts of the country. Let your fingers do the googling, and reach out to the coordinators and ask if they’d be interested in a Skype lesson from you!
FAMILY VACATIONS and reunions are also popular during the summer months. How can you tie in the theme of your book with travel plans, auto safety, pool safety, cookouts, games, scrapbooking, slumber parties, camping, water sports, and more? Blog on these topics, offer giveaways, write news releases to connect the dots for would-be readers. Is it the perfect beach read? Might shops on the pier in your favorite beach town be willing to carry your book? You’ll never know if you don’t ask them.
IF YOUR CHILD is the reader I was as a kid, he or she is most definitely participating in your local library’s summer reading program. Is it possible to get your children’s book on next summer’s or this fall’s reading list? Can you create a series of activities around you book for a local school or summer program? Invite the kids in your neighborhood to act out the story, write their own stories, or make puppets related to your characters.
CELEBRATE the summer birthdays! No – not necessarily your birthday, but the birthday of a certain well-known someone. One famous June birthday is Blake Shelton (June 18th). Tom Hanks will be 59 on July 9th. And that famous red-headed Leo, Lucille Ball, was an August 6th baby. For those still alive and kicking, why not create an inexpensive birthday banner from eSigns and get all your friends to sign it? Send it, along with a copy of your book, to their publicist. Will it necessarily get there? Maybe. Maybe not. But if it does… Hold a party in their honor – or offer a “birthday special” where you discount you book just for that day for anyone who shares their favorite quote from that celebrity via Facebook, Twitter, or Gooogle+. Give a free book to the person who most resembles the celebrity on Instagram. This is the time to break out your magic wand and get creative!
GO FLY A KITE – with your book cover on it. YouTube is full of videos that show you how to make your own kite. You can really go all out with this one and have the image of you book cove printed on fabric via Spoonflower.com. Then take it to the beach or a well-populated park and let her fly. Get adventurous and give a few kites with your children’s book cover on them away to families.
While you’re printing fabric, why not put you book cover on a t-shirt or a sign or a wrap for your vehicle?
TIE YOUR BOOK IN with the latest summer blockbuster. Paranormal your cup of tea? How about offering a discount on your book(s) to anyone who has a suggestion to the new cast for avoiding the Poltergeist curse. More into thrillers? Have your readers post an alternate ending to the new Avengers, Mad Max, or Jurassic film for a chance to win a signed copy of your book.
SCOUR THE CALENDAR for appropriate months, weeks, or days related to your book and do something creative to celebrate. For instance, hold a book signing bonfire to celebrate Midsummer Day (June 24th), discount your Canadian-themed books on July 1st for Canada Day, or collect recipes from readers during August, National Peach Month.
Since You’ll Be Traveling Anyway…
DO YOUR RESEARCH and schedule a signing at a bookstore, hobby shop, or specialty boutique in the locale(s) you’ll be visiting. If you really plan ahead, you can even take out a small ad in the local newspaper and send news releases to the local media.
TIME YOUR VACATION to coincide with special events, such as Founders’ Day parades, beach parties, or summer carnivals. Find out what’s involved in getting a vendor booth. At the very least, carry your bookmarks or postcards with you – and always have copies of your book on hand!
TAP YOUR HOTEL OR B&B and ask if they will allow you to display and/or sell your books in the lobby. Maybe they’ll even offer to have you do an impromptu reading!
Plan for the Rest of the Year
While you have some down time, summer may also be the perfect opportunity to plan – or get caught up – on your marketing for the rest of the year.
- Follow up on old leads. Even if it’s been several months, you never know who might have an interest in partnering with you for a win-win campaign.
- Plan your quarterly or bimonthly newsletters for the rest of the year.
- Write one news release per month, tying your book to the season/time of the year.
- Start reaching out to the bloggers you want to include on your virtual book tour. Yep – even if your book’s been out for a while, this is always a possibility.
- Develop a quarterly contest: Ask your readers to help you name your next book, name a character in your next book, decide where your character goes on vacation.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to summer marketing for your book. But you’ve got to start. You’ve got to make a plan. And then you’ve got to FOLLOW THROUGH!
We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.
If you’re getting ready to launch your book and would like help to put together a successful event, download my free special report: Anatomy of a Book Launch. Then CALL me at 602.518.5376 to schedule your complimentary 15-minute consultation. It’s never too early to begin planning!