Book Marketing Advent Calendar – Day 3 – Give your writing away for free
It occurs to me that perhaps the whole concept of “Advent calendar” could use some explanation. According to Wikipedia (yes – I know it’s not a 100 percent reliable resource), the season of Advent is “a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the [birth] of Jesus at Christmas.” The term derives from the Latin word adventus, which means “coming.” Growing up Catholic, we looked forward to Advent as the colors of the priests’ vestments and altar cloths changed from green to purple. We always had an Advent wreath with its three purple candles and one pink (hope in the middle of the darkness, I believe it indicated), one candle for each Sunday of Advent.
An Advent calendar is a special calendar used to count or celebrate the days leading up to Christmas. Since the date of the first Sunday of Advent varies, falling between November 27 and December 3, the Advent calendar typically starts with December 1. Advent calendars can range in theme and format, from cardboard sports calendars to phone apps to … book marketing blog posts.
As I mentioned in my reply to a comment from author Kebba Buckley Button on my Advent calendar series, “I knew I wanted to do a Christmas-themed series … the Advent calendar idea came when I was trying to come up with a cohesive logo.”
Our Day 3 tip for the 2015 Book Marketing Advent Calendar encourages you to jump on the Advent calendar bandwagon:
Create an Advent (or pre-Christmas or Hanukkah or Festivus) series.
Do this by giving away a piece of your story or a tip from your book every day through Christmas. This may involve some nerve-calming, in terms of the decision to give away your material. Some of us seem to make ourselves a little crazy with the idea that if we give our best work away, people won’t buy our book(s). Thing is, giving away our work can often be the best thing we can do to increase our sales. Check out these seven benefits to giving away your writing, from author Bryan Hutchinson, as published in a post on DailyReckoning.com:
- It’s a way to generate reviews more quickly than waiting around and hoping people buy your book, which can take a long time if you are an unknown author.
- Give people a reason to support you. “Most people love to reciprocate generosity; it’s built into our DNA!
- The number of people who download your free offer can help you estimate what your real market reach is.
- Your giveaway will attract readers to your website and to any other books you may have published or will publish.
- It helps you create “exposure, exposure, exposure…”
- If your book is good and resonates with the people who downloaded it, their response to it will help generate sales after the promotion. Sales you might not have had otherwise.
Of course, there’s something to be said for being strategic about what you give away, how you do it, and what your expectations are for your return on this little experiment. Entrepreneur and author Gary Vaynerchuk, who wrote the best-selling Crush It, about using social media to initiate his meteoric rise to fame and fortune, has a few words about the strategy behind your give-away.
Main point: Get over yourself and give some writing away. Send it out via your email list. Post it on your blog every day. Put it on Facebook. Tweet it. Use whichever platform matches your audience and your goals. Just be generous. Think of it as donning your virtual Santa suit.
As you may know, I am taking part in the Holiday Author Event for the next 8 days. PLEASE BE SURE to stop by the Holiday Author Event page today to find questions from some of our other authors about their websites and blogs. Answer the questions via email and you will be entered in today’s drawing!
Wishing you a splendid Advent!
We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.