Traditional Labor Day celebrations offer tips for Savvy Book Marketers
This post originally ran on September 5, 2011. I’ve updated it for 2012.
Labor Day is an annual celebration of workers and their achievements that originated during the late 1800s at the height of the Industrial Revolution. At the time, the average American worked 12-hour days, seven days a week, in order to eke out a basic living. Despite restrictions in some states, children as young as 5 or 6 worked in mills, factories, and mines, earning a fraction of adult wages. Workers of all ages faced extremely unsafe working conditions, with insufficient access to fresh air, sanitary facilities, and breaks. Congress legalized Labor Day as a national holiday in 1894.
The Labor Day holiday is still marked across the country with celebrations like parades, picnics, barbecues, and fireworks. What can a new author trying to market her book take away from these simple celebrations? Lots! Focus especially on the simple part! Book marketing doesn’t need to be expensive or elaborate to be successful. We’ve talked at great length about the importance of relationship marketing, particularly for a personal product created by ONE person: your book!
COMMUNITY EVENTS. A simple celebration like a parade, picnic, or barbecue is the perfect backdrop for a book signing, but you needn’t wait for a holiday like Labor Day to come around. Why not stage your own event – and tailor it to your book? Say you’ve written a book of chicken recipes. How about staging a cook-off or a parade with a “best chicken costume” contest? If you wrote a book of ghost stories, perhaps you could host a bonfire reading as your book launch.
ART DISPLAYS. A second traditional Labor Day celebration involves public art displays. The sky’s the limit when it comes to art events surrounding a book launch, signing, or reading. Every Labor Day weekend, the many artists who live and work in Toledo, Oregon, open their doors to the public for the annual Toledo Art Walk. Several galleries and studios hold special receptions and events throughout the weekend. There’s no reason you couldn’t get some artists and authors together to do something similar in your community!
NICHE MARKETING. The traditional idea of celebrating Labor Day with workers and their families is a reminder to target your marketing to the proper niche and/or industry. Look for ways to tailor your marketing to specific employees, companies, workplaces, or industry groups, if appropriate. And remember to work your family into your marketing plan, whenever possible.
SPEECH-MAKING. The last of the traditional ways to celebrate Labor Day includes speeches by prominent people. What better way for an author to get the word out than by speaking in public? First, get comfortable with public speaking; sign up with a Toastmasters club near you if you’re not practiced or comfortable with public speaking. Then, get busy. Community, church, and industry groups are always in need of speakers. Reach out and offer to speak. Plan to give a talk anywhere from 15 to 40 minutes in length that contains informative content on your niche topic. Ask ahead of time if you can bring copies of your book for sale, and offer to sign them at the end of your presentation.
Take a tip or two from traditional Labor Day holiday celebrations and take your book to the people!
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