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How to Make the Most of National Book Month

Happy October, authors! If you’ve been keeping up with your literary holidays, then you know that this is National Book Month – the perfect time to celebrate your favorite reads, get inspired to write new material, and make the most of potential book sales. Not only does National Book Month have the capacity to drum up readers’ desire to buy new books, but it’s an amazing way to meet writing or sales-related goals that you have for yourself. 

This holiday provides the chance to both connect to readers or authors and also to use the month as a promotional tool.

You can make the most of these opportunities through:

  1. Reach out to your local press to achieve media coverage of your brand.
  2. Utilizing related hashtags across social media platforms.
  3. Keep your reader lists informed of the holiday with month-specific outreach.
  4. Contact your library to suggest an author reading, feature on their website, or meetup for writers.
  5. Using the month as a practice run for Holiday marketing tactics.
  6. Get inspired to read more, gather inspiration, and eventually write more great books!

Keep reading for more on Written Word Media’s top six tips on how to make the most of National Book Month.

Reach out to your local press

Chances are you’ve got a local press wherever you may live. This could be a newspaper or magazine. These local businesses are great because they love all things related to the community… AKA, they’d likely be happy to spread the word of National Book Month and your brand. By asking a local press to write up a short piece of National Book Month and also feature you, you are not only drawing attention to writers everywhere but also to you specifically.

In order to find your local press’s contact information, try searching on Google for local newspapers or magazines. After that, you’ll be able to access the contact information for the press through their website. Make sure to let the press know what the point of the article is – to make readers aware of what National Book Month is also to bring recognition to a local author… you! You may want to include a brief excerpt about who you are, what you write, and where readers can find your books.

Utilizing related hashtags

One of the best ways to attract attention to social media posts related to National Book Month is by adding in related hashtags. If you can tap into hashtags that will appeal to a reader audience, you’re more likely to increase your sales. Here are a few hashtags related to this month’s holiday that you might want to try across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram:

  • #nationalbookmonth
  • #bookpromo
  • #bookmarketing
  • #indieauthors
  • #urbanfantasy (or the specific genre of your books)
  • #publishing
  • #selfpub
  • #booklovers

Feel free to play with the variations of these! By using the right amount of hashtags – anywhere from one to three – you can reach out to people who are searching for your specific topic. Think of hashtags as free marketing!

Keep your reader lists informed

Most self-publishers have a reader list that they reach out to weekly, monthly, or at the time of new releases coming out. National Book Month is the perfect time to send out a holiday-related email to this list! Let your readers know what National Book Month is and give them suggestions for how to celebrate in style.

Some of these suggestions for reading lists might include:

  • Sending your readers links to any of your books that have upcoming free or discounted promotions,
  • Asking readers to head to a library to stock up on books and get into the National Book Month spirit,
  • Encouraging readers to send in ideas on what they would like to see in your next book,
  • And more!

You have room to get creative here. Your readers will love to learn about this holiday (and this is a great chance to keep your reading list warm).

Contact local libraries

Similar to outreach with local presses, it’s a great idea to contact your nearby library branches to ask if a local author reading or meetup can be planned in celebration of National Book Month. If possible, you can even see if the library has a website that features local authors or book-related holidays. Not only does this draw attention to your author brand, but it gives other writers a platform to make the most of this month.

Not sure where to get started? Either call or drop by your nearest library and inquire about their location’s events. This is a great time to mention that you would like to suggest an event or help plan one with staff if possible. Planning something like a local author reading can be a fun way to attract readers who are looking for local flavor! A meetup, on the other hand, can be a great place to bounce marketing tactics off of each other, which leads us to our next idea…

Practice for Holiday marketing tactics

In the world of self-publishing, we know that the most crucial time of year to attract sales is the holiday season (starting in mid-November and ending in early January). Consumers are in the mood to buy at this time and are ready to receive marketing messages from sellers! You better believe that your Holiday marketing tactics need to be in tip-top shape to make the most of this season. 

Of course, practice makes perfect and there’s no better way to practice your marketing strategies than during National Book Month. Not only is NBM right before the holiday season (so all your practice will be fresh on your mind), but the holiday is a great lure for readers.

Per our past research on marketing trends, we know a few things: mobile-friendly email marketing is successful at this time, Amazon and Facebook ads are crucial to attracting sales, and your marketing plan must span the entirety of this season from November to January. 

To do a test run taking these trends into account, make sure that you do the following:

    • Plan ahead for author list emails by brainstorming and drafting messages (and check that they look good on phones)
    • Prepare strategies for Amazon and Facebook ads such as what authors you want to target, what your CPC should be, and what dates are best for your ads to run
    • Make sure these strategies will be mapped out across the Holiday season by buying a large calendar (or using one online) and writing everything down

You can make a smaller version of this plan for October and see what performs well or what needs improvement at the end of the month.

Get inspired!

As we mentioned in our blog post on creating writing habits, one of the best ways to get inspired to write is simple… read more! Anyone who’s an author knows how valuable it is to read anything and everything. National Book Month is the perfect opportunity for you to learn about local authors or other self-publishers that are looking for new readers.

Ultimately, National Book Month is all about celebrating the driving force behind self-publishing: books. It’s a great time to remember what it is you love about self-publishing, put in that extra work to finish your latest and greatest book, and hone marketing techniques that can increase sales.

By following our top tips, you’ll not only make the most of October but will also be ready to enter the valuable Holiday months (November to January) with prepared marketing material.

Happy National Book Month!

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