Saturday, August 23, 2008

Creative Book Marketing

"Tie your book to a current event..."

How many times have you read a version of this tip?

Until recently, I couldn't figure out a way to use this advice in my own marketing campaign. You see, I write mysteries - make believe murder and mayhem stories. It seems more than a little crass to consider tying my stories to the latest gruesome murder in an effort to receive free publicity. Just how would that call begin? "Good morning Mr. Producer! You know that story you ran last night on the slaughter of the much loved pastor of that little church over on main? In my recent novel, a minister finds his end in much the same way. Do you think the murderer read my book? Perhaps we can talk about it on your morning show..."

I think not.

Some mystery series have themes. The protagonist has a hobby (scrapbooking, knitting, antiquing) or a profession (catering, teaching, archeologist) that can be used to approach special interest groups. I wasn't that smart. My protagonist is a PI and her spare time hobbies seem to revolve around dating and helping out the homeless. She isn't even an expert PI. She's young, inexperienced, makes mistakes.

Early this morning I started to wonder about those National __________ Months. Who decides? Is there a list? Is there something for Hacksaw or the challenged Eva Baum?

Google to the rescue.

Did you know that 2008 is the International Year of:
  • Languages
  • Planet Earth
  • The Potato
  • Sanitation

What about the month of September? September is (partial list):
  • Be kind to editors and writers month
  • Library card sign-up month
  • National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month
  • Menopause Awareness Month
  • National Potato Month
  • Pleasure Your Mate Month
  • Healthy Aging Month
  • Shameless Promotion Month
  • National Hispanic Heritage Month
  • Hug a Texas Chef Month

And on the weekly list (partial list):

  • Sept 8-13 Lind Dance Week
  • Sept 27-Oct 4 - Banned Books Week - Celebrating the Freedom to Read
  • Sept 18-21 International Women's Ecommerce Days
  • Sept 21-27 Build a Better Image Week
Then there is a daily list that includes things like Be Late for Something Day, Google Commemoration Day, Salami Day, Talk Like a Pirate Day, Responsible Dog Ownership Day, Elephant Appreciation Day, and International Literacy Day.

Anyone (you) can find a tie-in to their book and use it for marketing - check it out at or

In case you were wondering - October is National Toilet Tank Repair month. Be ready.


  1. I came across your posting and you
    brought up some great points.

    As an author of a suspense novel, I
    too had to tie my story to current
    a fairs, such as stalking, obession,and single women.

    It works with the right media vehicle, particularly when you present it at a time when they are in need of content! ;o)

    Have an awesome weekend!

    Won't Be Denied,
    C.F. Jackson

  2. Great tips. I understand, if your book is not about some of the major current events, it can be hard to find a way to tie it in. Good ideas, looking at one's characters, or the location of the story. I'll have to see what I can think up.