You’ve probably heard the old idiom a hundred–or a thousand, or a hundred thousand–times:
But here’s a fact worth reminding ourselves of: April brings other apart from rain and waiting. Things that you don’t have to wait a whole extra month to enjoy the benefits of? (Who wants to wait for May for those flowers, anyway?)
Not only is today, for example, National Caramel Popcorn Day as well as National No Housework Day–I kid you not! I wouldn’t joke about popcorn and chores!–but coming up this month we have National Walk on Your Wild Side Day, which coincides with National Library Day (4/12) and National Library Week (4/10-16). Later on in the month comes World Book & Copyright Day (4/23) and Poem in Your Pocket Day (4/28). We will also be celebrating Week of the Young Child (4/10-16), National Park Week (4/16-24), and National Princess Week (4/24-30). It’s Autism Awareness Month, Celebrate Diversity Month, Financial Literacy Month, Keep America Beautiful Month, and Library Snapshot Month.
Why do I mention these days? Because it’s a myth that there’s nothing worth celebrating about April. And as self-publishing authors, we’re always hungry for opportunities to celebrate–not just because we like cake and ice cream (and caramel popcorn), but for the very practical purpose of promotion.
Aha! You didn’t know I could turn Spring Astronomy Week (4/10-16) into some sort of practical application for you as a self-publishing author, did you? But here’s the thing: if you’re looking for a reason to kick your marketing campaign into gear, you both should not and very much should look to the calendar for inspiration. You should not look at the calendar as an excuse to wait for some perfect day in the middling or distant future to launch a promotional event. You very much should look to the calendar to see what’s already happening in the immediate future and take advantage. If you’ve written a Young Adult space-faring novel, then Spring Astronomy Week seems like the absolute perfect time to host a reading or giveaway, doesn’t it? But consider this: there’s always a way to tweak a “National Day or Week or Month of X” to your own needs:
“Wishing upon a star for Summer to hurry up and get here? Take a moment in celebration of Spring Astronomy Week to enter this raffle for an Advance Reader Copy of my upcoming book!”
Maybe it’s a little mercenary to work this way. If you want to market with a conscience, as I certainly recommend doing, here’s my hard and fast rule of thumb: if it’s going to be fun and funny for everyone, don’t hesitate! But if it feels like you’re co-opting a day meant to commemorate a serious event (like Ellis Island Family History Day on 4/17) or condition (Autism Awareness Month) then I advise steering clear–unless, of course, your book specifically tackles the subject in question.
The really great thing about looking to the calendar–in the month of April or any other month, for that matter–is that you have the opportunity to tie your marketing work in with a larger conversation. Look for Twitter hashtags and Facebook groups that touch upon your day or week or month theme, and start conversations with other people invested in celebrating it. National celebrations are all about building connections and conversations!
For a more complete list of upcoming dates of note in April, check out this website!
You are not alone. ♣︎
|ABOUT ELIZABETH JAVOR: With over 18 years of experience in sales and management, Elizabeth Javor works as the Manager of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable publishing consultants, pre-production specialists, customer service reps and book marketing specialists; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Elizabeth Javor can put you on the right path.|