Free printable calendars from the Creativity Exchange

Free printable calendars from the Creativity Exchange

Our thanks to Sandra Beckwith of Build Book Buzz for this guest post! And our additional thanks to Sandra for offering our tribe a $10 discount (30% off!) on “Blurbs, Endorsements, and Testimonials: How to Get Experts, Celebrities, and Others to Endorse Your Book,” a multi-media program that teaches you how to get essential endorsements. Use the exclusive Where Writers Win coupon code, WWW, to get the multi-media program for just $19.

While I hate to think about the winter holiday season when it’s still October, it’s important to plan ahead so you can take advantage of the many media and blog interview opportunities that arrive with the change in the weather.

Certain stories run during November and December every year. What new spin can you bring to them? How can you make them fresh for the media outlets on your hit list? Don’t wait to get started on these. You don’t want to miss an opportunity because you’ve made the pitch the week the piece is scheduled to run. Here are seven dates/holidays with author marketing opportunities, and plenty of suggestions to get you started!

  • U.S. Election Day is November 4. Possible topics: How political fights keep getting dirtier and dirtier, class warfare, how people decide who to vote for, campaign innovations, deciding between the lesser of two evils, what it takes to be a good leader.
  • U.S. Veterans Day is November 11. Possible topics: Veteran healthcare, special and meaningful ways to thank our military veterans, veterans’ benefits, transitioning to civilian life, how returning or discharged veterans can find employment.
  • U.S. Thanksgiving is November 27. Possible topics (and there are many): It’s a short shopping season this year because Thanksgiving falls at the end of the month, how to express gratitude every day rather than one time a year, teaching children table manners, creating holiday traditions that work for you today, Black Friday shopping tips, what to do when the adults would rather sit at the kids’ table than sit at the grown-up table, celebrating holidays when a parent is in a nursing home or other institution, creating a fun and festive centerpiece, how to accommodate dietary restrictions, cooking with Thanksgiving leftovers, dodging unpleasant topics at the dinner table.
  • People need holiday help. Possible topics: How to avoid holiday stress, entertain on a shoestring, reputable nonprofits that offer gift options for donations (, etc.), what to buy the person who has everything, de-stressing techniques, supporting friends and family who are unemployed, how to write a holiday letter that won’t make readers roll their eyes, clever holiday decorating, holiday craft projects for the kids.
  • Surviving the season when you’re coping with grief and loss. Newspapers, local TV news programs, and websites offer tips for coping with grief and loss during the holiday every year – it’s a given. They’re always looking for new sources of advice; authors are perfect for that. This might be a good fit for you if your book is a memoir that addresses moving on after a significant loss or if you write about aging, elder care, end-of-life issues, life-threatening diseases, hospice care, or starting over in life.
  • Holiday gift round-ups will be everywhere. Round-ups are articles or TV talk show segments that cover a category – like “20 holiday gifts for under $20.” (One of those 20 could be your book, right?) Possible holiday roundup articles that could include books are: Book gift ideas for people by age or life stage: teens, pre-teens, children, toddlers, babies, parenting, etc. Self-improvement at the end of the year is another big one: health, relationships, weight loss, and exercise. Think in terms of best gifts for teens, new parents, college-bound students, singles, cooks, runners, and so on. Just about every book could fit into a round-up gift idea – what’s yours?
  • It’s New Year’s resolution time. You’ve seen these stories – they run every year. Can you contribute? Possible topics: Why New Year’s resolutions are pointless and what you should do instead, are resolutions a good idea, how to create new habits, exercise and diet tips to help you achieve your new goals, how to find that new relationship you promised yourself in your resolutions, how to keep your resolutions, how to select resolutions that you’ll actually implement, how to select a health club or gym, ways to find that new job that’s on your resolutions list.

How can you connect something in your book to those stories and interview opportunities that you know you’ll see in the media during November and December? Even a mystery writer can jump on this, pitching a local newspaper on “5 ways to elevate holiday suspense for the little ones” while a biographer can offer “the 6 Americans most responsible for Thanksgiving traditions.”

Brainstorm with a friend to generate a list of ideas, narrow it down to two or three with the most potential, determine which outlets would be most appropriate, and start pitching. You can do it!

SandraBio1 253x300 Four Reasons You Must Have Book Cover Blurbs!Sandra Beckwith is an award-winning former publicist who now teaches authors how to promote their books through her free Build Book Buzz newsletter, blog, individual coaching, and online training programs. Use the exclusive Where Writers Win coupon code, WWW, to receive a $10 discount on “Blurbs, Endorsements, and Testimonials: How to Get Experts, Celebrities, and Others to Endorse Your Book,” her new multi-media program that teaches you how to get those essential pre-publication endorsements for your book.

Editor’s Note: Sandra is also a participant in our Winner Circle, offering members sample press releases and tip sheets in our “Templates and Tutorials” section. Join now at to take advantage of all the ways we “shrink the web” for authors, including access to live book clubs, indie bookstores, vetted book reviewers by genre and more!

5 thoughts on “Seven Calendar Opportunities to Leverage Your Author Marketing

  • October 30, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    I write children’s books and have one out this year called Stu’s Big Party. Read your article and started brainstorming…. just launched a Facebook campaign with the line “Not sure which PARTY to vote for? May we make a suggestion? Stu’s Big Party!” I put the main character on a political looking button, linked it to a special “Election Day Sale” on my website and threw it out there 30 minutes ago. Its already been liked a handful of times and has been shared a few times. Will it turn into sales? I don’t know but it gets me out there again so thank you for your inspiration!

    • October 30, 2014 at 9:09 pm

      Great idea – will go check it out and share too!

  • October 27, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Hi Sandy,

    Consumers complain about holiday items appearing on store shelves earlier and earlier each year. As authors we can’t think that way. We should even thank the retailers for helping direct the public’s attention to the year’s most lucrative buying season and then use the holidays as author marketing opportunities as you’ve suggested.

    Thanks for these timely tips that we can tailor to any genre. I’m making my list now.

  • October 23, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    Thanks for the opportunity to contribute, Shari!

    Sandra Beckwith

    • October 23, 2014 at 9:54 pm

      Your insights are always on target and always appreciated — a voice for the good of authors. Thank you!

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