Category Archives: Marketing

1 Book Marking Tip – Add Sparkle to Your Book Covers

As authors, we must promote our own books, whether we are traditionally published or self-published.  So, why not add some sparkle to your book cover (s) when you post them on social media.



Filed under Authors, Book Launch, Books, Marketing, Quotes

Library Week, Children’s Book Day & Other Fun Holidays in April

There are all kinds of things going on during the month of April that an author can piggyback on to promote your books!

April is National Poetry Month, National Humor Month, Lawn & Garden Month, Sexual Assualt Awareness Month and others.

The first week in April if Library Week and the second week is Garden Week.  Visit Holiday Insights to see what the other weeks are.


April 1 – April Fool’s Day

April 2 – Children’s Book Day

April 3 – World Party Day

April 4 – Tell a Lie Day

April 5 – Go for Broke Day

April 6 – Sorry Charlie Day – sounds like a broken romance is in there somewhere

April 7 – National Beer Day

April 8 – Zoo Lover’s Day

April 9 – Winston Churchill Day

April 10 – National Sibling’s Day

April 11 – National Submarine Day – is that sandwich or the boat?

April 12 – Walk on Your Wildside Day

April 13 – National Peach Cobbler Day

April 14 – Ex-Spouse Day

April 15 – That Suck’s Day

April16 – Save the Elephant Day

April 17 – National Cheeseball Day

April 18 – Newspaper Columnists Day

April 19 – National Garlic Day

April 20 – Look Alike Day

April 21 – Kindergarten Day

April 22 – Earth Day (U.S.A.)

April 23 – World Laboratory Day

April 24 – Pig in a Blanket Day

April 25 – East Meets West Day

April 26 – Richter Scale Day  – is your book about an earthquake or does one happen in your book?

April 27 – Tell a Story Day

April 28 – Great Poetry Reading Day

April 29 – National Shrimp Scampi Day

April 30 – National Honesty Day


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March is Irish American Month & Other Fun Holidays

There are many fun holidays during the month of March starting with the whole month has been designated as Irish American Month!

Here are some special and fun holidays during the month of March.  For more holidays visit Holiday Insights.

Hope you are able to use one of the fun holidays to promote your book.


March 1 – National Pig Day

March 2 – Old Stuff Day

March 3 – I Want You to Be Happy Day

March 4 – Hug a GI Day – does your book have a military or ex-military character?

March 5 – Multiple Personality Day – does your book discuss mental health issues?

March 6 – National Frozen Food Day – does your character cook using frozen foods?

March 7 – National Crown Roast of Pork Day

March 8 – International (Working) Women’s Day

March 9 – Panic Day

March 10 – Middle Name Pride Day

March 11 – Johnny Appleseed Day

March 12 – Plant a Flower Day

March 13 – Ear Muff Day

March 14 – National Pi Day

March 15 – Everything Thing You Think is Wrong Day

March 16 – Everything You Do is Right Day

March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day

March 18 – Goddess of Fertility Day

March 19 – Poultry Day

March 20 – Proposal Day

March 21 – Fragrance Day

March 22 – National Goof Off Day

March 23 – National Puppy Day

March 24 – National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day

March 25 – Waffle Day

March 26 – Make Up Your Own Holiday Day

March 27 – National “Joe” Day

March 28 – Something on a Stick Day

March 29 – Smoke and Mirrors Day —-oooooh a great day to promote a mystery!

March 30 – National Doctor’s Day

March 31 – World Backup Day



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February Fun Holidays – Promote your book around these days

Looking to add fun to your book promotions?

When you combine your characters, themes, etc. to a holiday, you never know what kind of engagement you are going to get from your audience!

February 1 – Bubble Gum Day – Example: Check out Julia Cook’s Bubble Gum Brain Activity and Idea Book or The Bubble Gum Girl by Jim O’Brien and Michele Phillips.  They could have a contest to giveaway, well, bubble gum!

February 2 – Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day

February 2 – Ground Hog Day

February 3 – Feed the Birds Day – any book about birds, have a bird in it or a type of bird mentioned in the title

February 3 – Superbowl Sunday – books about football or football players

February 4 – Stuffed Mushroom Day – think cookbooks and books with recipes.

February 5 – National Weatherman’s Day

February 6 – National Chopstick Day

February 7 – Send a Card to a Friend Day

February 8 – Kite Flying Day

February 9 – National Pizza Day

February 10 – Umbrella Day

February 11 – White T-Shirt Day

February 12 – National Lost Penny Day

February 13 – Get a Different Name Day

February 14 – Valentine’s Day

February 15 – Singles Awareness Day

February 16 – Do a Grouch a Favor Day

February 17 – Random Acts of Kindness Day

February 18 – National Drink Wine Day

February 19 – National Chocolate Mint Day

February 20 – Love Your Pet Day

February 21 – Card Reading Day

February 22 – Walking the Dog Day

February 23 – Tennis Day

February 24 – National Tortilla Chip Day

February 25 – Pistol Patent Day

February 26 – Carnival Day

February 27 – Polar Bear Day

February 28 – Floral Design Day

See all of February’s Holidays at Holiday Insights.


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3 Things I Learned Promoting Other Authors’ Books

Happy 2019!  January is almost over.  While I have not been writing blog posts, I have been writing, researching, and promoting other authors’ work.

Here are three things that I have learned while promoting other authors’ work/books.


If you agree to promote/market someone’s book, never, under any circumstance agree to accept a percentage of sales as payment!  Just don’t do it!

I recently saw on a social media post where an author was asking for proposals – what percentage of sales would you accept to promote their books. One hundred percent of zero is still zero! You could easily spend 40-100 or more hours per month promoting a book for someone and there may be no sales. Again one hundred percent of zero is still zero.  If you do this, you can see that you will spend lots of energy and get nothing in return.  Again, don’t do it!


Publicist charge for their work and give no guarantee that the book will sell.

Decide in advance what you are willing to do to promote the book.  Are you willing to write press releases?  Will you distribute the press releases?  Where will you distribute them?  Give the author this information upfront in a contract with a disclaimer that you make no guarantee their book will sell.  If this is the first time working with an individual ask for all the money up front, then provide that individual with a weekly report of the work you did- how many news releases did you write (they get a copy of these as they may know of other places to distribute them themselves), how many places did you distribute them to- online press release sites, newspaper book editors, libraries, bookstores, promote on your own social media site, contacted podcast hosts looking for authors to interview, etc.  (Note – if you decide to market and promote someone’s book, do lots more research on what you should and should not do.)


Before you decide to promote a book, read the book.

Those promoting and marketing books make contacts and those contacts trust you when you recommend a book to them.  Before sure the book is worthy of promotion.  I used to market and promote books for a local small publishing company.  I assumed (you know what they say about assuming – it makes an “ass” out of “u” and “me’) the person I was working with was actually reading the books they were publishing. WRONG!  They were not.  I promoted a book to a company with all the spit and shine I could muster.  They agreed to look at the book and I made arrangements for the publishing company to send them a free copy of the book to review.  A few days later I was contacted and asked how could I market such rubbish.  I didn’t understand until I read the book.  It was total rubbish.  The book was ridiculed with bad grammar and punctuation and the story plot was all over the place.  If I had bothered to read the book, I would have seen this beginning with chapter one.  I took the publishing company’s word that this was an excellent book.  Because I had not read the book before agreeing to market it, I not only lost sales for the publishing company, my reputation took a hard hit.  (NOTE – you probably won’t have this issue with a traditional publishing company, but be wary of the vanity presses).


(NOTE – well-known authors will probably not contact you to promote/market their books.  They usually have a traditional publishing company to do that for them.)



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Holiday Book Magazine

Hop on over to my Page “Holiday Magazine” and see the information I need if you wish to have your book(s) listed in the 2017 Holiday Gift Magazine I will be sending to all my newsletter subscribers.

If you participate by having your book(s) in the magazine, I will give you a pdf file of the magazine to share with your newsletter subscribers.

This is a great way to promote your book(s) FREE of charge…well, you will need to spend a little bit of time getting me the information for the magazine then sending it out to your readers.

The more that participate the more circulation your books will have!

And, I will feature a book a day on this blog throughout the Holiday Season!




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Featuring Children, Tweens & YA Authors

Are you a Children’s Author?

Do you write for tweens?

What about Young Adults?

I am paying it forward in 2017 by featuring authors on my blog.

Sign up for me to feature you on the Feature Calendar page!feature-md

Occasionally, there will be bonus material, giveaways, reviews and more!


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Marketing Schedule


PHOTOGRAPHYWhat should a Marketing Schedule look like?

8 months prior to publication date:

  • craft a marketing plan
  • create a web page and social media accounts if you don’t have any
  • if you have no mailing list start compiling a mailing list and asking folks to opt-in to a newsletter, be sure to engage with those who sign-up for newsletter even if only one person opts-in-you are starting to create buzz for your book

7 months prior:

  • interview and research marketing, publicity, or advertising firms if you plan to get professional help
  • if you are going to do publicity on your own you can start on the 6 months prior list
  • continue engagement on social media and via newsletter
  • attend free webinars on book marketing when possible
  • read about book marketing and promotion

6 months prior:

  • start researching and connecting with organizations to schedule speaking engagements
  • create your press kit materials and post to web site
  • decide if you want to have a virtual book tour and for how many days and if so research bloggers and work to line up bloggers for tour or hire a virtual book tour company
  • continue engagement on social media and via newsletter

4-5 months prior:

  • send advance review copies for testimonials and endorsements
  • research magazines and other publications to send out copies to reviewers
  • send copies to bloggers who agreed to review book on virtual book tour
  • continue engagement on social media and via newsletter

3 months prior:

  • host a book cover reveal party on social media
  • start creating more buzz for book on social media
  • confirm testimonials and endorsements for back of book cover
  • last galley proof, continue engagement on social media and via newsletter
  • start writing press releases to send out one month prior to book release date

2 months prior:

  •  create banner for virtual book tour
  • send information to bloggers offering a spotlight or author interview
  • send any photos bloggers request; follow-up with organizations for speaking engagements and confirm dates, etc.
  • continue engagement on social media and via newsletter
  • start writing press releases if not already done so

1 month prior:

  • follow up with everyone contacted above
  • start researching other publications for potential reviews
  • engage on social media and via newsletter
  • write press releases if not already done so and start sending them out

Day of book release – launch party, author to follow the virtual book tour of bloggers

From the day the book is released to 3 months afterwards work on the list above.

Usually after 3 months, a book is no longer considered new.

It has been said that marketing and promoting a book is 95% research and 5% implementation.

Hopefully this gives you a bit of insight to what a publicist does and the reason they charge so much…it is all the time spent on researching the right audience (media, book reviewers,bloggers, book stores, organizations, etc. to find the right contact person’s name, address, e-mail address, phone numbers, etc.) and making contact with them to pitch the book whether it be through e-mail or phone.


Go forth and market your book(s)!

Cindy Harris

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Filed under Authors, Book Launch, Book Reviews, Books, e-books, Genre, Marketing, Self-Publish, Social Networking

Book Marketing and Promotion Plan

You are hard at work marketing and promoting your book.  It really is exhausting and tiPlanme consuming and you are frustrated that sales aren’t coming in.

Every author feels that at one time or another.  It is hard work marketing and promoting your own work.  That is the reason you need a plan.  With a plan you can free yourself to work on your next book.

I know that is easy for me to say.  I too, work a 40 hour week job, have a husband I want to spend time with, have a home to care for, plus we live on a farm.  So, I do not have a lot of free times to spend on marketing and promoting my own work let alone have time to work on my next book.  Yet, a plan helps keep me on track.
Here is a sample plan to help you stay on track, yet not using a lot of time.

Monday – Look up your favorite books on Amazon and read a few reviews and if you like the review click “Yes” where it asks if this review was helpful to you.  Do this even if you have already reviewed the book or purchased it.  You can do this on other books that you have not read and do not intend to purchase.  By clicking “Yes” this helps the ranking of the book.  Spend no more than 15 minutes on this task.  If you know the author, let them know that you did this and ask them to do the same for you.

Tuesday – Write a Press Release and send to at least three newspapers, magazines, etc.

Wednesday – Work on your website.  Update the events, change photos, add content, etc.

Thursday – Post a blog on your blog site.  If you can write more than one blog post in 15 to 30 minutes, schedule one to post on another day.

Friday – If you go out to lunch with spouse or friends, leave your business card on the table.  Your business card should have your web site listed.  If you don’t go out to lunch, visit your social  media sites and respond to your followers or start a discussion.

Saturday – If you find you have free time, write blog posts and schedule them to post on future dates.

Sunday – Create a video and post it on YouTube and other video channels.

Schedule something to do each day of the week to get your book marketing and promoting plan to start rolling.

For more Marketing and Promoting Tips check out these books:

The Book Marketing Bible by Norm Schriever *

Smashwords Book Marketing Guide by Mark Coker *


*These are books that I like.  I do not get paid by these author and/or publishers to list these books in my blog post.

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Filed under Authors, Book Reviews, Books, Marketing, Self-Help, Social Networking, Videos, Writing

My C-Span Interview

On April 6, 2015, I was interviewed by C-Span for their “Cities Tour Topeka.”  This was aired on Sunday, May 3, 2015.

You can watch the interview here:

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