Sunday, December 16, 2018
Authors Need A Holiday Card Approach To Book Marketing
For at least the past dozen or so years, my wife and I have been sending out a holiday card to friends and family. It’s the kind you make online, with a photo or several on the front and back, postcard style. Many people, especially those with young kids, do them. I realized the process that goes into making that card is a labor of love, similar to how authors go about marketing their books.
In fact, the exercise of having to come up with a catchy headline, the right theme, a good visual, and just enough copy to say something but not too much is like an author having to design an ad or a press release.
It’s rewarding to see a finished product that looks great and brings a chuckle of laughter. The goal I get is that the card needs to be timely and comment on something that’s both in the news and in our own lives. We’ve done ones that commented on technology, Trump, and the Great Recession.
It’s an art to combine the external world with an inner one. This year we featured our newest pet, Jackson the American bulldog, an 80+ pound beast, and our two children, 10 and 13. In regerence to Amazon, which was recently in the news for locating a major office in New York City, the caption says: “Even in a Prime Moment, Some Things Just Can’t Be Returned.”
Last year, for the first time since we started sending them out, we didn’t do one. We’d lost our English bulldog of seven years, Daisy, a few months prior to the holidays. We just didn’t have the spirit to press forward.
Authors need to master the art of the holiday card if they are to succeed at book marketing. Just think of the card as your press release. You have a small amount of real estate to work with. You have but a few seconds to make an impression on others. The look, feel, and content of your pitch – or holiday card – is what will make someone say; “That’s interesting – I need to know more.”
It all comes down to using just a few key phrases, a stunning image, and a timely message. That’s what you have in your tool box. How will you get people’s attention – Shock? Humor? Declaration? Question? News?
Many holiday cards that we receive from others don’t seem as memorable or as catchy as ours. They state the obvious and put in the requisite pose. The background colors and design are ordinary. But our card sticks out – it has attitude. That’s what you want – showcase your attitude.
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