World Book Day and Other Holidays

Circa 2005-2007

If you want to expand your book sales, one way is to increase your online audience by expanding your promotions to overseas.

In a previous post, I talked about timing your posts to reach overseas audiences by posting them at times appropriate for your target overseas audience.  For example, I live in New Mexico, which is Mountain Standard Time (MST).  If I want to time my posts, so that they post on the most populous part of Australia (the east coast), I have to first consider, when the most likely time Australians might be up, moving about, and looking for something to read.  On social media, a common hashtag for book promotions is #FictionFriday.  This is when a lot of people look for books to read over the weekend.  Therefore, I might want to time my posts when everyone on Australia’s east coast, which is Australian Eastern Daylight Time is rising and getting ready for their day.  Assuming they have to be at work at 8:00 a.m, I may want to time my posts to hit there at 7:00 a.m.  7:00 a.m. Friday in Sydney is 6:30 p.m. in Albuquerque.   So, I post at 6:30 p.m. Albuquerque time.   You can find lots of articles and maps on the Internet to calculate the time difference, but iPhones and other gadgets enable you to monitor the time in several locations at once.

However, now I want to discuss promoting your books/posts by using holidays, international and national.

There are lots of international holidays with which to time posts or promotions: Christmas, Easter, Good Friday, New Year’s Day, etc.  Everyone knows these.  Many of these are religious holidays.

There are also a lot of lesser known holidays that you can use to target an audience depending on its topic, of course.  One example is World Book Day, which is generally celebrated on April 23rd.    Calendarlabs.com provides a good list of international holidays such as these.

Then there are the national holidays celebrated by your target country.  Assuming you want to promote your book to English-speaking countries, the five major English-speaking countries are the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.  English is spoken world-wide, so if you target these countries primarily, you will probably reach the vast majority of the English-speakers as well, though you may be a time zone off here and there.   Of course, you can find exhaustive lists of holidays for each of these countries scattered around the Internet, but here are a few you may want to consider (the links are to a list of each country’s holidays):

United Kingdom

Spring Bank Holiday, May 28, 2018

Boxing Day (in most English-speaking nations), December 26, 2018

Canada

Victoria Day, May 21, 2018

Canada Day, July 2, 2018

Labour Day, September 3, 2018

Remembrance Day, November 11, 2018

Australia

Australia Day, January 26, 2018

ANZAC Day, April 25, 2018

Queen’s Birthday, June 11, 2018

Boxing Day, December 26, 2018

New Zealand

Waitangi Day, February 6, 2018

ANZAC Day, April 25, 2018

Labour Day, October 22, 2018

Boxing Day, December 26, 2018

Remember that the UK consists of England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland, so you may have to consider the holidays in each of these separately.  Also, some states and provinces may or may not celebrate national holidays in the same way or on the same date as the rest of the nation as well as having their own holidays.

As mentioned, these are only a few, actually a very few of the holidays celebrated in English-speaking countries, but I hope it gives you an idea of what is out there that you may want to incorporate into you posting and planning.

 

 

 

 

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Phil Slattery, 2015

This article also appears at farmingtonwriterscircle.wordpress.com.

I try to publicize my works as much as possible using social media, because it is very inexpensive (often free) and it has the potential of connecting with people around the world.  My personal WordPress account shows that my viewers come from around globe from such diverse locales as Ireland, Russia, India, Singapore, Australia and Brazil among many others.

  • I became curious about what would be the best time to post to reach the largest audience.  I did a little research on the Internet and made a few calculations and came up with some interesting results.

According to study by Fictionophile, the most “literate” of the United States is the East Coast, where most major cities are concentrated along with most major universities and Ivy League Schools.  Therefore, to gain the most exposure to this audience, you have to time your posts with the eastern time zone.   How you want to do that, of course, is up to you.  I try to post at 7:00 a.m. EST, when most people are rising for the and reading their e-mail or newspaper.  But you might want to post at 5:00 or 6:00 p.m. when most people are coming back from work and settling in for the evening.  You might also want to post on Fridays, often advertised as #FictionFriday, when people start to seek out reading for the weekend.  There are a lot of other possible strategies as well.  Fortunately, WordPress allows its users to schedule their posts, so this is easy to do for me.

Here are a few notes I took during my research.  Being a former Naval officer, I still find military time easiest to use, so most of my time references are based on the 24-hour clock.  I live in New Mexico, thus the references to Mountain Standard Time (MST).  UTC is “Universal Time Coordinated, the successor to Greenwich Mean Time, which is the time in London, England.  More on UTC can be found at https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/timezone/utc.

  1. To time European English-speaking countries for publicity, use Central European Time (CET) which is eight hours ahead of MST. (2030 MST Monday = 0430 CET Tuesday). Ergo, 0001 MST = 2001 CET.
  2. India Standard Time (IST) is UTC + 5:30 or CET + 4:30. Ergo, 2030 MST Monday = 0930 IST Tuesday
  3. Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT: Sydney, Canberra) = UTC + 11/CET + 10
  4. Staggering release times of announcements would seem to be best to catch a world audience. Ergo, for a three day free promotion, Release as follows:
    • 0801 Mon. MST = 0001 Tuesday CET = 0431 IST
    • 0001 Mon. MST = 0801 Monday CET = 1231 IST = 1701 AEDT
    • 1931 Mon. MST = 0331 Tuesday CET = 0801 IST
    • 1500 MST Monday = 2300 Monday CET = 0801 Tuesday AEDT

To make this easier for me to track, I use the World Clock feature on my iPhone clock, which allows me to track the time in several time zones at once.  Currently, I am tracking the time in Washington, DC; Brussels, Belgium; New Delhi, India; Singapore; Perth, Australia; Sydney, Australia; and Honolulu.   By targeting these time zones, I believe I can reach the majority of the English-speaking world.

Note that, if you are interested in targeting an Australian audience, they are about fifteen hours ahead of us (MST), so promoting book giveaways or announcements for a specific day is tricky.  For example, if you have a book giveaway that starts at 8:00 a.m. MST on February 25, it won’t start for the folks in Sydney until 11:00 p.m. February 25.  Here’s a screenshot from my iPhone to show the intricacies involved.   Still, I believe that proper timing of your posts with the audience you want to reach will eventually be worthwhile.

Examples of the time zones with the majority of English-speakers

Reminder: The Farmington Writers Meet and Greet Will Be Held Today, Friday, June 9, from 5:00-9:00 pm.

Artifacts Art Gallery/302 Main Espresso, Farmington, New Mexico

Just a reminder that the Farmington Writers Circle Meet and Greet networking event is today, Friday, June 9, at Artifacts Gallery, 302 East Main, in downtown Farmington (NM)  from 5:00 to 9:00 during the city’s Artwalk .

This event is open to everyone with an interest in writing or reading.  Its purpose is for local area writers of fiction and non-fiction to socialize and make networking contacts with the public and other writing professionals such as editors, publishers, reporters, bloggers, teachers, and anyone else interested in writing.  Novices, amateurs, students, and professionals of all genres, styles, and media are all welcome.  Anyone with an interest in reading or teaching any type of writing is definitely welcome.  This is an opportunity to meet your favorite local authors.

Bring business cards and any other handouts such as flyers or pamphlets to pass out to your new contacts.

There will also be book-signings and readings by several local authors and writers (a list will be posted soon).  Artifacts Gallery will also provide a salsa-tasting.  Refreshments will be available.

Check back frequently for updates.

For more information, contact Phil Slattery at phil@philslattery.com.

Reminder: The Farmington Writers Meet and Greet Will Be Held on Friday, June 9, from 5:00-9:00 pm.

Artifacts Art Gallery/302 Main Espresso, Farmington, New Mexico

Just a brief reminder that the Farmington Writers Circle Meet and Greet networking event is on this coming Friday, June 9, at Artifacts Gallery, 302 East Main, in downtown Farmington (NM)  from 5:00 to 9:00 during the city’s Artwalk .

This event is open to everyone with an interest in writing or reading.  Its purpose is for local area writers of fiction and non-fiction to socialize and make networking contacts with the public and other writing professionals such as editors, publishers, reporters, bloggers, teachers, and anyone else interested in writing.  Novices, amateurs, students, and professionals of all genres, styles, and media are all welcome.  Anyone with an interest in reading or teaching any type of writing is definitely welcome.  This is an opportunity to meet your favorite local authors.

Bring business cards and any other handouts such as flyers or pamphlets to pass out to your new contacts.

There will also be book-signings and readings by several local authors and writers (a list will be posted soon).  Artifacts Gallery will also provide a salsa-tasting.  Refreshments will be available.

Check back frequently for updates.

For more information, contact Phil Slattery at phil@philslattery.com.

#Marketing Myself as a #Character

                    Circa 2005-2007

For the last few weeks I have been contemplating how to market my works.  Of course, I wander through the local bookstore studying how each book markets itself,  Also, I analyze everything else I see on line and in person for patterns.  I think back on the famous authors of the past and wonder how they achieved their renown: how were they marketed and how has their fame spread since.

It occurs to me that readers are as fascinated by the lives of their favorite authors as they are by the characters in their novels.   My favorite author is Hemingway.  Hemingway’s life fascinates me at least as much as that of any of characters.   His life probably fascinates me more than that of any of his characters, because there is more to learn about it.   Frederic Henry (For Whom the Bell Tolls)  is interesting, but his life has none of the detail that his author’s does.  Henry is shallow by comparison.  None of the characters of any of Poe’s works have the same depth and complexity of his own life.  When authors of biographies market their works, they have to show how fascinating their subjects are just as novelists have to convince their readers of how fascinating their characters are.

Therefore, I am beginning to believe that to sell my works, I need to sell myself, my story, just the same as I would that of any of my characters.  If my readers find my characters interesting, they will naturally want to find out more about me.  This is not blatant egotism; it’s simple fact.  Readers are as fascinated by the lives of their favorite authors just the same as they are fascinated by the lives of the characters of those authors.  Instead of writing the same standard bio notes for readers on my website and elsewhere, I will start writing those bio notes the same as I would the bio of a character: bringing out my own flaws, contradictions, ironies of my life, and so on to demonstrate how complex I really and hopefully attract readers who find my life so compelling that they have to investigate the characters I write.   Writing a autobiographical note, then, becomes another chance to show how well I can write and to give potential readers another sample of my work.