Hello 2021! We will be so glad to make your acquaintance this year.
An even bigger hello to all of AME’s followers and friends. Welcome to our list of January observances and unique content ideas for your monthly author marketing plan.
Without regular connection to readers, you’re just another book on the shelf. Take the time to make yourself stand out by using our monthly observances and tips to create interesting content with your own unique twist.
This is part of building your brand!
Timely content that uses popular and trending search terms and hashtags is a great way to enhance your visibility and improve SEO in a very simple way.
And what’s really key: content ideas don’t always have to stem from your genre or topic.
When it comes to author marketing and building a brand, ensuring that your fans and followers have ways to connect with you on a more personal level is as powerful as speaking about your genre and topic.
How to Use My Content Ideas
Below are holidays and just plain wacky and fun January Observances for 2021.
I’ve also included a few content ideas and angles to help spark your creativity!
Not all of these are worth an entire blog post or article, but nearly all of them can be turned into a fun or thought-provoking social media post or blurb in your newsletter – so it’s like getting triple the ideas!
There are always a lot of holidays around food, drink, and cooking, so get ready to share recipes or tag local fave establishments and ask followers to share theirs. The same goes for activities: this is a great chance to take selfies and/or share a bit about yourself outside of being a writer.
These also open up opportunities for you to make recommendations for products – no, not official ads, but again, people love to follow someone who’s a great resource. Think outside the box to come up with ways you can help people out and make their lives easier or more exciting.
Keep in mind: ALL of your posts should encourage your fans and followers to respond, chime in, share their feedback, insight, stories, etc. Don’t forget to work that angle: let them know you want to hear from them.
Also remember: your goal is to encourage engagement – never post flat content; be creative with how you pull others into the conversation and offer ways for them to easily engage.
If you feel a little guilty about the lack of promotion planning you did in 2020, use this list as a productive kick in the rear. Commit to writing some form of content every day and use it on social, for your blog, in your newsletter – get creative!
Giving yourself a bar to reach is the first step to upping your game.
Kick-off a great year of book marketing and promotion by grabbing our Monthly Book Marketing Planner from the Free Resources and Downloads section at the end of this post.
Do polls, giveaways, fan art contests: remember to make it about your readers – not about you – and you’re guaranteed to see better engagement.
If you need some additional support on how to translate these ideas into actual content and posts, consider signing up for email coaching with me and we’ll get personal!
Getting Started with Content Ideas
Check out these month-long observances. Several offer opportunities to support a cause close to your heart by sharing stories, raising awareness, and/or giving your followers ways to donate money, time, and love to your favorite issues.
International Creativity Month You could probably do this one in your sleep, so think outside the box and brainstorm ways for your fans to show their creativity. Put a call out for favorite quotations about creativity, ask your visual artist followers to upload fan art featuring their favorite scenes or locations in your books and then vote on their favorites (prizes are always nice), or let your people know that you’re looking for a new creative hobby and ask for their advice or recommendations.
National Bath Safety Month
National Blood Donor Month If this is a cause close to your heart, offer a discount for every photo uploaded to your account after giving blood. If you can afford it, finish out the month by donating $1 (or $5 or $10) in honor of each blood donor to the American Red Cross.
National Braille Literacy Month
National Hobby Month
Hot Tea Month
National Oatmeal Month
National Soup Month
2nd Week Letter Writing Week Break out the stationary and encourage good old-fashioned letters to the friends far and near that we’ve been missing over the last year. Or maybe go cyber for a favorite cause and ask others to join you in a letter-writing campaign in support of a cause you care about.
Daily Observations for January
National Hangover Day
New Year’s Day – Baby New Year, we have high hopes for you! Here’s to 2021!
National Science Fiction Day (also Isaac Asimov’s Birthday) – Where my SF friends at? This one has your name literally written all over it!
Feast of the Epiphany; Three Kings
Festival of Sleep Day
Fruitcake Toss Day
National Spaghetti Day
Trivia Day – A great opportunity for an author trivia contest with questions released throughout the day and maybe a prize or two for participants who prove they know you inside and out.
National Bird Day
Cuddle Up Day
Old Rock Day
Bubble Bath Day – This one is practically made for Romance authors who want to put together a little self-care recipe card for their readers: favorite bath soak, favorite wine, favorite candle scent, and your best book title for a truly wonderful idyll in the bathtub!
Male Watcher’s Day
Play God Day – As authors, we kind of get to do this anyway. Why not flip the tables and ask readers to play God by suggesting one thing they’d like to see in your upcoming releases? In addition to great engagement, you might get a handful of truly terrific ideas and some fans for life if you decide to use them.
Common Sense Day – Thomas Paine’s rabble-rousing broadside Common Sense was published on 1/10/1776. A good day to create some PSAs on the topic of common sense or rabble-rousing – or both!
Bittersweet Chocolate Day
Houseplant Appreciation Day
Peculiar People Day
Learn Your Name in Morse Code Day
Step in a Puddle and Splash Your Friend’s Day
Feast of Fabulous Wild Men Day – I have no idea who came up with this one, but if you’re a Romance author, this is a perfect opp for a poll on our readers’ favorite book boyfriend! Which of your heroes is the swooniest?
National Hot Tea Day
National Pharmacist Day
International Skeptics Day
Make Your Dream Come True Day
National Rubber Duckie Day – Kidlit authors, here’s one for you! Use Canva to add a rubber duckie to one of your illustrations and remind your followers that your picture book is a great bedtime read after a bath.
National Take the Stairs Day
Dress Up Your Pet Day
National Bagel Day
National Hat Day – Sherlock Holmes had his deerstalker, the Ingalls girls their sunbonnets, and Shane his Stetson. Whether your genre relies on straw boaters or sparkling tiaras, today is the day for a selfie with your favorite headgear.
Appreciate a Dragon Day – another one with loads of possibilities for Fantasy and Children’s authors. Toothless? Pete? Puff? Your own purple people eater? Showcase the best of our fire breathing friends or declare your excitement for the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons movie.
National Nothing Day
Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day
Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday
Thesaurus Day – a great day to play word games with friends and followers!
Winnie the Pooh Day – today is the birthday of Winne the Pooh’s author, A.A. Milne. Perhaps a little honeycake is in order?
Edgar Allen Poe’s birthday – Caw! Caw! Share your favorite Poements. I personally always get a kick out of the “A Tale of Poes and Fire” episode of Gilmore Girls and love sharing a clip or two of all the Poes who descend on Stars Hollow.
National Popcorn Day
National Tin Can Day
National Buttercrunch Day
National Cheese Lover Day
Penguin Awareness Day – A fantastic day to either celebrate your snowy environment or to showcase your desire for a flake or two. Penguins are real people pleasers – spread the black and white love!
National Hugging Day
Squirrel Appreciation Day
National Blonde Brownie Day
National Pie Day
National Handwriting Day
Beer Can Appreciation Day
Compliment Day – Offer a free quick compliment to any follower who posts a selfie on your page. You’ll all be riding high by the time the sun goes down.
Global Belly Laugh Day
Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day
Burn’s Night to celebrate the Scottish poet Robert Burns – If you’re into it, break out the haggis, sip on a Macallan, and do a recitation of “To a Mouse.” I’ll get you started, “Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie….”
Australia Day – shine a light on your favorite Aussie export: Rake, Uggs, Nicole Kidman, Foster’s lager, your didgeridoo.
Spouse’s Day – if you’re comfortable sharing about your personal relationships, consider giving your main squeeze a shout-out for all the support and solace they give you.
Chocolate Cake Day
Punch the Clock Day
Data Privacy Day
Fun at Work Day
National Kazoo Day
National Puzzle Day
National Cornchip Day
National Inane Answering Message Day
National Seed Swap Day – Super Saturday for Greenies, Vegans, and others who love the earth. This holiday gives you a platform to talk about something you care about. You might even be able to get a seed swap going amongst your followers!
Inspire Your Heart with the Arts Day – Give a shout out to local or national arts organizations that make your heart soar and ask people to share favorites of their own. Together, you can compile a tremendous resource that spreads a love for the arts to new audiences.
Remember, being an author demands creativity, and it also demands authenticity.
Coming up with unique content ideas as part of your author marketing plan is a great way to take your success seriously, without taking yourself too seriously! And these January observances should really help.
Happy New Year to one and all!
Resources and Free Downloads
Monthly Book Marketing Planner
5 Simple Tips for Creating Video Content for Social Media
Ideas for Irresistible Bonus Content & Giveaways
Jane Friedman: Reporting and Consulting on the Publishing Industry