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Hello and welcome to our list of July observances and unique author brand enhancements and content ideas for your monthly book marketing plan.

Without a 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 excelling with your author 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 an author 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 July Observances for 2021.

I’ve also included a few content ideas and angles to help spark your creativity and help you wrap your mind around how to work them into your author branding.

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 to 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 book marketing planning you’ve done so far in 2021, 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 author branding 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.

Cell Phone Courtesy Month

Dog Days of Summer

National Blueberry Month

National Anti-Boredom Month

Unlucky Month for weddings

National Cell Phone Courtesy Month

National Grilling Month

National Hot Dog Month

National Ice Cream Month

National Park and Recreation Month

National Picnic Month

National Watermelon Month

Stay with me here: the best book marketing campaigns include social media AND it is also true that social media doesn’t sell books. Wait, what? Isn’t that a contradiction? You’d think so but here’s the thing: social media is an important key to exposure, and exposure sells books. Let me rephrase that: the right kind of social media sells books. Which is why I always say it’s not about being everywhere, but everywhere that matters. There are a lot of different angles to consider with social media platforms, and you can get deep into which platform is best for your purposes as well as all kinds of analytics that can guide when and where you post. These are all worthy topics for advanced study. Today we’re going back to basics as we consider the best book marketing campaign for you. Today’s post, in fact, is all about helping you answer a question many authors struggle with: what the heck am I supposed to post? Authors often hop on social media sites without any idea of the demographic of the platform’s users, with no knowledge of their own reader demographic, and without the faintest idea of what to say – and then they wonder why social media doesn’t seem to be working for them. That is not the right way to approach social for your best possible book marketing campaign; not only is it wrong, but that approach will cost you a bunch of time and effort that you literally will never get back. Where Does Your Message Live on Social? Most of the time, social media frustration stems from authors struggling with the content they feel they should be posting. In response to the feeling that they should be active on social media, they post something that’s not really relevant to their audience, though maybe it’s top of mind. But the problem actually starts earlier than that because more often than not, authors are on the wrong social media site to begin with. I’m including a link to a social media quiz you can take, to determine the best site for you (see the Resources section below). And if you take the quiz and you’re sitting here thinking “Well great, I’m on all the wrong social media sites, what do I do now?” My answer is: close down what you don’t need. If you keep the account, you’ll be tempted to update it, and that’s not a good use of your time. If you keep the account and don’t update it, it looks like you’ve abandoned your own party, and that’s not a good look either. Creating a Rockin’ Social Media Presence It’s fair to say that each social media site has its own particular “needs” – LinkedIn, for example, is different than Facebook, which is different from Instagram or Twitter. But regardless of where you’re going to spend your time, you’ll want to make sure to do a little bit of prep work before you start posting. Authors with the best book marketing campaigns work on identifying the talking points that will work best for them and for their books. To make this easy, I recommend you find three or four tracks you will speak to. These “tracks” are the conversation funnels you share on social, and the reason I like to limit those tracks is that a narrower course makes it easier for you to figure out what to say and/or share. Generally what happens is authors hop onto social and share whatever comes to mind, which creates a somewhat erratic presence and, invariably, lowers your engagement. What you’re attempting to do here is set your reader expectations by pre-plotting your pathways and the things you share. This doesn’t mean that you’re always tied to just four talking points, but to get started and kick this into high gear, you’re better off staying on track. And, by staying consistent to your messaging and your posting topics and schedule, you’ll build a reader/follower base much more quickly than you would if you just got onto social media in a haphazard way or if you posted too much one day and then nothing at all for a week. Most of what happens on social media falls into one of those two scenarios. So what does this look like in the best book marketing campaigns? Let’s say you’ve written a diet and health book; your tracks might look like this: • Latest health news • Quick daily health tip • Exciting news about your book • Motivational quote around health/wellness/diet If you’ve written a fiction book, let’s say a Sci-Fi novel, your tracks might look like this: • Fun science fiction did-you-know • Throwback to old Sci-Fi novels, shows, or films • Exciting news about your book • Book research you’re doing for future books OR • Some insight into your life: where you write, the playlist you listen to when you write, etc. OR • Your hobbies and what you love to do besides writing We worked with an author who set one of her romance novels in a small town, so she shared recipes from the various restaurants and coffee shops she wrote about, and readers really enjoyed this creative twist. She tried to create an immersive experience because she knew that was what her readers really cared about. So, along those lines you could share cocktail recipes or anything that tethers to the world you’ve created. Here are some other ideas: • Get your followers’ help in naming a pet in your next book. • Even better, get their help naming a character! • Ask questions to get to know your followers better; people love it when you ask about hobbies or movies they love. • Talk about things you like besides books. • Make yourself unique. • Share things that are specific to your genre – for example, if you wrote a book on vampires, you could create a meme with four famous movie vampires and ask readers to pick their favorite. • Celebrate your favorite comfort food or something else that dials into your topic. The idea is to find where readers want to engage – meaning posts that will (in the words of Marie Condo) spark joy with your followers. This may take a while. Start with your three or four discussion tracks but know that you may need to play around a bit and further refine them. The Best Book Marketing Campaigns Create Connections Readers love getting to know the authors of the books they read and love. Often, authors post on social and then wait for folks to engage with them, and yes, a bit of that approach can be part of your social platform mix. But also know that the degree to which you are connected to your posts matters, and it matters a lot. If you’re posting and ditching, you won’t get good engagement – ever. After you post, you need to check back to see if anyone responded; sometimes it just takes one person response, followed by your own, to get the comments rolling. Humans desire social approval; we love to express ourselves on social media in the hope of getting affirmative feedback. Likes and shares give our brains a surefire dopamine rush. We also love contributing and having our opinions heard – keep this in mind even if you’re just posting something funny. For example, I do a lot of “caption this” posts to spark communication. Some of them do really well, garnering upwards of 150 comments, while others only get 20 or so comments. Regardless of how many responses I get, I make sure to acknowledge every single one. People love it when you take the time to get to know them, when you’re really interested and willing to take the time to connect. Inviting followers to share their hobbies and then responding – or even just giving their content a thumbs up – can go a long way in developing reader relationships. Another driver of engagement is nostalgia, though you need to know your audience well enough to make it work for you. Someone who grew up in the 1990s won’t necessarily feel nostalgic for the same post as someone who grew up in the 1970s. People also love humor, especially now. So posting funny things might be one of your tracks. As I said before, you’re going to want to play around with this a bit until you find the right mix. Branded Images The best book marketing campaigns use images that are consistent in color, font, and message. You may share a meme that’s not specifically branded to you, which is fine. But the majority of your images should be consistent with your brand as this helps to create a visual recognition; readers see something and say, “Oh that looks like [insert author name]!” You can create branded images using an online service like Canva. In fact, for AME’s blog images (which get shared on social), we create a series of templates so that we can swap images in and out, but the standard font, spacing, and URL stay the same. Canva is an easy way to quickly create content, too. Create a Posting Calendar The best book marketing campaigns rely on planning. Not everything you do has to be planned ahead of time, but keeping up with your social media obligations will be a lot easier – and quicker! – if you create a posting calendar so you know what you’re sharing and when. Once your plans are in place, you might also spend some time creating images ahead of your posting dates and then scheduling them to post. This allows you to really focus on marketing strategies like book giveaways so you aren’t caught off guard when your chosen date crops up. Staying the Course Social media takes time. You’ll try something and succeed, then try something else and fail. This is how you learn what resonates with your audience, and what does not. Before long, you’ll start to see why social media plays such an important role in the best book marketing campaigns. And you might even start to discover some real joy along the way! Resources and Free Downloads Canva Monthly Book Marketing Planner Book Marketing Kickstart Package QUIZ: How to Market Your Book on Social Media

Daily Observations for July

July 1

Canada Day / Dominion Day

Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day

International Chicken Wing Day

International Joke Day – Are you a comedian? Or do you at least try to be one? Give your readers a taste of your sense of humor today with a funny quote from your book!

National Postal Worker Day

July 2

I Forgot Day

World UFO Day – If you’ve ever written a book about aliens, this is your day to post about it! Share your book cover, or some fan art of your extraterrestrial characters.

July 3

Compliment Your Mirror Day

Disobedience Day

Eat Beans Day

International Cherry Pit Spitting Day

Stay out of the Sun Day

July 4

Build A Scarecrow Day

Independence Day (U.S.) – Any author with a historical U.S. novel or a military book should recognize this day with a commemorative post. Share about your time in the military or what the country means to you! You can also keep it a little less deep with your plans for the long weekend.

National Country Music Day

Sidewalk Egg Frying Day

July 5

National Apple Turnover Day

National Bikini Day

Work-a-holics Day

July 6

International Kissing Day – Have your written a steamy romance? Share the best kiss in your book with a teaser snippet.

National Fried Chicken Day

July 7

Chocolate Day

Global Forgiveness Day

Father Daughter Take a Walk Together Day

National Strawberry Sundae Day

July 8

Body Painting Day – Get a little creative today with some body paint! Whether you create something new to share your passion for art or paint something reminiscent of your book, be sure to share your work with your followers.

National Blueberry Day

Video Games Day

July 9

National Motorcycle Day

National Sugar Cookie Day

July 10

Teddy Bear Picnic Day

July 11

Cheer up the Lonely Day

National Blueberry Muffins Day

World Population Day

July 12

Different Colored Eyes Day – Do one of your characters have heterochromia? Share a picture or art piece of your character’s striking gaze.

Pecan Pie Day

July 13

Barbershop Music Appreciation Day

Embrace Your Geekness Day – Most authors can relate to this day, especially if your books tend to fall into the fantasy or sci-fi genres. Don’t try to hide it, tell your followers about all your favorite geeky things! Maybe you’re passionate about your favorite fandom, or you have tons of series to recommend, let them know.

Fool’s Paradise Day

National French Fries Day

National Nitrogen Ice Cream Day

July 14

Bastille Day

Pandemonium Day

National Macaroni and Cheese Day

National Nude Day

Shark Awareness Day

July 15

Be a Dork Day

Cow Appreciation Day

Tapioca Pudding Day

July 16

Fresh Spinach Day

World Snake Day

July 17

Peach Ice Cream Day

World Emoji Day

Yellow Pig Day

July 18

National Caviar Day

National Ice Cream Day – Treat yourself to a big scoop or two and tell your readers and followers why you’re celebrating! Did you finish a few new chapters ahead of schedule? Are you wrapping up on your next draft? Let them know that things are happening, and they’ll get excited.

Women’s Dive Day

July 19

National Daiquiri Day

National Raspberry Cake Day

July 20

Eid-Ul-Adha

National Ice Cream Soda Day

National Lollipop Day

Moon Day

Ugly Truck Day

July 21

National Be Someone Day – Take today to tell your readers what makes you “someone.” What are you really proud of yourself for?

National Hot Dog Day

National Junk Food Day

July 22

Hammock Day

Ratcatcher’s Day

July 23

Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony – Break out your flags and your face paint, and let your readers know who, or what, you’re excited to watch!

Vanilla Ice Cream Day

July 24

Amelia Earhart Day

Cousins Day

National Day of the Cowboy

National Tequila Day

Tell an Old Joke Day

July 25

Culinarians Day – What a more perfect day to talk about your favorite recipes from your cookbook! Post a few pictures and tease your followers’ tastebuds.

National Chili Dog Day

Parent’s Day

Threading the Needle Day

July 26

All or Nothing Day

Aunt and Uncle Day

July 27

Take Your Houseplants for a Walk – There are a lot of reasons to walk today and if you have a green thumb, this might be the best of them! Snap a picture of you and your ferns out taking in a beautiful summer day.

Take Your Pants for a Walk Day

Walk on Stilts Day

July 28

National Milk Chocolate Day

July 29

International Tiger Day

National Chicken Wing Day

National Lasagna Day

July 30

National Cheesecake Day

Father-in-Law Day

International Day of Friendship

System Administrator Appreciation Day

July 31

Mutt’s Day – Do you have a mutt? Well, your followers would love to see it! Just about everyone likes to see a precious pup on their feed.

National Avocado Day

National Watermelon Day

The Takeaway

Remember, being an author demands creativity, and it also demands authenticity when developing a marketing plan to support your author brand.

Coming up with unique content ideas for authors as part of your marketing plan is a great way to take your success seriously, without taking yourself too seriously! And these June observances should really help.

 

Resources and Free Downloads

Monthly Book Marketing Planner

How Can I Sell More Books

Powering Up Your Email Book Marketing and Promotion

The Best Book Marketing Tips for Getting Discovered and Making the Sale

Jane Friedman: How to Build an Author Website

Author Marketing Experts

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