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  • Writer's pictureCaroline Leech

Six tips for celebrating National Read a Book Day!

CALLING ALL AUTHORS & ILLLUSTRATORS!


Tomorrow - Wednesday, September 6th 2023, is National Read a Book Day in the USA, so to save you a ton of stress tomorrow, why not take a few minutes today to prep for it?


VIDEO

  • Make a short video of you reading the opening page of your book, post it on your website, Facebook page or YouTube channel, or turn it into an Instagram/Facebook/TikTok reel (for maximum video lengths for each platform, check here)

  • Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be complicated or brilliantly edited to “a professional standard”. Social media is social, so your fans will love seeing YOU, not some fancy editing.

  • Simply set up your phone or tablet to point at you sitting comfortably in your favorite reading place – do a quick recording first and watch it to make sure the sound and lighting are as good as you want them to be.

  • Practice the reading a couple of times before you press record

  • Don’t expect to get it right first time – record yourself doing it several times and use “the best one”, whatever that means to you

  • Remember to look up from the book sometimes as you read, to “make eye contact” with the camera (ie, look into the little camera circle, not at your face on the screen)

  • Also remember, you are not reading to a camera, you are reading to an audience of real people, your readers and (hopefully) your future readers. Think for a moment about who your perfect audience member might be, and then read your opening to them as if they were sitting in front of you.

  • Remember to include a link to your book’s page on your fav indie bookstore website in your bio, and direct people there in your post/caption.

  • Use hashtags in your caption which include #(your book’s title), #(your name), #nationalreadabookday, and #authorslovereading and also the appropriate hashtags for your genre and reader age-level.


POLL

  • Create a poll on one or more of your social media platforms, and ask your readers to vote on what they most loved about your book/s – give options like “action” “kissing” “history” or even ask them to pick between your characters?

  • Also ask your readers to forward the poll post to their reader friends too, and remind them to tag you so you can respond

  • Set a time to end the poll and then don’t forget to make another post to declare the ‘winner’

  • Remember to include a link to your book’s page on your fav indie bookstore website in your bio, and direct people there in your post/caption.

  • Use hashtags in your caption which include #(your book’s title), #(your name), #nationalreadabookday, and #authorslovereading and also the appropriate hashtags for your genre and reader age-level.


FACEBOOK LIVE

  • Announce ahead of time that you’ll be doing a live session on your Facebook author page, and that you’ll be happy to answer questions about your books or your writing life (questions can be taken live or pre-submitted in the comments below the announcement), and that you’ll even take requests for scenes to read out loud.

  • Send a reminder announcement out two hours, one hour and 30 minutes before the Live begins. People have short memories and busy days.

  • Be brave and go live whether anyone promises to join you on the call or not. The Live event will stay up on your page for people to watch later on.

  • Just in case no one arrives at first, have some questions ready for you to chat about, as if someone has asked them, and go one, read a little bit from your book too.

  • At the end, give out a ‘call to action’ – it may be a follow me, sign up for my newsletter, or five-star my books if you liked them, or simply a reminder what books you have coming up, or appearances you’ll be making soon, so you encourage people to go find out more or pre-order books or tickets.

  • Remember to include a link to your book’s page on your fav indie bookstore website in your bio, and direct people there in your post/caption.

  • Use hashtags in your caption which include #(your book’s title), #(your name), #nationalreadabookday, and #authorslovereading and also the appropriate hashtags for your genre and reader age-level.


PULL QUOTES

  • Pull out five juicy bits from your book and create five graphics

  • You could even add audio over the top of you reading the section aloud

  • Canva has a host of templates for you to use.

  • Make sure you include the cover image and title of your book - easily forgotten!

  • Post them throughout the day

  • Remember to include a link to your book’s page on your fav indie bookstore website in your bio, and direct people there in your post/caption.

  • Use hashtags in your caption which include #(your book’s title), #(your name), #nationalreadabookday, and #authorslovereading and also the appropriate hashtags for your genre and reader age-level.


WEBSITE

  • Create a simple page where you can share the first chapter of your book on your website for a week or two (or forever, up to you).

  • This could be the video of you reading it, photos of the pages, or a pdf, it’s up to you.

  • If you can, use a landing page or subscription form to ask for email addresses for your mailing list so you can keep in touch with people who visit the page (especially if your book isn’t out yet - you need to start gathering a mailing list asap).

  • Encourage people to go read your chapter by being creative on social media and make sure your 'call to action' is to go and buy the whole book!

  • And remember to include a link to your book’s page on your fav indie bookstore website in your bio, and direct people there in your post/caption.

  • Use hashtags in your caption which include #(your book’s title), #(your name), #nationalreadabookday, and #authorslovereading and also the appropriate hashtags for your genre and reader age-level.


COMMUNITY

  • If self-promotion feels too hard for you right now, or you don’t have a book to promote yet, give some love to other authors and their books on your social media.

  • Tag those authors so they can share your post on their feed

  • Tag me too, so I can help you promote yourself and those other authors - FB @carolineleechauthor, Instagram @carolineleechwrites

  • Challenge them to do the same, for you and other authors, using #authorslovereading

  • Remember to include a link to your book’s page on your fav indie bookstore website in your bio, and direct people there in your post/caption.

  • Use hashtags in your caption which include #(your book’s title), #(your name), #nationalreadabookday, and #authorslovereading and also the appropriate hashtags for your genre and reader age-level.



ONE WORD OF WARNING

As always, prepare yourself ahead of time for any trolls or negative comments which might pop up about you or your book. It may not happen, but if you know that you’ll get nasty comments, then I promise they won’t hurt as much. Sadly, social media seems to be a home for people who thrive on knocking other people down simply because they’re putting themselves out there with books and on social media. Please don’t give those trolls power over your confidence in yourself or your books. You're amazing, so don't forget that!



AND THERE'S MORE TO COME THIS WEEK…


Thursday, September 7th is NATIONAL BUY A BOOK DAY

Friday, September 8th is NATIONAL LITERACY DAY


So please use the tools above to celebrate your books on those dates too.


Finally, if you enjoy taking part in other challenges like this, sign up below for my newsletter to get advance warning of others still to come this year, and please share the link with other authors who’d enjoy this challenge too.



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