I'm not about to start a discussion here about whether or not you support the concept of Halloween, or participate in it, or actively protest it. That's a post for another day =)
However, with the upcoming "holiday" I would like to branch out for a minute and let's discuss creative ways of marketing - be that marketing your books as an author, or be that marketing your faith. (in some cases, it's both!)
Every year, my church hosts a carnival on Halloween night. They do this to provide an alternative to keep kids off the street and away from the potential dangers of the holiday. They have costume contests, games, a TON of candy, cake walks, 50 cent hot dogs for sale, etc. It's a blast for everyone, no matter what age you are. I can't wait to take my daughter this year. For all you fellow Louisiana-ians, you'll appreciate this. She's going to be an LSU cheerleader. =)
Anyway, I know marketing is a big discussion right now and an imperative part of an author's life. We're always looking for new ways to promote our books and our fellow author's books, and it dawned on me - why not at Halloween? If you are staying home and answering the door that night to hand out candy to your neighbors kids, why not stick a copy of your newest release in their trick bags along with the fun size chocolate bars? Or better yet, make a little "package" and tie some candy onto the book that relates to the story.
The children might not be excited about the book, but they'll tear the candy off and hand the book over to Mom. Bingo! New potential fan.
Consider doing the same with your friend's books. Invest in a few copies at Walmart and help boost their sales and pass out a few for them. If we all did this for each other, think what it could do - we'd be reaching a whole new niche of readers.
If you're like me and attending a carnival somewhere, then bring the books along and donate them as door prizes. Or like with the cake walk - maybe the winner receives a book and a cake!
These ideas cost us a little out of pocket but think of it as receiving back in two-fold. First of all, you're investing in new readership, and secondly (and most importantly) you're marketing your faith. You're taking what many consider to be an evil holiday and fighting back with the Truth and Light of Christ.
So get creative this year! And please post and let us know if you take this advice. =)