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Book contest generates publicity


Don’t you love it when you receive outside validation on the advice you offer people?

That’s what happened to me when I read my daily newspaper this past Sunday morning.

One of my buzz-building tips for authors has been to host a contest to name a character in your next book, as recommended in a post on this site, “How to host a book contest” (see second bullet point), and in my e-course materials.

Best-selling author and former NFL player Tim Green did that on his Facebook page on February 21 when he casually announced that he was accepting nominations for the name of a character in his next children’s book, Home Run.

Tim Green Facebook

Fans made the nominations, Green narrowed down the list, and fans voted from the list of finalists. Support for two candidates was so overwhelming that Green decided to use the first place winner’s name in Home Run and the second place winner in a future book, Full Ride.

As reported in the newspaper article, the first place winner, Ty Rylander, will be the name of the Nike representative in Green’s next book. Rylander is a young man from Pittsfield, Ill., who died last year. The second place winner, Tyler Hutt, was a young football player in my area who also died unexpectedly last year. “Tyler Hutt” will be the name of a character who’s a high school football coach in the future book.

Let the news media publicity and fan buzz that Green generated with his contest inspire you to not only host a newsworthy contest, but to reach out to the press when you do.

What’s the best book-related contest you’ve seen recently?

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  1. I love involving readers in the pre- and post-publication of a book. Holding a book-related contest is loads of fun and pays off for the author and contestants.

    When I published the first edition of my book on happiness, I created a gift basket design contest. The contestants had to build a design with my book as the centerpiece. They bought the book wholesale from me, and retained all rights to the final design. The winner received social media exposure, a press release in her home town paper, an interview on my internet radio show, and the right to post the design on her website and keep all profits from sales. (They still bought books wholesale from me.)

    I plan to recreate this promotion with the 2nd edition.

  2. This is an interesting information about book promotion. Giveaways and Freebies on social media platforms are also the best to publicize the books.
    Thanks for sharing Sandra

    1. Yes, they’re also good tools to use to get the word out, Grace. It takes time, effort, and often some creativity to make sure people know about your book.


  3. Social media is quite a large and lucrative space to run offers and promotions in order to publicize your books. However if you plan to run a promotion then you don’t want to “over cheapen” your story quite literally by practically giving away.

    Even a charity event which features a give away of your book can generate a social “buzz”. It’s all down to the kind of publicity you want to try and give both your book but yourself as an author.

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