The 12 Days of Christmas Book Media Blitz!

Artwork by Blair E. Clark
Note: this article was created as a presentation for the 2020 Business of Art conference put on by Arts Partners of Central Illinois and held at Bradley University. 
This is the first article in a series based on my experience of getting my own book, Celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas, written and released, from proposal to publication. The other articles are:
How to Write a Book Proposal (as best I know how)
How to Market a Book (as best I know how)

What a whirlwind....

It's been quite the few months for me as I launched my first book, Celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas out into the world. 

Here's a recap:
In July 2019 I turned in the final manuscript. Over the next few months I did various revisions with my editor, made an index for the book, and looked over it again (and again!) for final approval.
In October 2019 the book was released! 
And then came the marketing phase . . .

You see, along with my manuscript, I also turned in a marketing plan to my publisher Wipf and Stock, which meant that in the months leading up to and following publication I was using what would be my writing time to begin the next book or to publish other articles, to instead implement my marketing plan. The results of that plan are what you see below. Very simply, this article is designed to be a single hub where everything I have done in promotion for the book can be found.

So to start with, here are all the places (which I know of) where you can purchase my book: 
Christian Book Distributors
Wipf and Stock
Barnes and Noble
Google Play
Lagron Miller (Roman Catholic book, gift, and vestment store in Peoria, Illinois)
Thrift Books

Going in to publication, I knew it would be available on Amazon and Christian Book, along with my publisher's website, but I was surprised to see it also show up on B&N, Google, Faithlife, and Cokesbury. This is the benefit of having a proper publisher. They make all that magic happen, rather than leaving me to do it all on my own (which would be a struggle, let me tell you). Knowing that the book was available most anywhere, I now attempted to set up as many interviews, events, and notices about it as I could. Please note: not everything I tried worked! I never heard back from my local newspaper the Peoria Journal Star, my local radio stations decided not to interview me, and there were numerous podcasts who also didn't respond back or were not able to fit me into their schedule.

LOCAL EVENTSHere are the local events I set up for myself in the fall of 2019. Note that at these events I sold copies of the book, prints of the art from the book, and bookmarks based on the artwork. At these events I also promoted other upcoming events I would be at as well as the PostConsumer Reports Podcast, which would feature interviews related to the book.

Next, here are the interviews and notices I was able to put out. Some are on different websites and some are podcast or radio interviews. There is one podcast interview I am still waiting to be released.

One surprising thing that happened was a newspaper contacted me for an interview about the 12 days of Christmas:
Chattanooga Times Free Press article: When are the 12 days of Christmas? And how do you celebrate them?


ARTICLES I wrote two articles related to the book, one for Peoria Magazine, a local publication, and one for Anglican Pastor, a nationally recognized website. I attempted to write an article for Christianity Today, but they never responded.
Peoria Magazine: Rediscovering the 12 Days of Christmas
Anglican Pastors: Here's Why You Should Celebrate an Epiphany Festival

I released a few podcast episodes featuring interviews I did in research for the book and that were related to Christmas. They featured world renowned scholars and writers and a discussion with Blair about the artwork she did:


Last year, for my Kickstarter campaign, I also featured a few other PostConsumer podcast episodes with interviews I did for the book:
Ep 71: Happy Pagan Christmas!
Ep 72: The 12 Days of Christmas, New Years, and Epiphany

MISCELLANEOUS Along with all of this I started a Facebook group for people wanting to discuss the 12 days of Christmas, both it's meaning and different ways to celebrate it.

Leading up to and during the 12 days of Christmas, I wrote related Facebook posts, some of which included excerpts from the book and included my thoughts on the various days to be celebrated.

Since part of my book was funded through a Kickstarter campaign, I also posted a few updates for backers of the project, which I then shared links for on Facebook. I asked backers and Facebook friends to help me out in three different ways, taking the time to: 
1.) leave reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and other places where the book is available, 
2.) ask their local public and church libraries to purchase the book for their collections or to ask their local bookstores to have it available to sell. The book is now available at the Peoria, Brimfield, Alpha Park, Germantown Hills, Metamora, Spring Bay, Roanoke, and Washburn libraries.
3.) consider having me come speak and about Christmas at their church or community group.

Moving forward into this coming year, I have a number of plans for how to continue making the book a success:
  • Continue writing! I have begun writing a Christmas related fictional story I hope can get published and I have an idea for a companion Christmas book to supplement the first book.
  • Speaking/presenting at the Business of Art conference for Arts Partners!
  • I am going to attempt to have a "Christmas in July" tour, where I speak at and consult with a few churches who are interested in the idea of thinking creatively about their Christmas traditions. Along with this, I will release a few related podcast episodes.
  • I will attempt to schedule another book signing, perhaps at the local shop I Know You Like a Book or Lagron Miller.
  • Next summer I will be a guest speaker at the Peoria Poetry Society.
  • I will attempt to get on a few more podcasts and websities for interviews, such as People of Peoria, Mars Hill Audio Journal, Jesus Creed, and Challies.
  • I will attempt to publish an article or two in national publications or blogs.
  • I am already signed up to attend the Bishop Hill authors fair, and I need to figure out what other authors, vendors, and community fairs I will attend to sell the book and possibly speak at.
  • I will work to get the book promoted in the seasonal catalogs of Christian Book Distributor, Faithlife, and Cokesbury, in the hopes of getting it in front of as many eyes as possible.
  • If I find the time, I will contact other local libraries, book stores, and churches to see if they are interested in having or selling the book. (East Peoria Library, Washington Library, Book Nook, Book Rack)
  • I will attempt to contact the leaders of the website Anglican Pastor to see if I can be a part of having an ongoing conversation with church leaders about Christmas practices and traditions within our faith communities. 
  • I will revisit my initial marketing plan and see if there is anything I missed in the first marketing push.

Related PostConsumer Articles and Podcast Episodes:

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