Ideas for your World Book Day Promotion

Posted in: EventsLast update: 16/04/19

Calling all authors, publishers, literary magazines, bookshops, and book bloggers… Are you ready for World Book Day? Try these fun ideas to make new contacts, learn about your readers, and spread the word about your favorite books.

Every year, UNESCO organizes World Book Day on April 23rd. Why April 23rd? Because it marks the death of Miguel de Cervantes. Or possibly Shakespeare’s death day. Or possibly Shakespeare’s birthday… But whatever the reason, WBD has become a key date in your calendar. Read on for our top World Book Day marketing ideas.

  1. Run book giveaways on your social media
  2. Collect newsletter subscribers on World Book Day
  3. Speak to your most creative followers with a writing contest
  4. Challenge your readers to a quiz
  5. Discount codes – just for the day

And last of all: What’s the best prize for World Book Day?

The confusion doesn’t end with Shakespeare. Always keen to stand out, the United Kingdom celebrates World Book Day on the first Thursday in March. And yes, they still call it World Book Day.

1. Run book giveaways on your social media

Social media giveaways are a fantastic tool to create a lot of visibility and engagement in a short time span. That’s why they are perfect for specific events, like World Book Day, book fairs, or publication dates.

Take this example of an Instagram giveaway, to celebrate a new edition of a bestseller:

Instagram post announcing a giveaway of 3 copies of The Light We Lost. Users have to tag a friend in the comments to win.

You can run giveaways which are limited to a single social network, or unite your followers with a multi-network giveaway. In this case, a kids’ publisher celebrated Book Week with campaigns on Facebook and Instagram.

The image shows identical posts on Facebook and Instagram. A set of 4 children's books is available to win.

And it’s often a good idea to team up with a sponsor. If you’re trying to reach a highly specific audience, then you could also look for representatives or popular social media profiles.

That’s right – we’re talking about influencers. But not necessarily the stereotypical, over-the-top influencers you’re imagining! Think about the accounts that you love to follow. If they have a reasonably-sized audience, consider offering them a couple of free copies to read and give away.

Here’s an example of an author teaming up with a brand. They had a very similar target market – so the giveaway was a win-win for everyone.

Example of a Facebook giveaway. The image shows a baby sitting at a table, surrounded by toys, with an inset image of the book on offer, "Baby-Led Weaning Recipe Book". The post explains the brand partnership and asks users to comment with their baby's first food.

Social media giveaways are quick and easy – and they just got easier. Try our free templates for Facebook and Instagram to get started right away.

2. Collect newsletter subscribers on World Book Day

Staying in touch through newsletters has been popular since the earliest days of the internet. And that’s especially true for writers. Personal, text-focused newsletters are one of the trends to watch in 2019!

You can use promotions as an incentive for people to join your newsletter. Simply create a basic giveaway where people share their contact details to enter.

Example of a newsletter promotion. The image shows 3 mobile screenshots. 1. A photo of woman, her back to the camera, with the title "Win a book by Jessica J Lockhart!" 2. Rules of the contest. Users share contact details and join the mailing list for a chance to win a book. 3. The author thanks users for signing up, invites them to share online, and includes a link to her Facebook page.

Of course, you’ll need to make sure that you collect these subscriptions in line with the new GDPR rules. Here are the key points:

  • clearly explain that you are collecting newsletter subscriptions
  • include an optional check-box for people to join the newsletter
  • include a privacy policy so that users know how you will take care of their information
  • always include an unsubscribe link and physical address in your emails

Already have a thriving email list? Upload your list of contacts to our pick-a-winner app, and we’ll help you award a World Book Day prize.

3. Speak to your most creative followers with a writing contest

A writing contest includes the same form for contact details as a basic giveaway. But there’s more: you can ask users to share written comments, or even upload files.

Example of a writing contest. The image shows 3 mobile screenshots. 1: announcing the Victorian Science Fiction Writing Contest. $200 in prizes for original fiction. 2: an entry form which asks for email, city, a document upload, and a short summary of the story. 3. Congratulations to the Winners! Check out their great stories at the HQC website.

There are so many possibilities here. We’ve collected just a few of our favorite ideas:

  • favorite quotes for World Book Day
  • quick reviews of your latest book
  • flash fiction contests
  • favorite books, and why people love them

For really short messages, you could stick with a hashtag contest on social media. When people share posts on Twitter or Instagram, and use your chosen @username and #hashtag, the app will collect their messages. So you can see all the entries – and select a winner easily.

Whether you choose the writing app or the hashtag app, you can choose to display all the entries in a public gallery. Everyone will be able to vote and share their favorites. Our experience shows that this can double engagement with your World Book Day promotions!

Want to know more? Click here to try the World Book Day writing contest demo – then create your own from the template.

4. Challenge your readers to a quiz

quiz is a popular, fun way to entertain your followers and meet new leads. Here are some of the most creative ideas we’ve seen:

  • trivia about the book or author
  • a quiz about World Book Day
  • trivia about previous books in a series, to prepare for the latest instalment
  • a “book finder” multiple-choice quiz which recommends books based on people’s interests

If you’re interested in learning more about your readers, you could also run a survey.

5. Discount codes – just for the day

One of the most popular British traditions for World Book Day book fairs. Every child gets a £1 book voucher to spend on any book they choose – including £1 books, published especially for World Book Day.

Coupons and discount codes are an eternally popular way to boost sales. And because you can limit them to a specific timeframe, or a certain number of people, you don’t need to worry about giving away too much for free.

What are the best prizes for World Book Day?

OK, it’s a pretty obvious question for World Book Day promotions. And yes, the most obvious prize is… a book. But there are alternatives!

First of all, there are lots of different ways to share a book. Instead of mailing out hard copies, you could give away discount codes or access to audiobooks and ebooks.

If many people in your audience are writers themselves, then you could share writing materials, like these luxurious notebooks.

The image shows 3 leather notebooks in different colors, beside a vintage camera. The text reads, "Wanderty Barcelona giveaway genuine leather notebooks".

Think about sharing related merchandise, or exclusive content. Try to choose a prize which is designed for your audience. So, for example, if you are marketing recipe books, you could give away cookware or luxury ingredients.

Just like writing, the only limit is your imagination. Set up your account now to run social media giveaways and start designing promotions for free.

Randi Jensen

International Business Developer in Easypromos

Publication date: 2018-04-16