Yesterday, Purdue University had a massive fundraising event. It was only the third year, but this event (Purdue Day of Giving) raised more than $18 million from close to 13,000 gifts. As you’ll see from the photos, I kind of had fun with it.
Through out the day there were different competitions. I guess my kids were in the running for most creative picture of kids in Purdue gear. Amazingly, I got them all to participate!
Then there were contests for selfie photos…the one of me in the shirt didn’t quite qualify, because I obviously couldn’t take it. And then I just had to snap a photo of the donut tie in — the chocolate donut was immensely yummy — I really don’t care that it was a bad for my indulgence.
All this fun got me thinking about how can authors generate that same enthusiasm in readers?
You see the different contests played to my strengths. I am super competitive, so I was all about how many contests could I legitimately enter for my school (Krannert School of Management for those who are curious — I got my MBA in 2015). There was even an hour where a school got an award for the most alums from a set period of years who donated in that hour. You’d better believe I was on Facebook trying to get my classmates to participate. Too bad I didn’t know about that hour earlier to get the word out sooner.
Readers can be as rabid about their favorite authors as alums can be of their alma maters. I wonder if we’re missing opportunities to tie book-launches to fun events. My followers on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are probably
super excited it’s only a once a year event, but you know what? They didn’t seem to mind today. And Purdue did a nice job of engaging with me as I posted the word on my platform — going to far as to make personalized thank you videos with students (here and here – the second has a cute tie to the photo of my kids). You’d better believe those made me smile — and my gifts weren’t huge!
One thing that was great is that the social media activity was encouraged and easy. And Purdue engaged at multiple levels when I would tag and hashtag the posts well. As authors, we — I — could do better with it.
Readers, what would you do to share the word about your favorite authors’ next books? What do you need from us to help you do that? I’d love to activate you in fun ways when my next book releases.
Authors, what’s worked well for you to activate your passionate fans?