Friday, July 8, 2011

Authors - Get Strategic

I hear you already - "I only write about my specialization" or "I only write about what I'm passionate about."  There's no reason you can't write books about what you do best and be a little strategic too.

It is common knowledge that magazines follow an editorial calendar that is mapped out, often a year in advance.  The selected content frequently ties in with major holidays, events or anniversaries occurring during same time period. Magazine writers are encouraged to write content that will fit in well with the editorial theme of each issue.

There's nothing stopping authors from adopting a variation of this strategy to create a editorial calendar of sorts.  Here's one way that you can adapt it.

There are many upcoming town and city anniversaries.  Typically towns apply great fanfare to celebrate these events.  For instance, the town of Abington, Massachusetts will celebrate the 300th anniversary of its incorporation in 2012.  If you are an author or would-be author from the Abington area start to consider what you do best.  Are you a gravestone researcher, a house historian, a genealogist, a photographer?  Plan on writing a book that ties into your specialty and the upcoming celebration of the anniversary of the town.  Not only will you get greater publicity for your book but the town may be very appreciative of your efforts.

Towns or cities don't have to be celebrating their 300th for this to be effective.  Perhaps your location is a celebrating a 75th, 100th, 150th or 200th anniversary.  Those are all good candidates too.  The beauty of this technique is that you can plan your book years out if necessary.

If the town dates don't work to your advantage take a look at county incorporation dates.

Use a book like Ancestry's Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources (edited by Alice Eichholz, Ph.D., CG) for an easy way to look up town and county incorporation dates.

Here are some upcoming anniversaries happening in the northeastern United States in the next five years.  Maybe one of them will be near you.

LocationAnniversary   Year Celebrated
Pomfret, Connecticut 300th 2013
Fairfield, Hartford, New Haven and New London Counties, Connecticut   350th  2016
West Warwick, Rhode Island 100th 2013
East Providence and Pawtucket, Rhode Island 150th 2012
Troy, New Hampshire 200th 2015
Candia, Haverhill and Sandwich, New Hampshire  250th 2013
Weston, Massachusetts  300th  2013
Cherryfield and Corrina, Maine  200th  2016
Ludlow, Maine  150th  2014
Burlington, Duxbury and Williston, Vermont 250th  2013
Hamilton and Oswego Counties, New York  200th  2016
Putnam County, New York 200th 2012

Photo Source: Photo by InAweofGod'sCreation used under the Creative Commons license


  1. Hi Marian, these are good tips for a blog editorial calendar, too. Following along with the town/locale anniversary theme, one could plan to incorporate posts (or series of posts) about towns where one's ancestors lived.

  2. Don't forget that in 2020 Plymouth, Massachusetts is celebrating it's 400th anniversary and commemorating the arrival of the Mayflower. There is a commission composed of the State of Mass, the town of Plymouth, the Mayflower Society, the Wampanoag Nation, the National Park Service and other agencies planning a huge bash. The Queen of England and other digitaries are scheduled to attend. If you have any ties to this celebration in 2020 it would be wise to start planning now!