Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Holiday Tie-Ins

Related novellas and short stories are a way of keeping your readers' attention between releases. Stories that tie in to the holidays offer unique marketing opportunities.

January: A new year's celebration can be utilized in any genre. Characters can face a celebration gone wrong, review the past, or make resolutions for the new year. There is a reason it is referred to as the "bleak midwinter."

February: Valentines Day is a perfect fit for the Romance genre. A novella gives you an opportunity to explore the love lives of secondary characters. There could also be a Valentine murder or a paranormal celebration.

March and April: The spring equinox is ripe with opportunity for paranormal rituals, childbirth or expectant parenthood, perhaps madness that leads to murder.

May and June: May Day was a time for celebrating new life. It is a good month for a wedding, paranormal conflict, or a slighted lover to take his revenge.

July and August: The summer heat can lead to love or madness. The days are long, tempers run high, or lovers can get frisky on a beach.

September and October: Fall brings nostalgia, perhaps a touch of melancholy. The veil between worlds becomes thin on All Hallows Eve. Costume parties are perfect for romantic intrigue, ghost stories, or masked murderers.

November: It is the season of harvesting and giving thanks, perhaps a ritual murder to ensure a plentiful harvest in the spring. It is the perfect setting for gatherings leading to family conflict or relationship stress points.

December: Christmas is the most popular holiday tie-in for books. There is feasting and presents and dashed expectations. Snow and storms isolate and trap characters. Potential lovers can be forced together at a romantic inn. Families and friends gather to celebrate, perfect for a locked room mystery.

In addition to holiday-related novellas and short stories, you can create lists of holiday related books in your genre to help market your work. Group promotion is a great way to increase your audience.

Further Reading:

Short Stories, Serials, and Novellas

Writers Gotta Read, Right?

Scary Night to a New Beginning

Let it Snow! Season's Readings

Holiday Reading

Diana Hurwitz is the author of Story Building Blocks: The Four Layers of Conflict, Story Building Blocks II: Crafting Believable Conflict, Story Building Blocks III: The Revision Layers, and the YA adventure series Mythikas Island. Her weekly blog, Game On: Crafting Believable Conflict explores how characters behave and misbehave. Visit DianaHurwitz.com for more information and free writing tools. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.


  1. Interesting suggestions, Diana. These can create a springboard for taking a story in an unexpected direction, introducing a new character, establishing a touchstone for a tale told in retrospect, or adding dimension to a work in progress, just to name a few possibilities. Readers relate to familiar observances and are intrigued by new ones that impact the story in a surprising way.

  2. What great ideas for using the months of the year to add interesting flavor to a story.


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