Thursday, August 11, 2022

Why Writers Should Revisit Their College Years to Market Their Latest Book

by Julie Lavender @JLavenderWrites

Whether you moved the tassel a handful of years ago or a handful of decades ago, tapping into your alma mater is a great place to market a new release. It’s a little outside of the box – and don’t all universities encourage outside-of-the-box learning strategies while seeking that diploma? And one that will help you reach fresh audiences to get the word out about your newest book publication. 

Here are some of the opportunities I checked out from my university, and I’m sure your college has similar offerings. 

1. Alumni Magazine 

Georgia Southern Magazine, published three times a year for “alumni and friends of Georgia Southern University,” loves to include the accomplishments of former students. Often, the marketing folks that do the magazine include these accomplishments in the form of a feature article about the accomplishment. Sometimes, they have round-up articles by degree or other specialties. And, in every issue, a “Chronicles” section near the back of the magazine contains brief, one- to three-sentence blurbs about a former student’s accomplishment, listed by graduation date and submitted by the alumni. 

Also frequently spotted in the magazine is an article entitled, “40 Under 40.” Peruse your alumni magazine to see if a similar article is published regularly and submit your name for the article.

2. Specific Degree Newsletter

As a graduate of the education department at Georgia Southern University, specifically the “College of Education,” or COE, I subscribe to COE’s Southern Educator newsletter. The newsletters come monthly to my inbox with tidbits of news about the department, professors, related happenings, and sometimes, accolades for former graduates. 

Most college instructors and professors are encouraged to frequently submit papers for publication. Thus, graduates who achieve publication are often recognized and lauded. 

3. Degree-related Sorority/Fraternity 

Recently, a church friend who knows I’m a former teacher and current writer asked me to speak at the monthly meeting of Alpha Delta Kappa, an “International Honorary Organization for Women Educators.” She asked me to share my writing journey with the group of female educators, whose mantra states the members are “hope builders and difference makers.” I’m excited to speak to the group in November, and her invitation prompted me to check into other educational sororities or groups in my area and beyond. 

4. Major/Minor Classroom Settings

Reach out to former professors and let them know you’re available as a guest speaker for a class session. Though you might not necessarily sell books to college students—I mean, after all—they’re struggling to pay for and read all the books assigned for each class anyway—you just might find that you’re featured in a college announcement, email blast, or the alumni magazine mentioned above. 

And, if your college is in another location from where you currently live, you just might get a newspaper article written about the event that would lead to greater awareness about your recent release. Especially if you reach out to the newspaper on your own to let them know you’re available for an interview following the university visit to speak in a classroom. 

5. Sorority/Fraternity Publications 

As an initiated Chi Omega during my time at Georgia Southern Magazine, I regularly enjoy social media posts on a Chi-O alumni page, as well as other updates from the national organization. Sharing the release of a new book with the group can have a far-reaching impact, not just with fellow GSU Chi Omega members, but those across the United States. Sororities and fraternities, like many organizations, like to support their own, and often purchases will be made just to show that support.

6. Newspaper Lifestyle Article 

And, speaking of newspaper articles, newspapers in college-town settings love to include updates from “former locals” who spent their college years in a community. Submit an article about your newest release to the editor of the newspaper in your college town or email the lifestyles editor and let them know you’re available for an interview. It’s helpful if you mention ways that you were involved in the community before, like church membership or any other organizations (especially service ones), just to let the editor know that many in the community could recognize your name and enjoy reading about you.

Step back into the college scene, albeit briefly, to help market your newest book release. After all, you spent a lot of time, money, and effort getting that college degree. Let it continue to serve you well by revisiting your area of study to bring about awareness of that new book to unique audiences that you might not reach otherwise. 

Now it’s your turn! What have I left out? What opportunities have you tapped into from your college or university days to help market your newest release? 

Julie Lavender spent six years at Georgia Southern University and proudly came away with an undergraduate degree and a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education. GO EAGLES! She’s the author of Children’s Bible Stories for Bedtime (Zeitgeist/Penguin Random House) and 365 Ways to Love Your Child: Turning Little Moments into Lasting Memories (Revell). She’s also a contributor to The Seven, a podcast sharing life events with six other writer friends to ignite and encourage listeners on their faith journey


  1. Julie,

    Thanks for these great ideas. I've used many of them but there were some new insights for me and I appreciate this innovation.

    author of Book Proposals That $ell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Success (Revised Edition)

    1. Thank you, Terry, for the comment! Glad you found a couple of new nuggets! Never hurts to tap into any market we can think of, right?

  2. Totally had not thought of this. Thank you.

    1. Thank you for the comment, my friend! We have to grab every market we can think of, right?

  3. Thank you, Julie, for these excellent ideas. You've opened up several new possibilities I had not previously considered. Blessings to you! :)