If you haven’t begun planning your holiday book sales yet, remember that Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be here in the blink of an eye.
Many authors approach us in November to start promoting their books to capitalize on holiday sales.
My advice is not to wait because the process of planning and pitching should start now. Almost any retailer will suggest the same—if you want to strike it big with holiday sales, start early.
Before we delve into this further, it’s important to analyze your book and determine whether or not it’s a good fit, since certain genres lend themselves better to holiday book sales.
Do You Have the Right Kind of Book?
Let’s first discuss some valuable things to keep in mind, namely your cover and the topic of your book.
One crucial aspect is setting aside the right amount of time to craft your ideas. Start with a lead-time of several months as opposed to weeks, because by the time November rolls around it may be too late for that big holiday push, no matter how brilliant your ideas are.
Still, there are some smaller things you can do for the holiday market. Be realistic about what you have time to do, and be realistic about the appropriate strategies for your book.
The most important thing to consider is the actual book because if you’ve experienced decreased sales or if your book hasn’t received a great deal of attention, you should find out why before competing in the holiday sales market. Consider the possible causes why you may have weak sales, keeping in mind if you should think about revising the book cover, shortening a lengthy synopsis, or seeking a more powerful blurb.
As stores prepare for the holiday shopping season, they review all aspects from stock to product placement to detailed product info to make sure everything is correct. You should follow the same process here.
Timing is Everything
Initially, I was dismissive of the “Christmas in July” advertisements. That is, until I began promoting my first holiday-related book. I started in July, which turned out to be the ideal timeframe.
Why is this? Most people don’t even think about making December purchases in July. But it’s important to start early by becoming visible to shoppers since holiday buying is very competitive. Consumers, especially ones who like to get a jump-start on the season, quickly formulate shopping ideas when they hear “Christmas in July” radio, television, and email ads.
So when is the right time to venture into the holiday book sales market? November is way too late, October is a gamble, and September may be viable if you haven’t started yet. Actually, the middle to late summer is excellent.
Researching the timelines, most importantly media schedules are critical when determining when to start media pitching, doing promotion, and strategizing. Planning for e-book promotions should also be reserved in advance.
The Holiday Book Sales Market
The holiday sales market isn’t an ordinary sales funnel. It’s important to illustrate your book as a gift or novelty, but also to find a tie-in to the holidays. For example, you might revise your Amazon book page to say something like, “A Perfect Gift for Mom this Holiday Season!” or, “A Perfect Gift for a Young Reader!”
Competition is fierce during the holidays, and retailers don’t automatically make sales happen—it takes dedication, hard work, and presenting your book as unique. The takeaway is that holiday book sales require packaging, planning, and understanding your audience.
For even more great techniques for selling your book like a pro and filling your holiday with checks and cheer, grab my latest book, 50 Ways to Sell a Sleigh-Load of Books.
Obtaining those holiday books sales is achievable, but you’ll need to work hard and begin early so you can spread out your workload over several months rather than putting it all off until October. The holiday market is very competitive, and you’re not the only author trying to get those book sales. Stay a step ahead with the techniques in my book to ensure that your book is in shopping carts on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
Like what you just read? Get more author tips and access into exclusive indie resources when you become a BookWorks member. Join our Community now. Click HERE to sign up!