At this point, many of us know that the holiday’s are the biggest book buying season of the year. That being said, books don’t sell themselves (usually). You’ll need to be sure that your doing your very best when it comes to marketing your book to help maximize your reach with those holiday shoppers. Just how many holiday shoppers are we talking? Check out this chart for the details.
So, what are some of the ways you can ensure your book is one of the gifts that contributes to the $680 billion spent by holiday shoppers? We teamed with a few of our publishing experts around the office to get their insight on the best ways to market your book.
Hands-On Marketing Tactics
Contact your local bookstore. This could be a bigger chain, like Barnes & Noble or Books-A-Million, but you may have more success with a locally owned bookstore. Ask if they have any time available for you to host a book signing or if you could leave printed advertisements of your book near their checkout counter. You’ll want to be sure to do this a few months in advance to be sure they carry your book, and if they don’t this is a great way to get them too! The printed advertisement could have the information of your event on one side that shows your book cover an tells a little bit about you, and the other side could have the bookstores logo on it, that way it’s a win-win for both of you.
If book signings are something you’ve got on your radar, do everything you can to make them fun! Try to add a time slot to do a reading from your book, but make sure to engage your audience to spice it up a little. Getting into character will help make the reading more fun so feel free to take on the role of the character you are reading from! If you’ve got a kids book, perhaps do a reading with some fun puppets. This is a great way to engage people who may have some to store to shop and not necessarily for your book signing.
Set up some cider and snacks so that your guests are likely to stay and mingle. Don’t be afraid to log onto Pinterest and snag a few “cute” ideas to spice things up a little bit at the refreshment table.
Contact your local radio station and see if they have any interest in interviewing you. You may have to pay for air time, but when you take into account the number of listeners chiming in, you can easily see the return on this. An important thing to remember here is that people love supporting local authors and artists, so be sure to plug that during your interview.
Digital Marketing Efforts
Social media, hello! This goes without saying, but just in case someone missed the memo, we’re going to touch on this one as well. Social media marketing is the key to spreading the word about your book. An Ad Campaign on Facebook is something you should start doing far in advance, if you develop it in the months leading up to the holidays, you’ll have a better idea of who your target audience is and be able to target them more directly when it’s time to launch those Black Friday and Christmas sales.
Stock up! Don’t be silly, stock your books way in advance because the printers will inevitably get delayed during the holiday season. Give yourself plenty of time to order, print, and replenish your books.
Make sure your Amazon and website both have books readily available for sale. Sharing your Amazon information is great because so many of us depend on it for our shopping needs, but your website will allow you to collect a greater royalty. Consider hosting a website exclusive sale to drive traffic to it. Don’t have an author website? That is something we can help with!
Are you blogging? If not, you should be. This is a great way to interact with your fans and potential readers. Start blogging more frequently leading up to the holidays so that you are fresh in everyone’s minds when it comes to sending a gift to their loved ones. You could even do a series around gift ideas, and mention your book as one of them.
Share, share share. Be present on social media as much as possible. Consider sharing a fun fact a day, or an excerpt from your book. The more people feel connected to you, the more they will want to read your work.
The numbers speak for themselves, which is why it was pertinent to include them here. You want your readers to think of your book when they are thinking through those gift ideas. Get your marketing plan together and get on out there and sell some books!