Holiday gift-giving brings sales increases for nearly everything — and books are no exception, mainly because they make ideal gifts.
If you’re looking into how to market a book, don’t overlook the potential of increasing holiday sales. Books are convenient to buy, inexpensive compared to other gifts, and are easily selected based on someone’s interests. In other words, they make great gifts.
Ahead are six ways to market your book for the holidays, and it’s never too late for authors to take advantage of the extra holiday selling.
- Gift guides. Many magazines, newspapers, online outlets, and other media publish gift guides or prepare best-holiday-gift lists. Although print magazines look for gift guide recommendations in August, there are still many options closer to the holidays. Short-lead media such as newspapers, online publications, online versions of TV shows (i.e., today.com) will take pitches for gift guide coverage up to just a few weeks, or even less, before the major holidays. If you don’t have an author publicist, it’s not difficult to visit media outlet websites and collect email addresses and names. Start contacting media now to put your book on holiday coverage radars and create a path for exposure, and continue to ramp up efforts throughout the season.
- Offer something special. Sell books from your website, and offer to gift wrap and sign copies of your book. Since you won’t be losing a percentage of sales revenue as you do when selling from online sellers such as Amazon, you can offer your special holiday prices for your book.
- Be charitable. In your book promotion efforts, announce that a percentage of sales will go to a charity you identify. Some people are skeptical that people follow through on giving a portion of sales, so make it known that you’ll post a copy of the check you send after the holidays, or will post the thank you letter you receive from the charity.
- Local Events. Check your local library, civic organizations, places of worship, and schools to find relevant holiday events where your book could be a welcome addition. Offer to sign books and sell at discounted prices.
- Try something crazy. Why not take a shot with something creative? Send a few copies of your book, or perhaps even ten copies, to distributors for stores such as WalMart, Hallmark, etc. or send directly to independent bookstores. Include a note saying they are welcome to give the books to their charity or members of their staff. You never know, this might get the attention of the right person who then might want to distribute or carry your book.
- Send out some good mojo. If your book is a good fit, send a few copies to jails and prisons in your area as donations to their libraries. Paying it forward can never be a bad thing.
All good holiday book promotion campaigns include creative elements. As you work on the six ideas above, be unique, and come up with things that relate to your title. If it’s a lifestyle book, for example, opportunities for events or tie-ins with other events may be more significant. Also, anything online has the potential to spark enormous interest if it is lucky — and ingenious — enough to become an internet meme. Each year, the ways to succeed in book marketing and publicity expand and evolve. An excellent new idea today may become a trend with you and your book ahead of the curve.