There’s a lot going on this time of year and if you’re like me it’s easy to already be distracted by all things holiday, and the last thing I want to do is flesh out new book marketing strategies.
But I also don’t want to enter 2019 with a book that hasn’t seen a boost in exposure for a few months. Now is not the time to bury your head in the snow.
So I’ve racked up a list of 19 relatively simple ideas that we can all pull off no matter how many eggnogs we’ve poured or last minute shopping trips we need to make.
And remember, I always try to ensure my book marketing strategies play off one another, because most efforts don’t work in a vacuum, but when we plan to support everything in an intricate snowflake like pattern – we see much better results at the end.
Plus, a lot of these super simple efforts will benefit you long after the holidays wrap up.
Let’s get started!
1. Check your eBook pricing and consider lowering the price for the holidays.
Most people have budgets for the holidays, and believe it or not a $5 (or more expensive) eBook may not make the cut.
You’re also preparing yourself to take advantage of all the key holiday shopping dates, which I’ve detailed here, and there’s no better book marketing strategy than planning ahead – it really takes the pressure off!
2. Update your email signature to ensure you’re not only linking to your book, but reminding people you’re discounting it for the holidays.
If you’re going to plan other fun content or giveaways (tip #5) be sure to promote that too! The great thing about using your email signature – it’s a great book marketing strategy to work into your everyday activities. All you have to do is keep it updated to reflect new things going on with your brand. We use Wisestamp and love it, it’s easy to update and you can add a lot of fun pieces to your signature!
3. Create holiday themed profile pictures and banner images for social media, and promotional images to support your price drop.
Creating special images for the season helps your brand look current, shows you’re paying attention to what attracts readers, and it’s just super fun once you get the hang of it! Here are some tips and recommendations for making this really easy.
4. Send digital holiday cards and tap into the holiday spirit.
These are a fun and festive way promote your holiday price drop and include links to fun, supporting content or even a special holiday giveaway.
5. Offer BOGOs and giveaways that give your readers something extra!
We have some easy to follow bonus content and giveaway ideas that will definitely appeal to your current readers and potential buyers. I love the BOGO option particularly because it draws in new readers!
6. Create and share an except of your book on multiple platforms to tap into reader populations you may not have reached yet.
I did this with my holiday book marketing strategies book and listed it on Amazon. But there are other sites that you can publish too very easily, like Wattpad, Smashwords and Scribd. And then there are sites that promote excerpts as well, I like Kindle Nation Daily a lot, there’s a fee but it’s a great resource with an excellent reach.
7. Update your Author Central account to ensure you’re using all the free sales opportunities provided and you’re keeping the content fresh.
Have you updated your Author Central account lately? Are you using ALL the different fields they give you access to? If your answers to these two questions are anything less than “Hell yes!” you have some quick and easy work to do.
Author Central includes lots of fields that are often overlooked by authors, but they’re great opportunities for working in your keywords, making announcements, promoting giveaways and keeping your Amazon presence fresh and current.
Here’s a rundown of what you should be looking for.
8. Get out of the house. Yep, I said walk away from the computer!
In most communities there’s a dramatic increase in events and other special goings on this time of year, so get out there and make the most of it. Check your library’s event calendar, and if you’re on Facebook check out their events section, because more and more businesses and organizations are using social media to list events and draw crowds.
Grab a few copies of your book, some business cards, and start showing up places where potential readers are hanging out. You might even meet some potential buyers by enjoying a cup of coffee inside your local place you typically drive through.
Networking and getting to meet people in your community is a great book marketing strategy for drumming up word of mouth.
Here’s a post I did on non-bookstore events that will hopefully inspire you to get creative locally!
9. Create a letter to readers for your back matter.
One of the most effective book marketing strategies for creating long term fans involves creating a personalized letter in the back of the book to readers.
You can remind them to review, list other books you’ve published, offer them a bonus download for signing up for your newsletter, the opportunities are endless.
Create, refine and edit your reader letter over the holidays and set a date for getting it added to your eBook files and updated on Amazon.
If you have a publisher and you’ve never done this before, shoot them an email and outline your requests so they have a heads up on what you want to do and you can collaborate to get it done.
10. Clean up the cutting room floor.
Still at a loss for bonus downloads and content for social media or your newsletter? Look no further than the cutting room floor!
Deleted scenes, axed book cover designs, handwritten notes, major character or plot changes – these are all great inspirations for creating additional content, giveaway and prize items and bonus downloads to use at regular intervals.
When the noise of the holiday season kicks up and you’re feeling like you’re not reaching anyone, focus instead on creating content that will boost your brand long-term.
11. Join a writers group or local author organization.
A big part of getting off the naughty list is prepping for bigger and better things. If you’ve been struggling to stay consistent with your marketing and networking efforts, joining a local writers group or organization can really inspire you to keep your eye on the prize and open doors to building a stronger author brand.
12. Plan out Q1 of next year.
Planning is free! Yeah, it might not be our favorite book marketing strategy, but it’s effective, and planning will definitely sell you more books next year.
Download my free book marketing planner and fill it out for Q1, and enjoy the holidays knowing you’re ready to hit 2019 running.
13. Drum up some free feedback and inspiration from your readers.
Everyone is feeling a little more generous this time of year, so it’s a great time to call in a few favors of your current fans and readers. Sometimes we get too close to our work, we put our blinders on because we’re focused on something we’ve had in our heads for months or years, and we forget to keep our readers in mind, and what they’re really looking for.
Use your mailing list and social to ask people to send in constructive feedback about your work, how storylines and characters have developed, and invite them to submit ideas and requests for upcoming titles.
This is a critical book marketing strategy that’s totally free. Doesn’t get better than that.
14. Ask fans to do the work for you!
This is a fun one, and an extension of the free market research above. It’s also a great way to save yourself some time while still creating content to engage fans and followers.
Ask them to email or post (depending on whether you’re using your website, social or both) images of celebrities they think would be great to play your characters. Invite them to email or post original artwork. Take some polls to let them name a character, town, or decide on another important element in an upcoming book that they can all look forward to seeing in print!
There are lots of ways to get fans and readers involved.
15. Post a fun video to your website, social and Amazon Author Central page.
Maybe you do video all the time and you overlooked doing something holiday specific. Or maybe you’ve never done video and this is the time to take the plunge.
The holidays are a great time of year to plan videos because a lot of us are getting out of the house more than usual, we’re showered, powdered and looking as camera ready as we’ll ever be!
Remember, this can be as simple as a selfie video from your phone, or something more produced, but no matter which you choose here are some simple and important tips for creating a good looking video.
If you don’t have anything big to announce, simply focus on sharing personal and professional updates, or sharing a special thank you message to fans and followers. Video is another level above simply writing content to connect with people and an important part of your branding strategy.
16. Give your website a once-over.
During some of the holiday downtime you might have, it could be a good opportunity to make sure your website is working right. When was the last time you updated your content, maybe added some wording on that award you won for your book, or even did some link-checking? It’s a pretty easy and simple thing to do, and a good way to kick off 2019 with a bang. LINK?
17. Content, content, content.
And speaking of websites, when was the last time you blogged? If you aren’t blogging, maybe now is a good time to start. Blogging is a simple, but effective book marketing strategy anyone can do! Using the planner I linked to earlier, you can start planning out your content for the new year, and generate some helpful ideas. Keep in mind the posts don’t have to be long, or complex, and you don’t even have to be blogging a ton. If you considered blogging twice a month, that’s more than enough. But having a voice on your website is key to engaging your readers, and building your author platform.
18. Look the part.
There’s an old saying: “fake it till you make it” which means essentially that you’re looking the part, before you have the part. And by “looking the part” I mean looking like the best-selling author you aspire to be in 2019. This book marketing strategy is more visual in nature, it’s the image you present to the world. This means taking a hard look at your brand and your “look” – you shouldn’t look like an amateur unless you want to be viewed as one, and with so many tools available online, like Canva for great images, you can very easily create a simple, professional look and brand that can help springboard you to success in 2019 and beyond!
19. Hit the streets with your own events.
I talked about getting out of the house and hobnobing with local businesses, as well as networking with other authors, but let’s get some of your own events queued up in 2019. We love author events, and so does local media, so make a list of some fun venues (pro tip: they aren’t always bookstores – check out these creative ideas), build some fun event ideas, and start making some calls! Then, alert the media (no, really!) and your local target reader groups. You can also do some marketing on Nextdoor with these tips. Plus, remember, everything you do builds on itself and gives you new material to share, and possibly new content to blog about.
I hope these simple book marketing strategies are helpful to you and I hope you’ll find some time to implement at least one or two of these before the clock strikes midnight and a whole new year is upon us!
Want to help your fellow authors stay off the naughty list next year? You can use these pre-made tweets!
Click to Tweet: Launch off of the naughty list before 2019 with these surprisingly simple book marketing tips from @bookgal #bookmarketing #naughtylist #sellmorebooks https://wp.me/p6TMt8-6RO
Click to Tweet: @bookgal shares how any author can get their name off of Santa’s naughty list in time for 2019. #bookmarketing #naughtylist https://wp.me/p6TMt8-6RO
Click to Tweet: Don’t let Santa catch you off guard! Get back on his nice list with these easy-as-pie book marketing strategies in 2019. #bookmarketing #nicelist https://wp.me/p6TMt8-6RO