Figuring out how to market a book to holiday gift guides can be a great way to give your book some extra bounce this season and believe it or not, it’s not too late if you play your cards right!
Whenever we’ve pitched gift guides in the past, books that have been accepted get a nice nudge in sales and exposure making even one placement worth the effort for your book marketing plan.
Now is the time to pitch bloggers
Bloggers can accommodate quick turnarounds for the right opportunity.
They also get busy just like the rest of us this time of year and coming up with fun content ideas can get stressful, so if you play your cards right and make an enticing offer, you’re creating a mutually beneficial collaboration!
Whenever we’ve pitched bloggers for their gift guides, and gotten a book included it’s been a great find for our authors.
Not just because of the immediate promotional boost a gift guide gives an author, but since it’s a blog post the blog comes up in searches for as long as the blogger is around (which is generally a pretty long time). So you’re getting a lot of SEO juice as well and networking with an individual that you could easily work with again in the future for another release.
Make sure it’s the right fit
As with year-round pitching it’s super important to get to know the blog before pitching a holiday or gift guide angle.
Have they done a gift guide before? Do they do product recommendations? What do they typically cover? Does the blog owner reveal any personal likes or trends they follow or support?
Do your due diligence. If you don’t not only will you not get included, but it’s a waste of their time, and you don’t want to get a reputation for that.
Pitch the right person for the right reason
As with any pitch, take the time to find the right person to pitch, and pitch them the right way.
Take time to find out the blog owners name, and see if they prefer specific formats for their inquiries and submission. Follow the rules because if you don’t, your entire submission may get deleted.
You want to make your offer as personal as possible and you won’t be able to do that by simply starting your email off with, “Hi, I have a book!”
Craft your expert email
While I always say that you need really catchy email subject lines if you’re pitching media or bloggers, the same isn’t true for gift guide pitches.
In fact I recommend a subject line that reads “Holiday Gift Guide” or “Perfect Gift for Your Followers” and then a super strong opening sentence that really hooks them.
Keep the email short, two paragraphs at the very most but less if you can.
Remember, the more work you do to make it easy on them, the better your chances will be.
Tell them why your book makes a great gift idea for their followers, and not just because you’re a biased fan, show them that you understand what their followers like and what makes them tick.
And keep in mind, not all books are great Christmas gifts, but some fit in really well with the New Year’s resolution theme. Self-help books, powerful memoirs, lifestyle books, and success and career books are all perfect for a “new year new you” angle that a lot of bloggers can get behind.
Offer enhancements to seal the deal
There’s no shame in bribing, and by bribing I mean offering to provide extra copies for a giveaway!
Let the blogger know you’re willing to provide X number of signed, personalized copies and ship them to the winners, and if you have any additional swag or fun goodies, up the ante. One of our authors included Belgian chocolates with her giveaway packs because her storyline took place in Europe.
Get creative to make yourself memorable!
Do the follow up and be professional
There’s no shame in checking back. Just a simple note asking if they got your initial email and if they need anything further should suffice.
You don’t want to bog down their inbox, so a quick and concise follow up makes you look serious and professional, without making a nuisance of yourself.
And if you hear back but they can’t accommodate your offer for the holidays, send them a gracious note thanking them for their time and consideration, and politely request that they keep you in mind for a future opportunity.
Resources and free downloads
Free Monthly Book Marketing Planner
12 Holiday Book Marketing Ideas