It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas isn’t it? In case you haven’t noticed, the holiday season is starting earlier and earlier every year. The problem is, most of us don’t start thinking about making holidays sales for our books until it’s too late. We tend to get a lot of inquiries for a holiday push from our authors around Thanksgiving, which may seem like a good time to start, but is actually too late to ramp up your holiday promotion efforts.
A serious holiday sale campaign starts weeks, if not months, before the actual push. In this series of articles (which will guide you right up to Thanksgiving and Black Friday), we’ll uncover what you need to do to get your book ready for the holiday buying rush.
First take a look at some things you may want to consider doing during the holiday season:
- eBook promotions
- Book events
- Holiday book promos
All of these are fantastic holiday promotion ideas, but each requires some advanced planning.
Let’s start first by getting your calendar out.
So let’s say you want to take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. How would you do that? Unless your book is in bookstores, I’d suggest focusing online. In order to do that, you’ll want select which sites to list your book on, and get your order in now (we’ll list some sites at the end of this piece that you may want to consider).
If you’re going to do several promotions for one book, consider rotating between free and a discounted price. If you have several books, I’d put them all into a rotation from Thanksgiving through December, alternating free and lower price points.
One final tip: eReaders are still a hot Christmas gift, so be sure to reserve some of your promotion dates for after Christmas, too.
For this eBook promo to really work, I’d suggest putting a letter to your reader in the back of the book as well as linking to your other titles. Why? Because it’s a great way to sell more books, and adding a letter is easy to do. All you need is your .mobi file of the book, or a PDF of the final book block, and take it to someone who can redo your interior for you. All they need to do is open the file, insert the letter and you’re done! I work with a gal who has a one day turnaround on this type of addition, so it’s a pretty easy add-on.
The timing of your promotion will depend on how many books you have, what kinds of promotion you are doing, and your promotion budget. Some eBook promotion sites will offer paid options, and your budget will have an impact on which sites you submit your free and discount promotions. Keep in mind that free helps to trigger the Amazon algorithm.
Here’s where your calendar comes in handy: ideally, you may want to kick off Black Friday/Cyber Monday with a free deal, schedule two sets of discount price promotions in early December, maybe one more freebie before Christmas and then drop the price of the book for the week prior to the holiday (for all those last minute shoppers).
Here’s your holiday promotion checklist:
- Determine your promotion budget
- Coordinate your calendar to schedule at least one freebie and one lower-priced promotion leading up to Christmas (ideally a week apart).
- Research which online venues still have open spots for online promotion (as promised, a list of eBook free/discount promotion sites is below)
- Book these dates ASAP
We’ll look at promotion once we get closer, but for now start planning out December early. You’ll be glad you did! Below is a small list of eBook promotion sites – I would suggest you do some searching on your own, as there are always new sites to promote free/discounted book deals:
- BookGorilla – Their paid services have a far reach, and won’t break the bank
- BookLemur – Fair prices and an easy process
- GoodKindles – Great options and flexibility with their packages
- Ignite Your Book – They have free and paid options. Their affordable paid option will get you in front of all of their newsletter subscribers
- Read Free.ly – Great books, no middleman
- StoryFinds – Tons of options to give your book the exposure it needs
- BookBub – Their packages are on the more expensive side, but the average downloads are very impressive
- Find more here!
Next time we’re going to look at:
- Beefing up your Amazon page with more reviews
- Planning a blog tour
- And when to time a Goodreads giveaway!
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