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The holiday season brings many opportunities for authors. Families, co-workers, friends, networkers and even the Grinch shop for the perfect Gifts for book-lovers. From fiction, non fiction, Poetry, Sci-fi and sweet holiday romance for those hallmark enthusiasts who dream not only of movies but to curl up in the warmth of Christmas bliss. Their goal? To get lost in the world of the ideal relationship.
Marketers go crazy to capture the holiday magic for those on the naughty or nice list. So why shouldn’t authors…well author-preneurs participate? It’s become a common trend for non-traditional publishers to want to optimize the sweet fruits of their labor. They want to see their hard work nicely wrapped under the Christmas tree or at minimum, stuffed into Christmas stockings.
So how can authors prepare? I was chatting with a group of self published and traditionally published authors who long to boost their holiday sales. Why have the books gathering dust on Amazon’s platform or even yours? It seems the practice is to write it, publish it, and forget it, with the hopes that writing and publishing the book will attract sales. Not so. It does not work that way. Not for any type of author. The point is, after your book is published… unfortunately that’s when the hard work begins. You have to make the world know that it exists. So here are a few simple tips to help get you started. Don’t be overwhelmed. Choose one, two or a few and prepare for the most wonderful time of the year.
Create That Holiday Plan
- Create a plan for the holidays. I am a firm believer in the saying if you are not planning you’re just practicing.
- Evaluate where you are now and where you would like to be at the end of the holiday period. For example, you could include factors like doubling or tripling your year-to-date sales. If you are an experienced author with several books, take a loo at your past holiday sales. Project an increase in sales over past years.
- Plan to up your Marketing and Promotional strategy. Sometimes just a little effort goes a long way from doing nothing at all.
- Update your book covers. Make it festive (easier if you’re self-published) but whatever you do, make sure your cover looks professional.
Your Holiday Author Platform
- Become more visible
- Get your website holiday ready
- Update your Amazon Author Central profile
- Get more amazon reviews
- Make your book covers more festive
- Update your book description
- Update your author bio. It’s a good idea to edit and review often on your amazon page. You would be surprised when you look back you seem to be looking at a stranger who essentially is a person you hardly recognize. Think of this like a resume. Update frequently.
- Get a professional photo done and spread it across the different media networks
Build That Strategic Audience
- Set up or expand your mailing list
- Write blog posts
- Create a newsletter… if that’s on your agenda
- Find and connect with your audience. Engage, engage, engage them
- Offer free holiday shipping
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- Update your Social Media Profile
- Do a holiday-themed hash tag search
- Dig a little deep and find out who your followers are
- Create images of your books in holiday settings on instagram
- Create your own 12-Days of Christmas
Show. Don’t Tell
- Increase your book reviews. Aim for 25 which means you have to go after many in order to get this done. You will receive promises but usually only lower percentage will come through
- Create gift bags and other swags for giveaways
- Create holiday videos. Already doing that? Do some more
- Have a series? Make the first book FREE
- Prep your own 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways
Holiday Party Connect. Collaborate.
- Collaborate with other authors in Holiday Book Events
- Participate in Holiday Book Guide
- Gifts for the Poetry Lover
- Gifts for the Sci-fi lover
- Gifts for the child reader enthusiasts
- Invite your fans to an “ask the author” virtual Holiday party on social media
- Get involved in local festivities (holiday markets, local fairs etc.)
- Contact local independent bookstores
Hope these few tips will help get you underway. There are tons more but these few will get you started. Don’t get overwhelmed. Choose one, two or a few and Sell More Books this Holiday!