Marketing your books during the holidays can be stressful, but it can also be fun! It's an opportunity to be creative, bookish, and to include your friends and family in your writing life.
Every family has holiday traditions unique to who they are and where they live. As a writer, you may be wondering how you can share more of your writer lifestyle with your spouse and family. While you can't necessarily include them in your writing, you can share these bookish rituals and incorporate them into your holiday fun. These traditions can also be used outside of the home as well. Share them with your friends, coworkers, or writer friends for more bookish fun!
You can also use them to help boost your holiday book sales. A great marketing and community builder, these traditions cater directly to readers and writers who are also celebrating their own love of books. Each are an opportunity to share books (including yours) with others in an exciting festive-filled way.
1. Create A Holiday-Themed Book Tree
Creating a book tree is a trend we see pop up on Instagram in the writer community each year. Book reviewers and authors alike showcase their book hauls and collections by stacking them into a tree formation and creatively decorating them. There are a ton of variations to this activity- if you search it on Pinterest a myriad of examples appear. There's the traditional Christmas decor, a theme based on an author's book or favorite book, themes by color, character, setting, trope, genre, and more. The options are limitless and so is the creativity. Include your family in the process of picking out a theme, building, and decorating and you have a festive tradition in the making- while still giving your marketing a boost. Bonus points if you share photos of your family having fun while decorating!
2. Add Bookish Decorations To Your Holiday Decor
Incorporating bookish decorations into your holiday decor is another technique that will ensure you never run out of photo opportunities during this busy season. If you're already struggling to balance your holiday responsibilities with marketing, this will help you save time and energy. Decorating for the season is a fun activity that happens anyways. By keeping your book in mind, you can add items that you can then snap photos of as needed for social media. This saves you from worrying about staging your books later on- your setup already exists and all you have to do is add your book. It can also be more cost-effective since you won't be tempted to buy extra props later on. Don't forget to include the natural beauty of the changing seasons. Opportunities for great promotional images are everywhere!
3. Create A Book Advent Calendar or A Christmas Countdown
Looking for a long-term marketing activity that can attract new readers and entertain those loyal ones? One that you can also use as a fun holiday activity for your kids? Look no further than the Book Advent Calendar or Christmas Countdown. Here are three variations you can use:
A celebrated tradition, the Christmas Advent Calendar is a staple in a lot of Christian homes. What better way to bring about excitement and anticipation to your little ones than through a book-style Advent Calendar. Bonus points if that calendar also tells the story of Christmas like this one: The Story of Christmas Story Book Set and Advent Calendar.
Non-religious but still love books? Another way to do this activity is by reinventing it as a countdown to Christmas using books themselves. Choose 24 books (Christmas-themed or not) and wrap them with the number of each day written on the tag. Have your children unwrap one a day and read it together as a family, saving the most special one for the 24th. Don't worry, you don't have to buy all new books if you're on a tight budget. Simply wrap some of the ones you've got lying around the house already and only purchase the last one.
Need more inspiration? See Sugar Maple's article of how to pull off this special Christmas activity.
Similar to the Advent Calendar idea, you can incorporate books into the Eight Nights of Hannuka. Simply wrap 8 books and label them for each night. Better yet you can make them Hannuka themed, like these options: All About Hanukkah, and The Story of Hanukkah to help your children learn more about the holiday and it's importance while still having fun as a family. Keep a mix of genres to keep things both educational and interesting. You can even pair these with companion items like a dreidel.
You can turn this family-fun activity into a marketing opportunity by creating a variation of the tradition. Create your own book countdown by choosing books within your genre or from other authors you want to support. Each day you can make a show of sharing said book with your audience as a way of building community and holiday excitement. Save your book (with a holiday sales price attached) for last. You can include other authors in this venture to gain a larger audience and turn it into a giveaway where a lucky reader could win the holiday book haul as a special prize.
4. Start A Book-Giving Tradition
Book-Giving Traditions are versatile no matter who the recipient is. Taking a page from an Icelandic tradition, gift everyone in your household a new book as their Christmas Eve "gift". Then settle in to read either separately or as a family depending on your preference. You can do a variation of this tradition for your online readers. For this activity, you're going to want to form a small group of writer friends to assist you. Once you have your street team assembled, each writer can "gift" each person in the group a signed copy of their book to open on Christmas Eve on Instagram Live or in their stories. They can then share what book they got and what it's about before enjoying an evening of reading. Bonus points if everyone leaves a review after! This can help you find readers outside of your sphere of influence and help draw them to your book.
5. Do A Secret Santa Book Exchange
Gathering together in the spirit of the holidays is another way you can show appreciation to your readers. You can host a secret Santa book exchange to celebrate the friendships you've made in the writing community, open it up to your supportive ARC team, Patreon followers, or a combination of these groups. It's a great way to bring people together while spreading the joy of bookish gifts around. Arrange for each participating member to give a wrapped book that they enjoyed to another member of the group. Draw names at random and host an online event, such as a Zoom call, where everyone gets to open their secret Santa gifts together. You can make things more festive by including other holiday elements like hot chocolate, sweets, music, etc. Like a virtual holiday party!
Advent Calendar wrapped books photo comes from Sugar Maple's Article: DIY Christmas Book Advent Calendar, collage photos are from various sources on Pinterest, Advent Calendar and Hanukkah books are part of the Amazon affiliate program.
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