Every year you've got an excellent opportunity to boost your book sales during the holidays. Whether you're a newly published Indie author or a long-time pro on your tenth book, you'll want to take advantage of the buying frenzy that takes place between mid-November and Christmas. How do you do that? By hopping on social media and marketing your butt off!
Whether the challenges of social media have held you back in the past, or your lack of know-how on where to start have kept you from trying, driving book sales during the holidays doesn't have to be a headache. Keep in mind that it doesn't happen out of thin air though and the results you see WILL be solely based on the amount of time you put into it. You don't have to be an expert to start and thankfully the process is forgiving when it comes to mistakes. The key to success is to try and to set realistic goals for yourself and your social media skill level.
Use these 7 steps to help generate more income for your author business this year!
It may seem obvious, but the first step is to announce your sale.
Before you do, however, you should have spent time coming up with promotional materials such as post images, freebies, and a schedule of when you want to advertise your sale/for how long. Generally its a good idea during the holidays to do longer sales that run the entire span of the holiday to maximize on your return, but realistically it can go for however long you want it to.
Make sure you drop tidbits about your upcoming sale weeks before the big announcement to help generate some interest and excitement ahead of time. Giving people something to look forward to is a great way to help build hype before your book is available for purchase.
You should also decide ahead of time how to make your sale special. This can be a signed copy of your book, a free Ebook add-on, book-related merchandise, or some other type of holiday-related packaging and extras to go along with it. A discounted price also never hurts. An example would be a gift box filled with a signed copy of your book, a blanket, a candle, and a hot chocolate filled mug. Shoppers love all-in-one gift ideas when buying for their loved ones- make it easier on them to choose your book above others. Have multiple books you want to promote? No worries! Try the "12 days of deals" tactic. Each of the 12 days you change what item you're offering or what comes in your holiday package. It works because it amps up the excitement and because readers come back each day to see what's new.
When you make your sales announcement make sure you keep up your posts about it throughout key times of the day and also throughout your sale. Not everyone views your posts at the same time so by widening your posting net, you'll ensure more of your audience sees your message which will translate into more sales in the long run.
Everyone loves to feel special and what better way to thank your followers for their loyalty than by offering them an exclusive holiday reward? These rewards can be a free piece of character art with the purchase of your book, a promo code for free shipping, percentages off, or early access to new deals or content. You can give them special sneak peeks of your upcoming works or if you offer courses or other writing-related materials a discount off of those.
Most importantly don't forget to thank your followers and readers! Post thank you messages on your social media accounts and don't forget to write a nice handwritten thank you note for any purchases made by your readers.
Hosting holiday-themed giveaways and contests is not only a great way to connect with current and potential readers, but it's a way to amp up the excitement for your book and spread the word. Keep in mind that the world of selling books is competitive. By using a giveaway to attract attention before you launch your sale, it can give you a leg up on the competition.
Take a moment to think of fun, fresh ways to host a holiday giveaway. Create a festive questionnaire entry form, holiday-themed media, go Live and announce the winner. Have bookish merchandise or multiple books to sell? Have your readers comment which they want most on their "wish list" and grant them that prize if they win. If you've got a lot of engagement, you can even go above and beyond by hosting a Secret Santa with other authors. This is essentially a book swap where each member gifts a copy of their book to the person drawn at random from those participating. At the end everyone ends up with a free new book to read and it helps uplift everyone in the writing community.
What better way to attract a new audience than by broadening your hashtags on Instagram and Twitter. You can now use holiday-related hashtags to reach new viewers and potential book-buyers. If your sale is for Black Friday, use #BlackFridaySale. If it's on Cyber Monday, use #CyberMonday. Using these hashtags will put your book on pages where shoppers hungry for bargains are already there searching for gifts and deals. It will guarantee more sales because you're catering directly to the audience who's going to buy.
Remember, the purpose of using hashtags is that so more people can view your content online, which means that you should be using ones with less overall engagement (so your content can stand out) and also ones that are relating to your content but not directly on the nose. Example: If your book is a romance novel, instead of using the hashtags #romancenovel, #love #relationships try and be a bit more specific. Hashtags with your book's title, themes or settings from your book, and things relating to your characters can all be useful in opening up your work to new readers.
Slacking on engagement during the holidays is a big no-no. While everyone else is off from work, what do you think they're doing while they're spending time at their aunt's house waiting for the turkey to cook? They're sitting on their photos browsing Instagram, that's what. And guess what that means? It means that the more you're engaging with others online, the more likely you'll be to see an increase in followers and sales at the end of the holiday season.
Post frequent updates, share your festive holiday traditions and pictures, give anecdotes from Christmas's past, or share your favorite holiday read. The more you open up and show people a window into your holidays, the more you'll find that other authors and potential readers will join in on the fun.
Now is the time to link up with other authors that you're friends with and show a united front. Gather your closest writer friends and host a joint giveaway or sale. You can cross-link on each other's websites (meaning you mention them there with their website link). Promote each other's books and sales on your Instagram and Facebook stories. Show your holiday spirit by doing shout-outs for your favorite followers. A nice, goodwill gesture goes a long way.
Connecting audiences to other authors gives them more value than just sharing your own work with them. This works best if you choose other authors in your specific niche, but can be done with any genres. The point is to create a beneficial network that will bring sales to not only you, but to other authors within your community as well.
Last but not least, it's the season of giving. A great way to give back is to team up with your favorite charity and help them raise money through your sales. Using your brand to influence goodwill may not have a monetary pay-off, but it will benefit your author brand's integrity. It makes you feel good to share, it gives your readers another view into what you care about, and it helps out those in need. What more warm and fuzzy feelings could you ask for?
Whether you team up with your favorite authors, host a contest, or run a holiday sale, all of these options will bring you success if you invest enough time and energy. The rewards can be high so make sure to consider every aspect of your holiday marketing plan before you start.
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