This post is part of a weekly series on YWP, aptly titled “The Writer’s Weekly Wrap-Up”.
Each Sunday, I will endeavour to provide you with a curated list of the best articles I have seen throughout the week that relate to building your platform.
The featured articles cover topics on book marketing and promotion, blogging, social media and self-publishing. (I may even throw in a few inspirational and fun posts, just so that it’s not all work and no play!)
Simple Book Marketing Tips for the Holidays
Regardless of whether we are feeling merry and bright, jolly or joyous, the holiday season is swiftly approaching.
And with it’s advance comes the warm and fuzzy, guerrilla marketing tactics we’ve grown accustomed to associating with ‘holiday spirit’.
Promotional efforts get hardcore this time of year, with every business from Amazon to Zappos vying for gift buyers’ attention.
So if you haven’t felt ‘dirty’ enough hocking your book on your shiny new website or on 20+ social media platforms, it’s time to get really indecent!
I mean, how else are you going to get noticed in all the clamouring and arm waving if you don’t go all ‘Black Friday’ on your holiday book marketing efforts?
Consider this approach: be different. The best way to capture attention is to stand out. So don’t follow the crowd and just try to be louder than the rest.
If you’ve earned the right to ask a bit more from your readers, then ask – but tread carefully. A few extra book sales will not make up for ruining relationships that have taken months to build.
Create a holiday marketing plan that builds off of what you already know about your audience. What would they like from you this holiday season?
Here are some simple ideas to get you brainstorming, but remember to add your personal touch – your brand distinctness – to any holiday marketing plan:
- Know where and how your readers shop. What format (ebook, print book, audiobook) do they prefer? Make sure your book is available and accessible through the retailers, and in the format, your readers desire.
- Make a list of groups, clubs, schools, organizations, charitable venues, local businesses and professional associations that may be open to partnering with you to promote and sell your book. You can create themed gift baskets for silent auctions, as door prizes or giveaways for holiday events. You can also sell them in boutique stores and specialty gift shops. Consider joining forces with other local authors to share the costs and work involved.
- Offer time-limited sales, discounts, ebook/print book bundles, multi-copy discounts or other incentives (like a gift with purchase, a draw or autographed copies with a personal message). Giveaways and contests can work very well both on your blog as well as on social media. Offer a free or discounted ebook version, free chapters from your next book, a short story, or a discount on services related to your non-fiction book. If you’re really on top of things, send your Christmas cards out early, and add a Smashwords coupon!
- Create a blog post that is the ‘Ultimate Gift List’ for your ideal reader. Of course, include your book on the list! As an ‘expert’ in your field or genre, local tv and radio may also be interested in your opinion on gift giving trends for your particular audience. This is also a good time to get off your blog and tour or guest post on other blogs with similar audiences – keep your name (and your book) top of mind.
- Stay connected with your readers via email. Don’t swamp your subscribers with ‘buy my book’ email reminders, but don’t let the busy-ness of the season let you neglect one of your greatest assets, either. Your current fans are the best book promotional tool at your disposal. Help them discover how your book makes the perfect gift this holiday season!
Phew! That should get your holiday marketing creativity flowing! And since you’re in the zone, on to this week’s list of featured articles:
Feel Great Naked: Confidence Boosters for Getting Personal from Sonia Simone at Copyblogger
In this post, Sonia gives some tips on the art of sharing yourself with the world, without crossing the ‘TMI’ line.
2 Must-Dos to Make Your Book Marketing Infinitely Easier from Kimberley Grabas at Your Writer Platform
New on the blog this week, find out the two essential tasks you must complete to ease the ‘pain’ of marketing you book.
How to Write an eBook that Will Grow Your Audience Through the Roof! from Dana Sitar at Firepole Marketing
A fantastic post from Dana, describing the why and how of creating a signature ebook giveaway that encompasses your key brand message and increases the growth of your community and the spread of your ideas.
What Doesn’t Happen When You Sign a Book Deal from Addie Zierman at RachellGardner.com
Hoping for a book deal? Addie shares some insights (and bursts a few bubbles) for those writers who are dreaming about, but have yet to experience, their dream come true.
Five Lessons Any Blogger Can Learn from Organized Crime from Steven Gomez at Problogger
Steven uses a unique – but compelling – analogy to illustrate blogging lessons you should learn to craft a better blog.
Five Essential Elements You Must Have in Place to Sell More Books from Denise Wakeman at The Future of Ink
In this post, Denise describes five key elements you should have in place to create a solid online foundation, without which significantly hampers your book sales.
How To Blast Through Barriers and Get Your Motivation Back from Gary Korisko at Wire Yourself for Wealth
Learn how to break your inertia and get some forward momentum! Gary walks us through five strategies to ‘reboot’ and get re-inspired in our work.
How to Enjoy Marketing Your Fiction (Even If You Hate Selling) from Jason Kong at Storyrally
The title alone on this post should make you snap to attention. Could there actually be a way to enjoy marketing? Better read Jason’s post to find out!
How Literary Agents’ Responsibilities and Compensation are Changing from Chris Robley at BookBaby Blog
BookBaby president Brian Felsen discusses how shifts in the industry are changing the roles of agents, with Jody Rein, founder of Jody Rein Books and Katharine Sands, literary agent.
The Tim Ferriss Book Club Launches — Book #1: Vagabonding from Tim Ferriss at The Blog of Tim Ferriss
This post launches the Tim Ferriss Book Club, and Tim shares why he decided to create a book club, and the reasons he chose Vagabonding as the first book to discuss.
6 Self-Publishing Missteps You Should Avoid from Terry Tyler at Molly Greene: Writer
If you are thinking of self-publishing your book – or have done so, but didn’t receive the results you wanted – read this post by author and blogger, Terry Tyler, to avoid making these costly mistakes.
How To Design A Custom Opt-in Form Without A Plugin // Part 1 from Marianne at Design Your Own (Lovely) Blog
Want to pretty up your opt-in form, but not sure if you have the skills to make it happen? Check out Marianne’s helpful four-part series and learn how you can make your opt-in box go from blah to bling!
Just For Fun
Cross your fingers that you don’t get one of these under the tree this year! 😉
(If you can’t view the video, click here.)
What plans do you have in place for giving your book an edge during the holiday sales rush? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
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Thanks so much for including my tutorial in your wrap up, I love your description of it so much better!
I love your message about holiday marketing too, especially the party where you say don’t risk losing a hard earned audience to make a few sales. So true.
Kimberley Grabas says
Thanks, Marianne! Happy to include such a useful post in the wrap-up – keep ’em coming! 🙂
Oh I wanted to say I love your graphic this week too! You did an awesome job with the typography. 🙂
Kimberley Grabas says
Wow! That’s high praise coming from the master! 😉
I appreciate it!
Hah, I’m not sure I’m the master, apprentice maybe 🙂
Kimberley Grabas says
Dana Sitar says
Great round-up, Kimberley! Thanks so much for including my article at Firepole Marketing 🙂
Kimberley Grabas says
You bet, Dana! It was fantastic, and its got my creative juices flowing… 😉