Happy Book-Strategy Planning Season

Holiday Book Season Planning

I am surprised and delighted by the huge response I received regarding the Savvy Sunday News Release on crutch words. If you haven’t seen that post yet, you’ll find it here.

Below are just a few of the comments I’ve received, with additional crutch word nominees!

“I enjoyed reading your thought piece (crutch term?). It is, without a doubt, right on! – needless to say!
Ed Weinsberg, Sarasota, Florida

“Really excellent piece!  I promise I will try my hardest never to say influencers or it is what it is again. Don’t think I use the others too often but I will certainly be on guard! Thanks for pointing these out as overworn cliches! Hope all goes well with you!”
— Best, Regina from New York City

“Can’t help thinking relevant is no less irrelevant too.”
— Cheers, Paula Wagner

And the delightful Carmen Farmer added,

“OMG! I had a lot of chuckles reading this. I try to think out of the box in order to make it win/win for everyone. 🙂  And I’m sooo over thought leader and influencer. … You’re doing your readers a great service by writing this – also the people they speak to or correspond with. Yay, you!
Carmen from Portland, OR.

Thanks to everyone who responded. There is no doubt about it. Crutch words abound, and I am definitely guilty of using relevant and irrelevant. I will try to do better, Paula. 🙂

Well, it’s that time of year again…

I don’t know about your part of the world, but here is the Northwest a switch was flipped from summer to fall in one day. There was no slow cool down from the hot days of summer into the cooler days of fall. We dropped from 85 degrees one day to rain and 65 the next. Of course, in this part of the world most people love cooler temperatures and the rain! Personally, I think it’s a survival mechanism. Since we can’t change the cold and wet, let’s all say how much we love it. No matter what!

And of course, the you-know-what-season isn’t far behind. Normally, I hate it when people start talking about the holidays months ahead of time. I mean, it’s even too soon to talk about Halloween, IMHO, before October 1.

However, when it comes to promoting and selling books, it’s never too soon to plan for the holidays. So let’s dive in.

You have a book and you know that during the holidays people are in a buying mood, so how can you take advantage of that?

Here are some things to do right now:

Sit down and create a strategy: Begin with that question, “What do I want?” What do you want? What would be a fantastic result for you and your book? After the holidays on January 2nd, 2020, what needs to happen for you to say to yourself, “That was the best holiday season yet!” It always starts with a plan. List the results do you want, and then map out specifically how you will get there. That will be your strategy.

Get more reviews: We talked about getting reviews just a few weeks ago. Reviews play a huge part of people’s buying decisions, even more so when buying a book for someone else. Having current reviews keeps you looking current, no matter when your book actually came out.

Holiday Gift Guides: I just received a note in my inbox today from a blogger saying that’s it’s time to pitch the holiday gift guides. Get a list of bloggers that offer gift guides, and update your pitch for the holiday season, and get it out there. There are all kinds of online publications that offer gift guides too. With a little research, you can create a good list of them.

Plan for special days: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday. Do they work for you? Get the dates on your calendar and start thinking about what kind of special deals you can offer. (For me, I’m thinking about offering a special on a publicity outreach campaign. It includes a written pitch along with 5 guaranteed interviews for a very special price. Why not? It can create some nice momentum for a book and its author!)

Write a great holiday angle pitch: What is a natural holiday angle for your particular book? Write a pitch about it and create a timeline for when you’re going to send it out there.

Local exposure: There was once a day when books were only sold in bookstores and available in libraries, but now you see books everywhere: A book on designing bedrooms might be in a store’s bedding department, a book on cooking might be in a store selling pots and pans, a relationship book might be in a local coffee shop by the cash register. Where could you get your book placed locally?

Speaking of local exposure:  Media. Perhaps you can get a segment on a local TV or radio station. Maybe a local writer wants to write about some local authors. You could pitch the idea, including yourself, and perhaps suggest a few other local writers that you know. This will build lots of social capital for you, not only with the writers, but with the journalist too. You’ve helped him or her to do their job.

Your email list: Keep your list of contacts who have opted in to hear from you updated on what you’re doing, including local media appearances, and let them know of your planned discount days. Be sure to ask them to share with their own networks, too.

Holiday Craft & Gift Fairs: You’ll notice these kinds of events are already popping up on calendars, so see if you can still get a booth or table space and maximize on local holiday sales.

Come up with your own #hashtags: Identify your keywords and hashtags and use them in all your posts leading up to Christmas and on major shopping holidays. You can use your book title, your topic, and the usual favorites, such as #blackfriday, #cybermonday, #christmasgift, #holidaygift, etc. Research Twitter and Instagram to see what’s popular and use them.

There are many other strategies and tactics you can use as we head into the holiday season. Yes, I know it seems early! On a personal level, the holidays don’t begin until just before Thanksgiving. However, if you want book sales, you should begin now.

I’ll have more ideas in the weeks to come.

To your success!


P.S.  If you’re interested in the special publicity outreach campaign I mentioned above, which includes a written pitch along with 5 guaranteed interviews, reply to this email, or send me a note here. It’s going to be a great Q4!





Scroll to Top