The best time to begin planning your marketing and publicity push for the holidays is in July. The second best time is right now, so let’s take a look at how we can produce some effective campaigns that will help us generate more awareness and sell more books now that the holidays are approaching.
And, by the way, if you are one of those who has an aversion to getting into the holiday season this early, I understand. However, in order to offer your book during this season, you have to get the pipeline filled. It’s a little like planning a trip to climb Mount Everest. You wouldn’t start training the week you plan to go. That’s a great way to make sure you fail. You must begin planning and training ahead of time in order to be conditioned and ready. Book publicity and marketing is no different. It’s really never too early to plan to be successful.
With so many people looking for gifts and ways to entertain themselves and others, your book can be the perfect solution. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
1. Make a list of who you want to reach with your marketing. This includes media outlets, bookstores, libraries, and directly to potential customers. Be sure to include contact information for each one you put on your list.
2. Create some holiday-themed content. This can be blog posts, social media posts, podcasts, or even short videos – or a mixture of them. Whatever you decide to do, make sure it’s engaging and will capture people’s attention.
3. Reach out to your contacts. Send them an email, give them a call (Not everyone is afraid of the phone, you know), or connect with them on social media. Let them know about your book, holiday-themed content, and why they should check it out, but be sure and do this in an elegant way that makes sense and feels right. You don’t want to be all salesy and in people’s faces. There is an art to this, so watch and learn from those who do it well.
In addition, with all of the parties and gatherings, there are plenty of opportunities to get your book in front of potential readers.
4. Make a list of all the events you’ll be attending over the holidays and what type of event it is (e.g., office party, family gathering, friend’s get-together). This will help you determine what type of book marketing materials you need to bring with you. You can create fun little grab bags or swag bags and fill them with goodies, including a copy of your book or a coupon for an autographed copy, or whatever will be appropriate for the type of gathering you are going to.
5. If you’re attending any holiday parties, and you’re not intending to bring swag bags, then bring along some business cards or postcards with the cover of your book and your website or blog information. You can also include a brief description of the book on the back of the card. This way, if anyone expresses interest in your book, they’ll have all the information they need to check it out later. It saves you from fumbling for paper and pen or remembering to send that link.
6. If you’re going to be spending time with family or friends, take advantage of this opportunity to do some informal market research. Talk about your book with people who aren’t familiar with it and see what their reaction is. Ask them what they think about the cover, the title, and the synopsis. See if they would be interested in reading it based on what you’ve told them. This feedback can be invaluable as you fine-tune your marketing and publicity strategy. It’s a fabulous way to see if you have your elevator pitch down. Be sure and look for their eyebrows to go up, and extra points if they say, “Tell me more!”
7. Give copies of your book as gifts! This is a great way to get your book into people’s hands and increase its visibility. Just be sure to include a note letting the recipient know that you’d appreciate their feedback, or maybe in the form of a review.
8. Use social media to spread the word about your book over the holidays. Post updates about your progress, include festive photos, holiday-themed quotes from your book, or even host a contest giveaway. Be sure to share links to articles or reviews, and let people know when you’ll be appearing at events or giving interviews. It’s important to use relevant hashtags so that people outside of your immediate followers can find you.
9. Take advantage of holiday-themed promotions and marketing opportunities. For example, if you have a Christmas-themed book, offer a discount on e-book versions during December or donate a portion of proceeds to a charity related to the holiday theme.
10. Reach out to local media. The holidays are also a great time to reach out to get coverage. Many media outlets are always looking for content during the slow news period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. See if you can get on a local morning show to talk about your book. Having local, on-camera coverage can help when you want to go after national opportunities.
11. Get creative with your publicity and marketing. There are endless possibilities when it comes to marketing and publicizing your book over the holidays. Get creative and think outside the box! For example, you could partner with a local business to do a joint holiday promotion, or donate copies of your book to a charity auction. The sky’s the limit!
Publicizing your book over the holidays can be a great way to boost sales and visibility. By creating holiday-themed content and reaching out to media and the contacts in your own networks, you can spread the word about your book and reach a whole new audience. So get started today because if you didn’t get going in July, you can get going right now.
To your success!
P.S. Ready or not, the holidays are coming. It’s time to Get Ready!
If you’d like to receive juicy publicity secrets directly on a regular basis, join the Savvy Sunday Community at the bottom of this page.