Holiday Book-Buying Trends & Tactics You Can Use to Grow Your Sales
Now is the time to think about holiday book sales and prepare yourmarketing strategy.
According to Kim Wylie, Vice President of Trade Sales at Ingram ContentGroup, “Q4 is the end all, be all for many book retailers, as the holidayseason is where they place a lot of effort, emphasis, planning and hope.”By planning your holiday book marketing strategy in advance, you cancapitalize on this seasonal trend and sell more books.
Consumer Book Purchases Spike Before, During, and After the HolidaySeason
Whether you're publishing print books, ebooks, or audiobooks (and youshould consider selling on as many platforms as possible), industrystatistics show that book sales spike around the holidays.
According to Google Trends, online searches for "books" has spiked duringthe months of November and December for the past five years. This suggeststhat more shoppers are looking for (and purchasing!) books specificallyduring the holiday season. Whether consumers are buying books as gifts forothers or for themselves (who doesn't need a break from holiday chores?),your holiday book sales strategy can capitalize on this trend.
Google Trends also shows that online searches for "ebooks" spike just afterChristmas and into the first week of January. People who receive gift cardsor new ebook devices for Christmas will be looking for ebooks to buy andread. Take advantage of this predictable surge in interest!
See our tips below on how to use your book marketing and book promotionstrategy to get in on the holiday action.
Best Practices: How to Market and Sell More Books Around the Holidays
Whether this is your first holiday sales period (congratulations!) oryou’ve yet to create a comprehensive holiday book marketing plan, here aresome ideas to get you started.
Messaging Techniques to Promote Holiday Sales
- Plan ahead. It's best to spend time planning the content and timing of your email and social media messaging well ahead of time - like now! The time to send promotional emails is before Black Friday (the Friday after Thanksgiving) and Cyber Monday (the following Monday).
Remember to take into consideration your regular messaging frequency – younever want to bombard your email list with messages begging them to buyyour books. However, you may want to slightly increase your messagingfrequency around the holidays as consumers are seeking books, ebooks, andaudiobooks and are generally more primed to shop at this time of year.
- Save some time with automated messaging. You can set up emails to be sent on certain days automatically. If that's beyond your skill set, enlist some help - it's out there! At the very least, you should mark specific dates in your calendar to remind yourself to send holiday email messages or newsletters manually.
- Write a holiday-themed blog post announcing a pre-Christmas sale on your books or simply reflecting on the season. Try limiting your pre-Christmas sale to a specific time period and track the increased sales during that time. Write a blog post that includes a gift guide promoting your own books and those of other authors who agree to do the same for you. Consider being specific with these posts. For example, “Gift book suggestions for the vegan in your life” or “the 5 best historical fiction to add to your new ebook app.”
- Send preorder alerts to your fans and potential buyers' list in advance of the holidays so your books and ebooks become part of their shopping lists.
- Share holiday-related photos featuring your book on Instagram and other social media sites. People who read books like to connect with their favorite authors and the holidays are a great time to reach out. Use appropriate genre and holiday hashtags to extend the reach of your posts.
Content Creation and Promotion Ideas to Help You Sell More Books Duringthe Holidays
- Write a new book that has a holiday theme or takes place during the holidays. It might be too late to do that this year, but it's not too early to get started on next year's holiday book!
- Create a holiday series with other authors. Work with other authors in your genre to create a book series with a holiday theme based on a particular set of characters. Launch all the books simultaneously and offer them individually and/or as a set. These increases your exposure (and sales opportunities) across the social media platforms and marketing campaigns of all the authors.
- Design a holiday book cover or holiday-themed box set. Even if your book isn't exactly about Hanukkah, Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc., you can still incorporate the holiday season into your book cover by adding a blurb and/or illustration depicting your book as the perfect holiday gift. Author Julianne McLean added a holiday-themed book to her three-book series, packaged it as a four-book series in a new holiday box set, priced it at a discount, and offered it for a limited time around the holidays. Readers got a great deal and McLean sold more books!
- Utilize social media promotion. Readers and book buyers not only search Google for gift ideas, but they look to Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, and other social media sites as well. Be sure to announce your preorder opportunities, book promotions, holiday-themed special editions, and holiday wishes on social media. Try different sites and track which ones work best.
- Offer swag, discounts, and giveaways. Bundle holiday sales with related gifts and/or author swag. You might offer holiday-themed cookie cutters, bookmarks, coffee mugs, or signed books for readers who purchase your books during a promotional period. Hold a contest on social media where everyone who signs up for your newsletter, responds to a quick survey, or simply shows interest in your book is entered into a drawing for a free set of all your books.
- Use Aerio to complement your holiday book marketing strategy! With Aerio you can upload your ebooks for free and discount down to $2.99, allowing you to make up to 85% off every ebook sale! Works great with social, email and all around web marketing.
The holidays present a unique opportunity to increase your retail sales andyour overall unit sales. People buy and read more books during this time,and there's no reason why they can't be buying and reading your books. Findsome time to map out a holiday book sales and marketing strategy – becausethey're here and gone before you know it! How about right now?