It Takes Planning to Maximize Holiday Book Sales
People who love to read enjoy receiving books as holiday gifts. If you're an author or publisher wondering how to market a book for the holidays, you'll need to make a plan. Book marketing experts advise that August is generally the month where you need to begin your promotional push. Gift Guides are annual features of many print publications (magazines) and blended media, and they work on December issues during August. You can check online for a print brand's editorial calendar to confirm the dates. What runs in a magazine's gift guide also goes onto its website, which reaches more readers.
Local and regional media also tend to favor authors who live in their area. The same holds for bloggers, freelance writers, and websites. Virtually every type of media runs stories about holiday gifts. To be included, it's crucial to do some research and make sure you approach the writers and editors who would be interested. Your approach to the media, also known as a pitch, needs to be concise and compelling. Ideally, you want to present your book as appropriate for a story angle you know would be of interest. When you make the media's job easier, you're more likely to be covered.
Never feel intimidated about approaching people who work in the media – but be helpful and avoid being pushy. The fact is that editors have time and space to fill and are always on the lookout for interesting story ideas. When you make the initial contact, include one succinct sentence demonstrating you follow their work—the move directly into a concise pitch about your book and its subject. Because you're pitching for a gift guide, include the price and where copies are sold. Your bio and a brief sentence or two about the readers interested in receiving the book will also help.
It's also wise to offer to provide a review copy of your book of .pdf file of its content. Some in the media may want to take a closer look before making a decision. If you can, consider selecting a charity and donate a portion of sales. It provides an additional story angle and is a gesture of goodwill at holiday time. Many gift guides are based on price (i.e., Great Gifts Under $2, and you can accentuate how the price of your book may help it fit into those categories as well. eBooks lend themselves well to holiday promotional holiday discounts that also give another dimension to your promotion.