Holiday Sales – Pros and Cons
When you’re being bombarded by ads for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and tons of similar holiday sales, you can’t help but wonder: How can I get in on this action with my book?
Do people buy more books during the holidays? Certainly they do. Does it make sense for you to pursue these sales? That answer is much less certain.
To be blunt, not every book has obvious gift potential. People tend to buy coffee-table type books or the latest best-seller because they are easy choices to make. You know the thinking process and have probably gone through it yourself:
“Dad likes old cars and here’s a nice book on old cars.”
“The latest James Patterson is out and my sister reads those.”
“The new grandchild should have this old classic that our kids used to love.”
That’s not to say shoppers don’t buy new and less-commercial books, but they have to be really motivated to do that instead of taking the easy path. Targeted advertising can help you find those shoppers.
Like any giftable item, you have to be hanging out where people are looking since they can’t choose you if you aren’t there to be chosen. That availability doesn’t just happen. You have to build toward it through marketing and distribution. Big publishers know the routine and follow a plan for the books they think will do well during the holiday season, but new and self-published authors are often reactive rather than proactive and don’t get a holiday marketing strategy in place early enough.
You’ve no doubt heard the truism that you can have only one of these three things: Good, Fast or Cheap. This applies to your book marketing as well. Last-minute marketing isn’t cheap and the margin on book sales isn’t very generous. Authors really have to weigh the Return On Investment before deciding to run a holiday advertising blitz. Is your goal to get your book in the hands of readers or to make money? Only you know the answer to that!
If you do pursue promotion of your books during the holidays, it makes sense to remind shoppers that Kindle books can be gifted up until the very last minute as well as purchased now to be delivered later. All they need is a valid email address for the recipient.
So what should you expect from the holiday shopping season? There’s a lot of noise already out there, so competition in general is going to be fierce. On the other hand, if you have a very niche audience that you can get in front of, you could do well. Do your ROI research before making any expensive decisions and experiment. Let us know how it goes! We’d love to hear from you.