Planning for the Holidays

Whether you have a new book coming out this year or are just concentrating on marketing your already published backlist, now is actually a great time to ponder your end of year sales campaign. I know that some authors keep at it all the time, but I find that three or four times a year is a good way to give your books a bit of publicity without irritating the daylights out of your followers. It’s also always a good idea to have a comfortable plan in place for the event all ready to go in plenty of time. Get as many goodies in your Christmas bag as you can.

First decide on a budget. It is very, very hard to sell books with a zero advertising budget, but even a little will help. When it comes to presents and bookmarks though, I’ve seen some fabulous homemade ones, so you don’t have to break the bank. Rafflecopters and events with prizes don’t always have to be about Amazon gift cards. You could have something a little more special to win – something related to one of your books or characters. And one thing’s for sure – fans absolutely adore getting something personal from a favourite writer. So – on your holiday campaign to-do list—

Pick your dates.

Allocate a budget if you can, and decide what you’re going to spend it on.

Choose one or a couple of paid book advertising newsletters and pay in advance if you can to avoid price increases. Get a list together of free sites too.

Open a new word document and copy and paste all the links you’re going to need – get your Global Amazon Links there so you don’t have to post separate links for each site, making it easy for readers to use one easy click to buy your book. Shorten your URLs in readiness for your Twitter shoutouts, and get your book covers or artwork all stashed in a file ready to go for the same thing.

Collect some fabulous short excerpts from your book and zoom over to Picmonkey to add them to images that are going to make people want to share.

Set up dates on your list to remind you to go to Amazon and create free days or countdowns for your books. Remember, that as well as your own advertising, Amazon always has a page for countdowns that a lot of readers regularly check.

Set up your swag early. Order or make bookmarks. Get your paperback giveaways ready for posting with personal notes all ready to go. An absolutely fabulous idea is to go to Zazzle and order mugs or just about any other thing on the planet with images of your book covers on them.

Best of all, boost that celebratory excitement by heading over to TSRA Book Trailers and getting yourself an awesome trailer made. These really are attention grabbers, and another wonderful way to find new readers. We all love retweeting cool trailers on Twitter.

I suggest that you do all this well before the actual celebration days begin. There are a lot of people buying books after getting Kindles for Christmas – that’s true, but you’re going to sell a lot of books when people are still in shopping mode too, so try and at least begin before the big bang and let your event zoom through till the end.

Once you have your plan in place you’ll probably find yourself so hugely inspired that you just might not be able to stop yourself from making sure that it’s going to be a brand new book that you’ll be throwing a party for. In that case, get to scribbling scribblers! You’ll find it a lot more fun having everything ready to go in December, rather than having a mad dash at the last minute.

Party

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