BAM! Publish > Make the Holidays the Best Time for Readers to Find your Book!
Authors who publish digitally know that their big sales come after the traditional holidays. People tend to give eBook readers and gift cards as presents, so the new owners of these digital devices are motivated to find new books to download. The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is usually slower for eBook authors, since it’s rare for people to give a digital book as a gift before holidays. With paperback books at Books-A-Million, we’ve opened up an entirely new selling season for you.
The Christmas shopping season is the most lucrative for almost every retailer. Stores prepare for holiday sales all year, and count on big bonuses from frantic shoppers trying to find just the right gift for friends and loved ones. Books make a great gift selection for most everyone, and we’ve opened up the chance for you to get in on the sales rush each year.
Like other retailers, though, you’ll have to start getting ready for the shopping season by preparing early. If you need rebranding to give your line a cohesive look, do that before Halloween so your books are all together on the shelves by November to entice the early shoppers. Publish a brand new book in early November so fans will have something to put on their wish lists. Make up special gifts for Christmas shoppers such as coordinated book marks in each book, or consider bundling three or four volumes into a boxed set.
Begin your holiday marketing as early as the retail stores do. Promoting your work for the holiday crowds is as simple as letting your readers know where the books will be on sale. Make a big marketing push right around the end of October to let shoppers know how and where to find your paper books, then do another push in the middle of November to catch holiday shoppers looking for help with their shopping lists.
The holidays are hectic for everyone, but if you’re offered a chance to join in an author event in November or December, never pass it up. You’ll be speaking with the biggest crowds of the year and have the chance to convert more curious shoppers into readers than at any other time. Whether it’s a personalized signing or a multi-author event, always join in any type of holiday fun that’s going on at Books-A-Million.
The Bottom Line
Like most authors, you’ve probably dreamed of seeing your books on a bookstore shelf. With our program, you now have a better chance than ever before of seeing that dream turn into a reality. Like every opportunity, though, you have to use every advantage you can in order to see the results you want. No one will sell your books for you; that’s up to you. But by giving you the chance to put your books in front of millions, you can ramp up your sales immensely if you take advantage of it the right way.
Start by writing your best story or compilation and use the experts to create visually appealing book. Create or update your author website and announce your connection with our program. Get your readers excited about being able to buy your physical books for themselves and for gifts. Emphasize special events that may be coming up in your area, and ask readers for suggestions on what they’d like to see or hear from you. Get them involved in the process and you’ll find they’ll be more invested in your success.
If you haven’t started a blog on your website, now’s the ideal chance to add that bit of reader contact. Blogging doesn’t have to take a ton of time; an hour a week is more than enough. For that small amount of time, though, you’ll make personal contact with a number of new readers and have a good chance at turning a lot of them into fans. Post about the excitement you’re feeling at this new opportunity. Ask readers what questions they think should go into book club discussion lists. Extend personal invitations when you’re going to be making a personal appearance. Just like with social media, your blog is a fantastic place to put a face with your name and to let your readers get to know you.
If your book makes into a Books-A-Million store, be sure to link to the stores where readers can buy your books. Just like with digital books, the more places readers see your book associated with Books-A-Million, the more likely they are to look for your work when they visit the bookstore. Add Books-A-Million into your newsletter rotation by bringing it up every two or three mailings. Talk about how it feels to see your books on the shelves and ask readers to send you their pictures of your books when they find them. Even if the prize is just their picture on your website, readers will make a point of searching out your books more often if a prize is involved. And once they’ve found your book, they’re more likely to buy a copy for themselves.
Putting your books in this program isn’t a guarantee of success, any more than putting them for sale on Amazon or any other online site would be. You have to produce a great book and do the marketing. But with our program and Books-A-Million’s selling power, you’ll have the opportunity to expose your books to millions of readers who might never have seen them before.