5 Ways to Market for the Holidays – and How to Get Them Started

Many sellers large and small do more business during the holiday season than during the rest of the year, and self-publishing authors are no different. But the holiday magic usually doesn’t just happen. It takes clear goals, planning, focus and commitment to reap the greatest profits during this key time of opportunity.

There are many things an Outskirts Press author can do to boost profits, but let’s focus on this peak spending season. Here are five ways to market your book for the holidays:

  1. Build flexibility into your holiday marketing approach. While Christmas is the primary money-maker for sellers of all kinds, it’s not the only game in town. Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Kwanzaa—even New Year’s Day—are occasions when millions of people will be buying for others and themselves. Reach out to these audiences every chance you get.
  2. Offer holiday-themed specials. Hold a Christmas flash sale on Amazon or host Turkey Day giveaways on Facebook. Get creative! The idea is to encourage engagement with your readers and entice new readers.
  3. Create a social media plan. People love to mingle on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media sites – and they’re quickly becoming the go-to places to exchange information, too. Join the massive, online conversation by regularly “checking in” on social media as often as you can.
  4. Recycle review and media queries. Most of your existing outreach to book reviewers and contacts in print and broadcast media can be repurposed and tailed to your holiday campaign. (If you don’t already have a great query letter, write one!) Grab attention with holiday-themed buzzwords and keywords that will keep your copy relevant.
  5. Organize book-signing or book-reading events. If you want to get into those brick-and-mortar bookstores in time for the influx of holiday shoppers, start now. November and December are hot months for book-signing events, so available dates are booking up quickly. Consider focusing specifically on mall bookstores, where shoppers will be converging by the hundreds.

Of course, none of these techniques happen in a meaningful or organized way without a well-defined strategy to guide you. Outskirts Press can get you started on holiday marketing with a Custom Marketing Plan that not only helps you capitalize on seasonal spending but provides a solid all-around plan for the rest of the year.

The Marketing Consultation with Marketing Plan Development begins with a 30-minute, one-on-one phone consultation with a professional Personal Marketing Assistant to learn more about the author’s book, marketing preferences and goals. The marketing assistant will take these factors into account to craft a unique marketing approach for you that includes actionable and achievable marketing techniques, time-saving tips and techniques to boost profits during the holidays and beyond.

After the initial consultation, the Personal Marketing Assistant will send your Custom Marketing Plan to you within just 48 hours! That means if you place the option in your cart today, you could have a clearly defined marketing plan before another weekend passes. Then if you decide you want more assistance you still have the option to hire a Personal Marketing Assistant for a five-hour block of time to begin tackling those marketing steps.

Don’t let the holiday frenzy overwhelm you. Get your Marketing Consultation with Marketing Plan Development, and put in place the steps you need to take for a successful season of selling!

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Introducing All-New Author Copy Discounts, Just in time for your Holiday Marketing efforts

The signs of fall are popping up everywhere: cooler weather, changing leaves, pumpkin spice everything. That means the holidays are just around the corner, and the stress and busy schedules that go with it will be here soon. The holidays offer great marketing opportunities for authors, and if you start planning now, you can be enjoy the benefits of holiday marketing while still enjoying the holiday season with friends and family.

Here are some marketing ideas to get you started:

  1. Get your book on the shelves at local businesses and indie bookstores. Talk to these businesses now about a holiday marketing plan. Early bird shoppers have already started, and you want your book on the shelf before the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping begins.
  2. The holidays, in particular, offer all types of opportunities for children’s book authors. Spread the word about your children’s book by posting flyers at local day care centers, libraries, and schools. Also, make sure your book is available at local toy stores.
  3. Host a holiday giveaway, and use social media to promote it. Be sure to use #hashtags on blog and social media posts that are specific to your book’s subject matter.
  4. Offer an eBook on Amazon. Amazon gift cards are one of the most popular gifts among coworkers and casual acquaintances as well as family members. If you already have an eBook version, ask your readers for a priceless holiday gift: a good review online!
  5. Remember the classics. Now is a great time to do marketing classics like book readings, book fairs, limited edition offers, and insider access.

To prepare for all your holiday marketing efforts, it is a good idea to have author copies on hand. To assist you with this, Outskirts Press is now offering all-new discount tiers:

For Black & White and Economy Color, the all-new discount tiers are:

  • 10% off orders of 100 – 499
  • 20% off orders of 500 – 999
  • 35% off orders of 1000 – 1999
  • 50% off orders of 2000+

For Premium Color, the all-new discount tiers are:

  • 10% off orders of 100 – 499
  • 20% off orders of 500 – 999
  • 35% off orders of 1000+

Don’t delay, take advantage of these great discounts and order your author copies today! Be sure to access the “Bulk Order” screen in your Publishing Center for the discounts to be applied.

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Craft a Holiday Marketing Plan *Now* and Beat The Holiday Frenzy!

The trees are growing lush with their fall foliage, the air tastes crisp and sharp with woodsmoke, the kids are back in school, and you know what that means: The holidays are just right around the corner! This is a time of year to celebrate, not only because it means the return of pumpkin spice lattes and mulled cider, but because it is a time of year devoted to partnerships — to sharing delicious food and thoughtful gifts, yes, and to spending time with those we love and cherish.

You can take the guesswork and a good chunk of the stress out of this time of year as an author by innovating your marketing strategies, as there are certain advantages to marketing this time of year that aren’t available to you on just any summer day!

Early bird shoppers are already looking ahead to Christmas, and it makes sense to work alongside local businesses and indie bookstores to put a holiday marketing plan in place now, rather than during the busy holiday rush when your book ought already to be on the shelves! Is your book a children’s book? Make sure your book is made available in local toy stores, too, and maybe put some flyers up in local day care centers, libraries, and schools. Also, think of how great your book could be as a stocking stuffer or Thanksgiving gift basket addition for family members; being generous with your book this time of year could lead to more readers not only within your family, but whoever your family ends up sharing it with as well.

This is also a great time of year for holiday giveaways online. Ramp up your blog and social media posts with relevant tags with an eye for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and host giveaways specific to each platform! Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, and Amazon all have their own flavor and form for giveaways, so take a peek at what other authors have done in the past and pick an upcoming holiday to center your own event around. Post on pages and accounts relevant to your story — this could be anything from tagging a Twitter account for the state your book takes place in, reaching out to a Goodreads group of readers that your book might appeal to, or maybe even posting to a Facebook event in your area that fits the theme of your book.

Remember that some of the most common gifts among coworkers, vague acquaintances, and even family members are Amazon gift cards; do you have an ebook to offer all these new potential buyers? Going digital means that there were literally be millions of people who will have access to your book, who never would have come across it otherwise. If you already have an ebook version, ask your readers for a priceless holiday gift: a good review online!

Whether we’re talking about an e-book or an audiobook, digital formats offer some other truly exciting possibilities for incentivization. Amazon automatically offers the first ten or so pages for free (the so-called “first chapter freebie“) and you can replicate this on your blog and with other online retailers. Curating your own freebie chapter isn’t an option with Amazon, but it is when you choose the method of delivery via blog or email, and we highly recommend taking the time to edit what makes it into your freebie — this gives you an edge over the Amazon preview, which often cuts off in the middle of a paragraph. Make sure the freebie ends with some sort of natural cliffhanger or emotional hook, to keep your readers coming back!

Don’t forget to work your way through the entire checklist of must-do marketing strategies, either:

  • Book Readings
  • Book Fairs
  • Giveaways & Merch (you don’t want to leverage these as bribes for reviews, but you can certainly use them to incentivize coming to other events where your books are sold, or to encourage the sort of general enthusiasm for your work that will naturally lead to reviews!)
  • Limited Edition Offers & Bundles (comic book authors have created some really good models for bundles that you can use for inspiration, and creating short runs of specialty covers is also a specialty of theirs; don’t hesitate to mix it up to build demand)
  • Insider Access (readers want to feel special for being your fans, and you should reward this impulse; maybe the purchase of a book becomes a ticket to an author interview via Google Hangouts-or maybe it gives them access to a limited-access “behind the scenes” page on your website? The options are endless.)

We know here at Outskirts Press how busy the holiday season can get! We know that you’re also out shopping for your families, preparing feasts, and more. Don’t hesitate to treat yourself to the gift of our services that can help you with these marketing tasks that are so important this time of year!

At Outskirts Press, we have a range of marketing solutions that include a custom press release, an author platform setup through social media, a book trailer with social network distribution, and time with your own personal marketing assistant. This is a great way to ensure you don’t miss out on the perks of holiday marketing, while also ensuring that you don’t miss out on the holiday cheer because you’re too busy worrying about marketing your book!

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