If there’s one time of year when you want to sell more books, it’s the few months leading up to Christmas.
Amazon’s UK sales soared by 51% to $26.5bn in 2020, mostly due to the pandemic forcing people to stay at home and shop online. And if you’ve got your book listed on Amazon, you’ll be able to have a slice of that pie.
If you’ve got a book on sale, and want to make the most of this busy period, here are a few tips to get you started.
The end of August is the time when people start thinking about the Christmas period. October and November are traditionally the peak months for book sales online. Things begin to taper off early-mid December, mostly because of shipping times.
So start your promotions early. Selling your book is more than shouting ‘Buy my book’ so if you have an audience, make sure that you start engaging with them well in advance of Christmas.
Try and plan your promotions so that you know exactly what promotions you’re putting out into the world at any given time.
Prepare your promotional material in advance
Christmas is often busy for most of us and it comes around so quickly that it often catches us off-guard. Prepare all your Christmas promotional material in advance, including any graphics and copy, during the quieter months of July, August, and September. When it comes to October and November, you’ll have it all at your disposal, good to go.
Use a blog to sell more books
If you have a website or a blog, use it to get people interested in your book.
A blog is a great place to get people to read (and love) your work. It allows people to find out what kind of writer you are, and what kind of books you’re putting out. In most instances, blogs are free or almost free to run, but they can also provide a central hub to direct people when you’re talking to them. You can, of course, sell books directly from your blog, or if your books are print-on-demand (Amazon etc), you can include links to your sales page.
Give away freebies before the run-up to Christmas
You’ll be wanting people to fall in love with your stories, your characters, and your writing style so it’s always worth considering giving away freebies (maybe some short stories) to whet people’s appetite for your work. When it comes to selling your books, people will trust you more and be more willing to part with their cash. Build an email list in exchange for freebies.
Use social media to reach people
I use Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to promote books but for me, nothing works as well as Twitter does. There’s a great writing and reading community on the platform and you can use it to build an audience. I built my Twitter account from 163 followers to 20,000 in less than a year (I can show you how I did it here) and the bigger your audience gets, and the bigger your reach, the more you’re likely to sell your books. Work on this all year round so that when it comes to October and November, you’ll have lots of people to sell to.
I’ve put together some courses to help you maximise Twitter as a marketing tool and you can find them here.
Promote your book online
It’s time to crank up those promotions to sell more books!
Make hay while the sun shines, as the popular saying goes.
I started promoting my own books on The Indie Book Store last year when I created the site, and I found it useful to help boost book sales. The site is a lot bigger now and has a larger following so I’m hoping for good things.
Pictured below is one of my KDP reports for the end of 2020. I’m not a massive seller by any means but it is constant, until it reaches October and November, when it rockets. Fingers crossed for this year!
The Indie Book Store can promote your books online throughout the run-up to Christmas – in fact, we promote your book all-year-round.
Clean up in the January sales
Many people get Kindles and e-readers for Christmas so once the holiday season is out of the way, start thinking about switching to selling ebooks if you have any.
It’s usually best to start pushing your ebook sales from Christmas Day onwards so a bit of forward-planning is useful here. This includes social media scheduling and that promotional material I mentioned earlier. The last thing you’ll want to be doing during the holidays is marketing!