How to Sell Your Book Creatively Every Month of the Year
by Fern Reiss, CEO, PublishingGame.com
You can make the December holiday season
your biggest sales opportunity of the year. And then you
can do it all over again—on Valentine’s Day,
on Easter, and in the summer. In fact, you can do it every
month of the year. It’s all in thinking seasonally.
If you’re lucky, you have a book
that easily ties in with the holidays. Many different kinds
of books do—everything from those sentimental gift
books to books on simplifying the holiday season. Then
it’s an easy sell. But what if you have a book that
doesn’t have an obvious tie-in? Doesn’t matter.
You can still figure out a way to make most books marketable
for the holidays.
For example, almost any children’s
book can be easily marketed for the holidays with the addition
of some special holiday packaging. If your book happens
to feature a loveable character, even better: Have it designed
as a stuffed animal and sell it together with the book.
Toy/book combos are tremendously popular for the holidays,
and will sell everywhere from your local bookstore to a
stand at the holiday flea market or school craft fair.
Gag books lend themselves well to the
holiday season too, because people are always looking for
inexpensive items for stocking stuffers and bring-alongs
to holiday parties. If you’ve got a book that lends
itself to humor and is inexpensive, you’ve got a
guaranteed holiday seller.
Or let’s say you have a book on
dogs. Instead of sitting out the holidays with Fido, think
of how you can market Fido into the holidays. Think of
opportunities to give other dog-lovers your book. Maybe
there are dog shows during December where you could offer
your books. (Don’t forget to bring the holiday gift
wrap!) Or maybe you can think of ways to couple your book
with other products to make a doggie-lovers’ ensemble.
You could even pair your book with a package of gourmet
dog biscuits and market it as a doggie Christmas gift in
specially crafted doggie paw stockings. See what I mean?
And when you’re thinking holidays,
don’t limit yourself to Christmas. Think Valentine’s
Day, think Passover and Easter, think July 4th. Think all
the under-commercialized holidays that nobody else bothers
with, like Memorial Day and Labor Day. And figure out a
way to leverage your product off them.
Even if you have a book that doesn’t
seem to have any logical tie-in, you can create holiday
excitement via your packaging or promotion. This year,
for example, we’re offering our Publishing Game books
for the holidays—the same books on finding a literary
agent, self-publishing, and doing successful book promotion
that we offer all year long. But for the holidays, we’re
billing them as “Gifts for the Writer in Your Life”—and
selling them with an assortment of elegant edibles as well
as a novelty mug with the slogan, Writers are Novel Lovers.
We’ve got packages in three different sizes and price
ranges, and they’re already selling like hotcakes
from our website—and it’s still weeks before
Christmas. (Don’t you have a writer in your life
who would appreciate one? Thought so!)
So whatever your book, think about a way
to adapt it or promote it for the holidays. And then keep
thinking—because if Christmas is here, can Valentine’s
Day be far behind?
Fern Reiss is CEO of PublishingGame.com (www.PublishingGame.com) and Expertizing.com (www.Expertizing.com) and the author of the books, The Publishing Game: Find an Agent in 30 Days, The Publishing Game: Bestseller in 30 Days, and The Publishing Game: Publish a Book in 30 Days as well as several other award-winning books. She is also the Director of the International Association of Writers (www.AssociationofWriters.com) providing publicity vehicles to writers worldwide. She also runs The Expertizing® Publicity Forum where you can pitch your book or business directly to journalists; more information at www.Expertizing.com/forum.htm. Sign up for her complimentary newsletter at www.PublishingGame.com/signup.htm.
Copyright © 2011 Fern Reiss