It’s a fact, readers read all year long. Unfortunately for an author’s sales prospects, the winter holiday season (from Thanksgiving to the New Year) is the slowest season for reading. There are just too many other things to do.
So how can we marry the reader’s desire to read with the author’s hope of maintaining sales?
Here are a few suggestions:
- Gear your promo to the season. Create colorful memes to advertise your books instead of just posting the cover and link. For those authors who’ve not tried their hand at meme making, I can help. As long as you have Office tools, you can create beautiful memes without fancy programs.
- Take part in a holiday-themed Facebook multi-author party or blog hop.
- Promote any holiday-themed books you may have. For whatever reason, readers seem to prefer reading a story about the holiday around the holiday.
- Lastly, and this is a big one, take part in local craft fairs to sell your books. I’m going to touch on my preparation next.
The local craft fair is a great place to showcase your books. The first step is to treat this as you would any other book signing. I recently attended a wonderful reader/author conference in New Hampshire and spent a great portion of my time asking questions of the readers. I’m taking some of that information and putting it into play for an upcoming craft fair. What did I learn?
- Readers love collecting autographed books!
- Readers love swag, especially swag geared toward your books.
- Readers love the opportunity to meet both their favorite authors and new-to-them authors.
- Readers often buy books to give as gifts.
- Finally, readers buy books for themselves and others that are geared to their reading tastes (e.g., by genre or heat level). They like it when an author makes it clear what they write. For those who genre jump like I do, you need to make it clear what each individual books has to offer.
My plan for the craft fair includes the usual: my table banner, a bowl of chocolate, swag (bookmarks with charms attached), and my books (sorted by genre/heat level) and priced equal or less than what they would cost to buy in store/online. Obviously, we still need to make a profit but we should also consider the exposure to be valuable.
I’ve had very good sales at these types of events before and hope to again this year. I’m adding something extra this year though. I’m doing a sample romance basket (with wine, fluted glasses, chocolates, a scented candle and choice of books) and a reader basket (book light, chocolates, tea infuser mug and tea and choice of books). The buyer will be able to pre-order the basket of their choice, include whatever they’d like from a list, and have the basket available for pickup just before the holiday. The books, of course, will be signed to whomever they’re buying for and I’ll toss in some extra swag.
I’ll give an update on my success in my next column.
That’s all for now. I’d love to hear from authors on their holiday plans for promo and from readers on what they like to give or receive as gifts. For those of you who want to learn more about making memes, feel free to contact me on my Facebook page or by messenger.