Bookstores are not your only option. Think outside the box. It’s October, if you start creating an action plan now, you can still take advantage of Holiday gift giving. All books qualify as potential gifts – nonfiction for students and seekers, and fiction for those who want a good read. There are craft fairs, corporate gift giving, and gift guides you can submit to. You can also start a giveaway for your books or webinars you host on social media. With the options listed in this article, you can set your terms, including all sales are final. And you don’t have to give 40% to a bookstore.

Giveaways and Contests:

Your book or a webinar can be your giveaway. Use social media as your platform, and the promotion of the event will gather publicity for you. People love winning, especially a book they already want. Here are some suggestions:

  • Host a giveaway on Facebook as an event. You can set the event up that people have to attend or share to enter.
  • Offer to your followers on Twitter that they suggest you in a #followfriday and offer a prize to random winners.
  • Or, if fulfillment is more than you can manage, then both Amazon and Goodreads have the option to host giveaways there.

Craft fairs:

Are an ideal way to meet your readers, offer holiday specials and make sales. Contact your local papers, churches, and schools to find out who is hosting a craft fair. People are always searching for something new and different at these fairs. The plus side is that the cost per table is usually very inexpensive. Then, once you have your schedule, post the events on your social media, suggesting people come find you.

Corporate Gifts:

Many corporations have a holiday gift giving tradition. You can simply offer your book or make up a gift basket. A gift basket can be your webinars, classes, treats, and your book. Start with researching your local companies first and see if they’re interested in buying some promotional copies to give away for the holidays.

Gift Guides:

Everyone — from bloggers to reporters — create holiday gift guides. Magazines and newspapers use gift guides as a way to gain more followers while you can promote your book. Gift guides aren’t just big during the Christmas season, there are back-to-school gift guides, Easter/Spring gift guides, summer reading guides, etc. When you get your book listed, it’s a great way to get in front of a lot of new readers! Here are some suggestions to find an appropriate gift guide:

  • HARO – Help a Reporter Out- is one source of finding gift guides.
  • You can Google “blogger gift guides” and see what pops up.
  • Newspapers also have holiday gift guides; check out your local paper.
  • Organizations and associations often have holiday guides. Do you belong to one?

Today, writing a book without having a marketing plan and valuing yourself as a business person is a financial error. Planning ahead makes a difference. It’s not too late to plan your holiday season. Which one of these options appeal to you? The strongest quarter of the year for book sales is the fourth quarter. What kind of percentage will you make this season?

© Mari Selby, October 2017

MARI SELBY founded Selby ink in 1998 after working for a small publisher where she was successful in improving their sales from 20,000 books to over 100,000 books in one year. Prior to being a publicist Mari was a family therapist in private practice for almost 20 years.