Are you a self-publishing author? Here’s a big tip: start preparing for Christmas holiday sales NOW.
It’s July; we’re in the second half of the year. Christmas goodies appear in stores early: consider having your fiction and nonfiction selling by October, at the latest. Speaking of October, if you write fiction, consider writing a few horror stories for Halloween.
I know many authors ignore the major holidays. However, my writing students tell me that their biggest self-publishing sales occur in conjunction with holidays.
Self-publishing: the holidays are coming
One author, Sonia, focuses both her fiction and nonfiction on holiday themes. She told me: “Last Christmas was my biggest holiday ever. I published a spooky Christmas novel in time for Halloween. I had the second and third books in the series ready for December. By January, I made five figures on those three books alone. I’m convinced the theme was responsible.”
Sonia’s repeating her strategy this year. For her, series sell. She’s made the holidays work for her. Why not try making them work for you?
Let’s look at some ideas you might consider for the holiday sales season.
Fiction authors: write a series, or just some short stories
If you’re self-publishing fiction, you can do as Sonia does, and write a series. However, if a series doesn’t fit into your publishing schedule, consider writing short stories.
One of my students did that last year. She published two Christmas-themed collections. Each collection included a novella, with six extra stories. Delighted, she told me: “Those collections sold really well. I advertised my novel in the backmatter of each book, so that boosted sales for it too.”
Nonfiction authors: research holiday themes—everyone’s looking for ideas
Students tell me that self help books do well over the holidays, as well as books in DIY home improvement. If you’ve got special expertise, share it—you never know what will sell.
One student did really well with one DIY book—I promised not to share the topic, he doesn’t want the competition. Do some research, you’re sure to find underserved niches.
Speaking of research…
Self-publishing for the holidays: research genres and niches
Before you brainstorm self-publishing ideas, do a little research on what’s selling. Follow the news, too. You never know, you might just hit on a hot topic.
A bestseller might be your best Christmas present ever. 🙂
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Copywriter and marketing pro Angela Booth maintains a busy copywriting and ghostwriting practice. Fascinated by online marketing, she wrote one of the first business books for internet marketing, published by Allen & Unwin. She’s been an enthusiastic blogger since the late 1990s.