by Sherrie Wilkolaski
Have you ever considered what the marketing season is for your book, or if you even have one? Many authors don’t look beyond the first chapter and consider when to maximize their marketing. Your book may sell better during certain times of the year vs. others. Let’s take a look at some examples:
Holiday Books. OK, I started out with this one because it is the obvious example. If you’ve written about Halloween, Thanksgiving or Hanukah you probably know when to expect your sales. If your book is holiday driven, make the most of your holiday. Be sure to start planning your marketing well in advance and ramp up your marketing three months before your holiday season. Don’t wait until the week of the festive event or you’ll have missed your window. Think also about doing post-holiday book sales. If you have more than one title that is geared towards a specific holiday, bundle your books into a package and sell at a discounted price.
Days in History. I must admit that the idea for this article was sparked by the book The Virginian Who Might Have Saved Lincoln by Bob O’Connor. It’s about Abraham Lincoln’s personal bodyguard, Ward Hill Lamon. Historical fiction at it’s finest. It is quite unique in its subject matter, for a topic that is widely written about. A different perspective and ideal for a history buff looking for a little something outside the usual Lincoln box. This author just held an event over the weekend to promote the book and well, I must say bravo. He is right on target. With President’s Day just around the corner, he couldn’t get more focused.
If you have a book that targets a day in history, then use it to your advantage. The media is always looking for authors and experts to tie into a local news story about everything from Ground Hog day to Fourth of July to 9/11. Reach out and don’t be shy to give the media an idea of how to create a new twist on day in history. Even if your book isn’t 100% about a historical event, but still has solid coverage of that historical period, use it.
Times of the Year. “Ahhh choo!” We’re in the midst of flu season and it’s the time that people start thinking about what they could have done to ward off this nasty bug. Buying a book on cold and flu season is top of mind, even if it is coming a little late. Another positive for book sales during flu season, is there are a lot of people home sick in bed, looking for something to read on their Kindles or iPads. Get out there and market your book to these folks. Great time to read a romance novel, or to look taking on a new career with a non-fiction, self-help guide. The possibilities are endless…so be sure to get creative.
s'Sports. Super Sunday is behind us and if you’ve written a book about the NY Giants, now is the time to sell, right? If you’re a diehard New England Patriots fan, you’re probably feeling a little nostalgic; perhaps you would like to cheer yourself up with a good read that talks about better times in the Patriots' history. Not that getting to the Superbowl isn't a good thing, it's just more fun when you win. My point is this, sports runs in seasons and if you’ve written a book about hockey, market it well in advance of the season. Make sure the local sporting goods stores have enough copies of your book before the season starts. If you’re writing fiction that is connected with an athlete or specific team, push it during the respective sports season. If your book has even a small connection to game, use it as another marketing angle.
Topics of Interest. Is your book focused on ballet, music, bungee jumping or river boats? You name the topic and you're sure to find a specific time of year that your subject matter is more seasonal. Find the connection and get out there and promote!
Start thinking about the seasonal possibilities for your book niche and how you can use the seasons to drive more book sales. Take the time to make a list of 10 ways you can market your book through the year, focusing on seasonality. Think outside the box. I think you’ll be surprised to find you have more opportunities than you thought.
Photo courtesy of Florin Garoi via sxc.hu.