Boost Sales: Christmas Rush - Indie Pub It
Mid-November seems like it’s way too early to think about Christmas, but Christmas is just over a month away – six weeks and it’s all over. Of course, as an indie author, you should be anticipating this buying spree period with optimism…and a few choice strategies.
How to Boost Your Sales for the Christmas Rush
The New Free
Try dropping the price of some of your slow movers down to 99¢ for a few days to a week or so. Before you drop the price, advertise the coming sale far and wide. Ninety-nine cents brings the title into the impulse-buy range, where readers will give it a go if they’re mildly curious. It’s a great way to find new readers.
It’s not just your body you should be wrapping up for the snowy season. Bundles, collections and boxed sets are a new fad that seems to work well – with one proviso: The price needs to be ridiculously cheap.
Find related books or stories you have already published and bundle them into a boxed set. Series are the perfectly-made collection for boxed sets, too. As the books are already for sale at full price as individual titles, any sales you make from the boxed set can be considered pure cream. If you’re sensitive about virtually giving away your collection, use the really cheap price as an introductory sale only.
Get Back Out There
Any out-of-print titles whose copyright have converted to you are great candidates for cleaning up and putting up for sale right now. While they’re sitting on your hard drive, they’re not earning money.
Get together with indie authors not to write books, but to sell them. Group discounts, group boxed collections, all work more effectively when there is a team of you getting the word out. It will bring new readers to your work.
This works better with authors writing in the same or similar genres, but you might decide to try an eclectic collection to see how it goes – as long as your collection is united by a common theme or symbol, setting…something.
It’s fall, which means for indie authors, it’s a good time of year to go through your backlist and spring clean your titles:
A light edit to catch any typos now that the book is well and truly cold.
Update your front and back matter, including links to buy pages. These should be updated every time you release a new title, but you’d be in permanent review of old titles if you did this – so now you can catch up.
Add any review quotes to the front or back of the book (depending on where you put yours) that you may have acquired for that title since publishing.
Decide if the book is in need of even more updating: A new cover? Author’s Note? New blurb?
Check the book’s monthly sales history. Is it starting to languish? Will a price slash help revive sales? Does it relate to any of your other single titles in a way you can put them into a boxed set? If it is truly a loner title, do you know other writers in your genre who might be interested in doing a price drive or boxed collection?
Don’t forget to check the book’s page on Amazon and all the other retailers where it is distributed and update, or ask for updates on those sites, where needed.
And don’t forget to update the book’s page and information on your own site.
Time Your Newest Release
If you’re on the verge of releasing a new title…wait a bit. Depending on which expert you consult, anywhere from Black Friday to December 20 is the best time to release a new title…but this is data for print sales. There hasn’t been enough data collected for ebook sales to determine yet if ebook sales spikes are the same or different to print sales patterns.
Do consider the timing of your release in this traditionally hot fall book buying period. Would closer to Christmas work? You will catch a lot of readers who got ebook readers for Christmas and are now looking for content (especially if it’s on sale!). However, closer to Black Friday might suit your market better. This is where knowing your genre and readers’ habits and composite life-styles helps with scheduling.
There are some forms of advertising that are terrifically effective. Facebook post boosters and adverts are focused and good bang for your buck. Facebook now allow advertisements to point to pages outside Facebook, which means readers can click from your ad directly to the book’s buy page on the retailer’s site.
Genre-sorted newsletters like BookBub.com are also highly effective places to drop hard cash, just in time to promote your fall/Christmas release.
Take advantage of the hot, snowy reader fest with any or all of these strategies. Don’t be left under the Christmas tree this year!
Columnist: Tracy Cooper-Posey writes erotic vampire romance series and hot romantic suspense. She has been nominated for five CAPAs including Favourite Author, and won the Emma Darcy Award. She published 35 titles via legacy publishers before switching to indie publishing in March 2011. She has published 26 indie titles to date. Her indie books have made her an Amazon #1 Best Selling Author and have been nominated four times for Book Of The Year. Byzantine Heartbreak won the title in 2012. Tracy has been a national magazine editor and for a decade she taught romance writing at MacEwan University. An Australian, she lives in Edmonton, Canada with her husband, a former professional wrestler, where she moved in 1996 after meeting him on-line. Her website can be found at http://TracyCooperPosey.com