Five Selling Tips to Capture Christmas Sales

Perhaps you have set your typical writing aside as the holidays approach to write your Thanksgiving grocery list or your Christmas list. 

And that is the point of this blog. Anyway you look at it, people are shopping. Whether that is the grocery store, the mall or cyber mall, they are looking for gifts. 

Would one of your books be a perfect gift?
Then help them to find it. 

Black Friday, Cyber Monday and all the days following make for an opportunity like none other for authors with books ready to sell. The key is to position it correctly and get the word out. 

Important side note:
Let me just say, not all books are going to be able to compete well for Black Friday attention. While people have their pocket books open, they are looking for books that make great gifts. Fiction books, gift books, devotionals, children's story books, etc. 

So if your book is a long shot, I recommend NOT competing on Black Friday which is all about gifts. Don't get lost in the shuffle. Consider Cyber Monday or December 1. You can still grab the Christmas momentum, but at a time where your product can get the attention it deserves and isn't on THE day of gift only buying. Effective advertising is all about positioning and getting the attention of the right people at the right time with the right product.

With that said here are five tips for Christmas Season Selling Success:

1. Create a festive Christmas looking ad. Adding a visual of a Christmas tree or wrapped gift states clearly at a glance that this is a  "gift buying opportunity." You now have about five seconds of their attention.

2. Offer a special discount....NOT what you typically offer. For example, if you consistently offer a $5 discount, then to offer the exact same discount will grab no ones attention. They know that you will offer it again at another date. 

Quantity discount is always effective. Buy more; save more. It helps the buyer think through their list to see how many might benefit from your book and can fulfill their need for the perfect gift. 

Remember you are also competing against Amazon Prime and their constant offer of free freight. No one likes to pay freight. Just sayin'. If you can make it work for you and still make a profit, it's a good incentive. 

3. Offer a sneak peek of your product: a few pages, illustrations, a 60-second sound bite or video clip about your book to help them make their decision. 

4. Consider including a strong endorsement or testimony about your product. It provides instant credibility if someone they know or trust is endorsing you or your product.

5. Not ALL of these tips have to be included in your initial ad. Yes, I said the word initial, because this is about repetition. The "advertising rule of seven" states that people need to see an ad seven times before they pull the trigger to purchase. So if you send your e-blast out once, you may garner sales from those already familiar with your product, but more than likely you won't see new organic sales. Those take time, repetition and relevance.

Advertising Opportunity Ideas: 

1. E-blast with your database.
Don't have a database? Yikes. Start building. This is THE most important property and marketing tool every author needs at their disposal that includes buyers, website visitors, sign-ups, etc. Consider purchasing a PROVEN, active mailing list that is your target audience. (Bush Company/Atlantic List Company is one company that has such lists.) But plan more than one repetition. Remember the rule of 7.

2. Facebook. 
Almost 900 million people sign in to Facebook every day. Consider a Newsfeed ad or a Right-Column ad as possibilities. The latter is less expensive for obvious reasons, but both can be effective when you have a great looking visual ad that is relevant. 

3. Local Area Christmas Craft Shows.
These are hard work and long hours, but can introduce your product to a new audience. Do your research to find out what sells well in the show. If your product is a match, consider the investment.

These are just three ideas. There are plenty more. Be creative. The key is repetition. Change the ad slightly to provide new information. Add new material to grab attention and be sure to feature specific elements of your book that make it the "perfect Christmas gift." 
If you have a non-profit, current statistics reveal that of the 380 billion given annually, 30% of that is given in December and 30 billion of that amount given the last three days of the year. 

So, don't miss this once a year prime-time opportunity to showcase your work, grow your audience, sell your product or feature your ministry.

For some this may be a great opportunity to regain some garage space so you can again park your car in the garage again rather than your books.



Karen Hardin - Literary Agent and Marketing Guru
PriorityPR Group & Literary Agency