Thursday 17 December 2015

Indie spotlight: Christmas marketing opportunities

Indie spotlight is our monthly column on self-publishing. This month our regular columnist, Siobhan Daiko, who is herself an indie author, explains how Christmas presents many marketing opportunities, to those with a book to sell.

Christmas for indie authors is the perfect time to interact with their readers. Savvy marketers have already built up a sizeable group of potential readers via their email newsletters. This is the ideal moment to send out season’s greetings and to offer a free Christmas short story to subscribers. Great strides have been made by those authors who treat their readers as friends. By adopting a conversational tone in the newsletter and giving readers value, authors generally see a huge leap in sales further down the line.

Discounting one of your books and promoting it via Book Bub is a great way to sell books at this time of the year. Especially in the post-Christmas period when people are looking for something to read on their new eBook readers.

Another way for indie authors to promote their books during the festive season is to cultivate a good relationship with their local indie bookstores. Even bookstore chains, quite often, are happy for indie authors to set up a table and do a book signing.

If you still send traditional Christmas cards, why not slip in a small leaflet about your books? And newsletters to faraway friends can always contain a link to your website.

Most indie authors have a Facebook page and a Twitter account. One way to get readers involved is to hold a Christmas giveaway of one of your books. People love a signed paperback and, if they enjoy it, they might buy your next one! Giveaways can be hosted on Rafflecopter.

Local radio is another way to be more visible at this time of the year, especially if you have a Christmas-themed story. And why not try the local press? Indie authors need to be proactive, and those who are proactive in promoting their brand are the most successful.

I wish to thank my indie author friends Mandy Jackson-Beverly, John Holt, Michelle Mc Loughney, Shweta Choudhary, Pam Howes, Ariel Marie, Joy Wood, Jan Ruth, Gisela Hausmann, Todd Speed, Tom Winton, Harriet Steel, Alex Martin, Ann Swinfen, Jo Raven, Prue Batten and Malika Gandhi for joining in a lively discussion on Facebook about the best way to promote books at this time of the year.