I know that many of you who listen to the podcast are already authors. You’ve written, published, and launched your books, and you love hearing tips to help you sell more copies of your book now that the momentum of your launch has worn off. Whether you published your book six months or six years ago (or even longer), this episode is for you.
Traditionally you think about retail stores getting ready for holiday shoppers. But, authors should take the time to get their books ready for holiday shopping season, too. There are shoppers out there who will want to buy your book as a gift…but is your book ready to find them? And, will your book stand out enough from other books in your niche so that it lands in someone’s shopping cart?
In this episode of the Blogger to Author Podcast, you’ll learn five things that you should do (or at least consider) to get your already-published book ready for the holidays. I’m going to be applying these five tips and strategies to my books over the next few weeks, and I hope you will too. I think they’ll result in more holiday book sales for both of us.
(This is a direct transcript of the episode. Please excuse any typos.)
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Hey there, everyone! Today, I want to chat with those of you who are already authors. You have a book out there. I want to walk you through some tips to help you get your already published book ready for the holidays to make sure that you can take advantage of the holiday shopping season. So again, today I want to chat with you about how to get a book that you’ve already created and already published, ready for the holidays, and that might be that you have an eBook that you sell on your website. It might be that you have a print book that you sell on your website or through Amazon or a different platform. If you fall into any of those buckets, this will still apply to you.
So, the first thing I want you to do is, especially for those of you who just have an eBook and I want you to get the eBook into print. This is something I’ve been talking a little bit more about lately as I talk about getting books ready for the holidays and I think it’s just really, really important. For those of you who do have eBooks to get them into print, most, if not all of your audience, if they’re going to give your book as a gift, they want to actually have something that somebody can unwrap. Sales of digital items, yes, people definitely by digital items as gifts, but just not at the same volume as they do physical items. People really want to give a gift that somebody can open. I used to work retail. I saw this when I worked. Retail people even shied away from buying gift certificates, even like an actual physical card and gift card because they wanted an actual item that somebody could unwrap. It was even bigger than a gift card.
So what does that mean? That means that if you only have your book available as an eBook, I really, really think that you should take the time to get it into print. I do think that you’re going to see more sales over the holidays if you do have your book in print. So, first and foremost, if your book is just an eBook, work to get it into print. The second thing you need to do to get your book are ready for the holidays and awkward.
The second thing you need to do to get your book ready for the holidays is to update your book description, and if you’re wondering more about this, I would go back and listen to some of the back episodes of the Book Marketing Show podcast. It’s one that Dave Chesson of Kindlepreneur does.
It’s a fantastic episode and he has a fault, or excuse me, it’s a fantastic podcast, but he has a great episode that talks about the power of going back and updating your book description on Amazon. And so, whether you have your book as an eBook on Amazon or whether it’s a print book, I think that you should update one or both depending on or make sure you update it really everywhere and you might even update it on your book sales page on your website or however you sell it through your website. So just make sure that it is the best piece of sales copy that it can be. Um, and so really the idea there, um, whatever you’re writing is number one, the first sentence should be something that really hooks the reader, that grabs their attention, that it’ll usually play into for nonfiction books.
It’ll have something to do with a pain point on, um, often either I’m just really digging into that pain point and letting people know that you know what it is. I’m capturing their attention that way and say, yes, actually I have that pain point. I’m glad that you understand that I have that year, probably the one to solve it. Alternatively, you can have a sentence opening sentence that helps to sell the transformation that people are going to get from the book. So it plays a little bit into that pain point, but focusing more on what they’re going to get out of the book. So grab the reader’s attention instantly and then the rest of your description and Amazon does have a limit to it. But, um, spend some time really talking about exactly what your book is going to do for the reader. And the description for fiction books is a little difference.
It’s all about hooking the reader, getting them introduced to the story, and then making them want to say, wait, I want to know what happens next for nonfiction books. It really is sales copy. It’s telling your reader why they need to buy your book, how it’s going to help them, how it’s going to help them get through a problem, how it’s going to make their life better, etc. Etc.
So make sure that you have the best book description you can. I know so many of us, myself included, when we first wrote that book description, we finished a book. We just want to get it up and get it going. I know like this happens to me a lot when I’m putting books on amazon, especially my own books. I do. I do a better job with the client books. um, but I, you know, I just wanted to get out there.
I’m tired of working on it; it just needs to exist. And so I will rush through the description, but before holiday sales, revisit that makes sure that it is the best description that it can be.
The third thing I want you to do to get your already published book ready for the holidays is to get more reviews. So go to your audience now, ask the people who have purchased your book or have read your book. It’s okay to leave a review for a book that you have not purchased. If you’ve given people review copies, that’s totally legit. I mean, people have been doing that for years and years and years. That’s how book reviews used to happen. People will get a preview copy or you know, book critics would get a review copy, so that’s fine. So even if you need to send out some free copies of your book, um, I suggest doing that digitally, but you can always send out printed copies if you would like to, uh, but really just emphasize to your audience that you really need those reviews.
And so If they have read or if they have purchased your book, you would really appreciate it if they would go on and leave a quick review and remind this up and remind them up this frequently. And if you have purchased my book or if I’ve given you a copy, please go leave a review on amazon. It really is important that people really do look at those reviews. The more reviews you can get, the better. So just encourage people, um, it’s technically against amazon’s terms of service to ask people to leave a positive review. So don’t say that, just ask them either just straight up for review or ask them, you can ask them for an honest review, but just make sure that you’re doing that, that you’ve done it multiple times, that you tell them why it’s so important to you because if they’re filled in on that piece and if they understand that this really is a favor to you, and if you know you’ve built a relationship, they’re following you, they like you, they like you enough to buy your book.
They’re very likely a big fan of yours to leave a review as well. So just make sure that you get those reviews going in, that you asked them about it several times and start doing it now because people will get busy. The closer it gets to the holidays, the less time they’re going to have so honestly right now, right after kids who have gone back to school, this is the best time to ask people for reviews, so make sure you’re doing it now and doing it often.
The fourth thing that I think that you should at least consider doing for your book is updating the cover, and again, this is something, an idea that I got from that Book Marketing Show podcast with Dave Chesson. It’s great. He’s got a couple of episodes, at least one, but I think two episodes where he interviews people who have gone in and updated their book covers and that updated cover really helped them sell more books.
This is something that I am currently doing with my first book, yoga for runners. I am working to hopefully very soon publish an updated version of that. A second edition. I’m having a designer do the cover. I did the cover of myself. It was good enough it, you know, the content of the book was great, but the camera was kind of so, so, but I knew that I was selling on the contents, I just needed to get it done, yadda yadda yadda. It was a case of dumping better than perfect and I don’t regret what I did, but now it’s time for a better cover one that looks more professional and in this case I’m going with a professional designer. You might consider also hiring a designer if it’s time to redo your version or if your graphic design skills have improved since you did the first version of the cover of your book.
You might consider redoing the cover as well, but just make sure that the cover really entices people to read it, see it makes sure that it’s legible, that the fonts stand out and maybe go through and look and just do some searching for maybe some better stock photography, that sort of thing. Maybe if you did your book cover totally for free before, maybe it’s time to purchase some elements and redo your cover with better stock, for example. So I’m not saying that this is something that you don’t, I guess what I want to say, changing your book cover is not something that you have to do, but I think you should at least take the time to consider. We’ll putting a better cover on the book, help you sell more books for the holidays. If the answer is yes, then look into that, whether it’s redoing it yourself, maybe with some better purchase elements or stock photography, or maybe it’s time to hire somebody to do the cover for you. Either way, just consider it.
And then the fifth and final thing, and this is a really big one that you should be doing right now to make sure that your book is ready for the holidays, is to create a marketing plan. So, you should sit down now when you’re not in the craziness of the holidays and think through how you’re going to promote your book before the holidays. And really, I think that, you know, it can start now and make sure that you are mentioning the fact that your book exists on a regular basis so that people know that it is there. So when it comes time to the holidays and when it comes time to start telling people, hey, this makes a really good gift that they’re even aware of it. so be talking about it on a consistent basis. Now you know, maybe take some what I want to say, some stock photography of your book, for example, so that you can have it for social media posts, that sort of thing.
Also consider, um, in, do you want to send out emails to promote your book before Black Friday and on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, that sort of thing. So think about how you want to market your book and tell people about your book and how It would make a great holiday gift either for themselves or for them, friend or for their friends. Think about exactly when you want to send, for example, those emails when you want to put up those posts, when you want to do those live videos and put it in your calendar and then start to create the content early. If you can, right the social media posts, outline the length videos, write the emails so it’s all ready to go. So when you’re in the midst of your own holiday craziness that you don’t forget to market your book during the holiday shopping season because you ran out of time, so do as much as you can now so it’s all set up for you later and this is definitely something I plan to do myself with my books and it’s something that I hope you’ll do with your books as well to help them continue to be successful over the holidays.
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