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With Christmas on the horizon, now is the time to turn your sights to marketing. Indie-Go's Marketing Department share their top tips for marketing your book in the run-up to Christmas to help you during the festive season

Christmas is obviously one of the best times in the year to sell your book, but it is also one of the busiest in the bookshops and one when there will be most competition from all the other books fighting for space on the shelves. When approaching bookshops around Christmas, be aware of just how busy they might be getting. Do some research and if you do want to speak to someone in a bookshop about your book, choose a time when they are at their quietest. If you are looking to sell more copies of your book in the run up to Christmas, you might find it more fruitful to spend your time approaching your readers directly, either through social media or any events you arrange. They can choose where they want to purchase your book whether online or from a bookshop as a customer order. Be as active as you can, but do not expect too much help from your local bookshop, they may well be just trying to survive the festive season.

Festive freebies and snowy sales – Alexa Davies (Assistant Marketing Manager)

Everyone loves a freebie and surely there is no better time to offer your readers a little extra than the season of goodwill! The idea of winning a prize is a brilliant incentive to get people involved. That involvement can be anything from simply following you on Twitter to browsing your website for the hidden snowman to writing a paragraph about their favourite festive story. You know your book best so get your thinking Santa hat on and come up with some creative challenges for your readers. If you can’t think of anything, consider running a simple giveaway on your social media pages or through your website – this is a great way to get people to follow you, share your posts or sign up to your newsletter. Make the prize even more irresistible with added extras like a ‘signed by the author’ copy or exclusive illustration.

Don’t forget that people also love a discount, especially when they’ve spent their book budget buying Christmas presents! Whether it’s in the run-up to the actual day, a Boxing Day sale or a little discount to help readers beat the January blues, you might be able to tempt people in with pound or two off the cover price.

Spread the joy with personalised pressies – Sophie Morgan (Matador Marketing Controller)

The sleigh bells are jingling and I’m sure I can hear Santa struggling to do up the buttons on his suit jacket. Must be almost Christmas and authors must be ready to sell, sell, sell their book at every opportunity this festive season. Whenever an author asks me what more they can do to capitalise on Christmas, I always recommend the little extras that can help even one person remember your book after you’ve given them a nudge. Whether you’re braving the cold with a booth at the Christmas fair or have a signing at the local library, being able to pass out bespoke bookmarks, postcards or business cards can make all the difference between a reader remembering your book title or not. Even better, at seasonal times such as these, you can go big and even send Christmas cards featuring your book – what better way to spread both Christmas cheer and news of your book from the comfort of your own home? Get in touch with your Marketing Controller if you’re ready to promote this Christmas – we promise, Yule won’t regret it!

Thinking outside the gift box – Philippa Iliffe (Book Guild Marketing Controller)

It’s no secret that Christmas is an incredibly busy time of year for the publishing and media industry. For journalists, they are particularly saturated so you need to think outside of the box and come up with a pitch that will catch the media’s eye. Consider the following:

Christmas Gift Guides: Gift guides including books are typically put together several months in advance of Christmas. It’s worth contacting editors of magazines that would typically feature or review your book as far in advance as possible, making it known that you feel this would be a great fit for their gift guide offering. The earlier you contact them, the more likely you are to secure something in their gifting pages.

A Christmas Hook: As the market is particularly saturated around this time of year, you need to come up with the perfect Christmassy ‘hook’ for your book. Some authors may be lucky in that their book has a Christmas theme. Others may have to work a little harder. Christmas is all about caring, kindness and giving a little back to those who you appreciate – so have a think about how your book could tie into these themes and get your pitch ready for action!

The New Year: Christmas is just around the corner, but those in the media are already thinking about their New Year features. Perhaps your book doesn’t have a suitable Christmas hook to grab their attention, but it could be perfect for the New Year. If you time it right, you can be right on the money in securing yourself an early New Year feature and getting 2020 off to a great start!

Sharing it up on snow-cial media – Emily Dakin (Customer Service & Marketing Assistant)

Social media marketing is key to getting your book out to the public! It’s a great way to shout about any book signings you have, events and rave about any great reviews you have been getting. A lot of bloggers are very active on social media these days and this is how they will, more than likely, hear about your book.

Make sure you get creative on social media over the festive period – there’s so much you can do. As you are getting all of your present prep reindeer-ready in the run-up to the big day, think about how you can use this on your pages. If you’ve decorated your Christmas tree, why not set your book up and share a festive snap on your Instagram? If you love making graphics, sneak a little Santa or snowflake into your designs for an extra festive twist. If you’ve got a festive discount lined up for your eBook, let your followers know so that they can get their copy to read over the Christmas holidays.

Don’t forget that the power of hashtags, especially on Twitter on Instagram, is key when it comes to social media. Keep an eye on the trending topics when you log in to your Twitter account – there will be lots in the Christmas season! By tapping into these trends and hashtagging key terms, you make your post (and as a result, your account) more discoverable to a wider group of people.

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