The holidays are here, but you’d hardly know it from the social media accounts of most authors. Instead of using this time of year as a way of generating more sales, some authors assume it’s business as usual. Sprucing up your social media with the holidays in mind can help make sure your books show up on readers' wish lists.
You don't have to practice certain holiday traditions to acknowledge the fact that this time of year is significant in terms of gift exchanges and holiday purchases. In the U.S. alone, Americans will spend nearly $1,000 on gifts on average! People are in the spirit of buying and giving, and here are six ways you can take advantage of that to help encourage potential holiday book sales.
Polling All Fans
People are generally in a better mood this time of year, and love nothing more than a little holiday fun. One quick and easy holiday trick is to run holiday polls on Instagram and Twitter. You’ll be surprised by how many of your fans have an opinion when you post a simple harmless poll like: "Are you giving a book as a gift this year: Yes or No"; “Which is a worse gift: fruit cake or a lump of coal?”; “I have a New Year’s Resolution: Yes or No.” Polls take less than a minute to make, but capture a lot of engagement.
A Recipe for DIY
Recipes and DIY blogs are always popular, but more so during the holidays. This season more than others, readers will be looking for ideas on how to decorate and what to make. Get creative! Think about how characters from your book would decorate their home for the holidays, for example. Or what recipe would be their holiday staple?
It’s the time of year where many of your readers are saying “What do I buy XYZ for the holidays?” Help them out! Write a blog or even a list on Twitter. Think about the shoppers everyone hates! “10 bookish gifts for the person who has everything.” Make sure your book makes it onto that list!
Sell, Sell, Sell!
If you’ve been wondering if you should do a giveaway or book discount, or you want to do one, but don’t know when: this is the time! Think of creative ways to sell your book. Bundle them with other books, for example, and sell them as gift sets. If it’s a series, do a giveaway to hook readers and make them buy more. Remember that many readers will have gift cards to spend and new gadgets to read on, so plan your giveaway closer to the holidays, so when they get their gift, they are ready to buy your next book!
Hashtags are always an easy way to get people to discover your social media accounts. There are literally hundreds of hashtags that are just for the holidays (you can also make your own!). Don’t overuse them, however. If you are doing a sale on your book, you might consider using #StockingStuffer; if you are doing a recipe blog, use #HolidayEats. More general posts can include #TisTheSeason or #Christmas2017.
Have a Very Visual Holiday
Make sure you let your readers know you are into the holiday spirit by changing avatars and banners to something more holiday-themed to capitalize on the potential for holiday book sales. There are plenty of public domain photos that would make perfect holiday backgrounds, and nothing says you are a fun social media read like you in an ugly Christmas sweater!