5 Hot Tips for Self-Publishing and Indie Authors during the Holidays

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed…

Now “ads” are popping to snag all those who might have missed out … and guess what, some of the deals will be better than what were originally offered.

If you think you missed out on the holiday book-buying rush by not getting your book in all the Black Friday/Cyber Monday rush, you didn’t. Why, you ask? Because books are year round … holidays every month to play with and take advantage of.

Just in time for Christmas, here are five tips for self-publishing and indie authors to use in last minute marketing strategies during the holidays that should brighten your holidays.

1. Ribbon. Yes, ribbon. You created your fabulous cover … why would anyone want to put wrapping paper over it? Not me. Here’s a showing/wrapping tip—find a sheer ribbon that picks up one of the accent colors in your design—just tie it in a corner to corner feature and voila! A lovely frame for your book. I do this at all book signings as well when the buyer tells me it’s a gift … and if it’s a gift for self … the ribbon is added as well.
gift book

2. Create options. Savvy authors publish in both electronic and print format. Consider adding audio to the mix. Create your book in at least two formats at the same time: eBook and print. Your sales will work together, not against each other. Some of your readers/buyers like to read print; others “e” – it’s like going to a restaurant … even a hamburger joint has a variety to choose from. Once you have your print format, and “e” is a cinch to put together. Your cost should exceed a few hundred dollars and can be done within a very short period of time.

You want to be listed on Amazon … make sure you are in the Matchbook program; it supports the combo print and eBook sale

3. Think like a marathoner, not a sprinter. If you are doing POD, print-on-demand, you can get print books in hand once all files are loaded and accepted within days; if you are printing a “run”, it can take from three to five weeks … know what your needs are … and now, think ahead. What events do you want to hype/support and sell into? This is a great time to layout a “selling seasons” calendar. Think ahead to upcoming book-buying opportunities. Christmas selling is over except for special events that you have planned … think about birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, Mothers-Fathers Days, summer reading and other big book-buying occasions. Check out the Chase’s calendar of holidays/events and Google “weird holidays”—heck, make up your own.

Each fall, I do an Author’s Holiday Tea, a celebration of new authors/books I’ve worked with. Each author “pitches” the book to the crowd—over 95 attended this year … over 200 books were sold in one afternoon. How cool is that? We’ve already set the date of November 6th for 2015.

4. Save money. Always a good idea! If you are printing, did you know that January-February are better months to get bids from book printing companies? They have stopped panting from all the rush of the August-November print madness they go through every year. If you are doing a print run, this is a good time to negotiate—they want your business and it’s a slower time.

smart author

5. Breathe. Enjoy the Holidays. Have Fun.


Judith Briles is known as The Book Shepherd a book publishing expert and coach. She is the Founder of Author U, a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 31 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms (ForeWord Indie/Fab Book of the Year), Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers and a speaker at publishing conferences.
Become part of her inner circle by joining the Author’s Ark and exclusive monthly webinar and coaching event. Each summer, she holds Judith Briles Unplugged, a two and 1/2 day intensive limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. In 2015, the dates are August 27-29th.  Her audio and workbook series, Creating Your Book and Author Platform is now available. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for Author U – Your Guide to Book Publishing on the Toginet Network at http://tinyurl.com/AuthorURadio .

Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and Judith Briles – TheBookShepherd on Facebook. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact Judith at Judith@Briles.com.