[two_third]Book promotion is never as important as it is in the period leading up to Black Friday, the first Friday after Thanksgiving. Why is it such a big deal? Because holiday purchases begin in full force on that day, kicking off the buying season that lasts past Christmas and New Years through to the first week of January. Think of all the people who received Kindles as presents and you’ll understand why book sales don’t stop on Christmas Eve. And the holidays not only provide excellent opportunities to garner downloads and sales for your books; they’re also an important time to expand your fan base.
Don’t expect all this to happen by magic though. You need to have a plan. And the sooner you have a plan, the sooner you can implement it to maximize your holiday earnings.
How to Create a Promotion Plan
Before you make your plan, you need to do some prep work:
* Make sure all your books have professional covers. Promotion sites make a real effort to list appealing covers. If your book has an unattractive or unprofessional-looking cover, some sites won’t list it or they will bury it beneath books that look more appealing.
* Have a minimum of three positive reviews or many sites won’t list your book. If your book has fewer than three reviews, wait until you have more before you start submitting to the promotion sites.
* If you don’t have a blog, create one. One of the most important things you can do is to establish an ongoing relationship with your fans, and a blog will help you do that. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to develop it. There are free platforms, like WordPress, which make the process relatively easy. To facilitate staying in touch with your fans, add an e-mail opt-in form that will capture e-mail addresses and allow you to communicate about your holiday free days, and when you have sales, new releases or when you just want to tell them about something of interest. Don’t spam people though! Established e-mail programs, like MailChimp or Aweber, have opt-in forms (like the one on the right of this page) and systems in place to make sure you can add people to your list in an appropriate way, so only people who want to receive your e-mails actually get them.[/two_third]
Then, follow these steps to success:
1. Make a list of all your books.
2. Check in the KDP dashboard to see how many free days you have left for each book.
3. If possible, schedule promotion days beginning the Monday prior to Thanksgiving and all the way through to January 5th (approximately 42 days). If possible, stagger the free day so that you can promote one of your books every week.
4. Schedule either two- or three-day promotions. Don’t schedule a book for one free day hoping you will get a ton of downloads. The only exceptions to this rule are if you only have one day of promotion left for a particular book or you are using one-day promotions to swap reviews with other authors. Offering your book free when trying to get reviews will make the process much easier.
5. Submit to as many free sites as possible. (Make sure to either submit to us or let us know about your new free days! And if you don’t want to submit your books yourself, try our 50 Plus ebook submission/social media service.) Keep in mind that many book promotion sites will not promote your book twice during any 30-day period. The more sites you submit to, the more likely you will be to get listed on a good number of them. There are 50 legitimate book promotion sites that are worth your time to submit to, not 300 as some people advertise. Submit your book well in advice of your scheduled dates so you can get on the promo sites’ calendars. DO NOT wait until the last minute to list your book.
6. Plan for some paid marketing on ebook promotion sites where you want to ensure your book will be listed and highly visible. This marketing can include showcase and sidebar ads; featured listings; being included in daily e-mails to readers and more.
7. It’s important to harness the power of social media on your free days and all throughout the holidays, even if you don’t have a social media presence yourself. How? You can piggyback on those that do by paying book promotion sites to tweet and post about your book for you. You can scout out Facebook groups that allow free books to be posted. Make a list of these so you can post your book on these sites when your book goes free. There also are a variety of social media packages you can buy to help get the word out.
Once you implement your book promotion plan, you will be well on your way to having a very happy holiday season!
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