sell books

How to Sell Books During the Holidays

The holiday book-buying season is upon us, and it’s time to sell your book for the holidays! People are looking for gifts for everyone on their list, and that makes it a great time to sell books.

Whether an awesome stocking stuffer or the one gift for that hard-to-buy-for person on your list, your book just might be that perfect one. Get a little creative to stand out in all of the holiday and festive noise out there!

Limited face to face contact removes speaking at live events, bookstore events, live appearances, conferences, and conventions for book sales. Sure, losing those awesome options as an author is a bah humbug bummer, but there’s plenty of other opportunities to sell books when you’re stuck at home for the holidays. This video gets into sell books specific to the 2020 holiday season and below we have more ideas for you!

How to Sell Books During the 2020 Holiday Season

Give the Gift of a Book – Promoting Your Book as A Gift

Every book has the potential to sell big this year if you position it as a gift for the right person. For example, the history buff in your life would love J.M. Phillip’s new memoir “Lamlash Street,” a heartfelt and humorous memoir of one Cockney family as they heal from the trauma of WWII in 1960s London. The new college grad or aspiring entrepreneur could learn a ton from the lessons in Ron’s Worley’s inspiring success story and how-to guide “Ditches to Riches.” And for that workaholic that you just wish would take a break, try “The Joychiever Journey” by Tracy LaLonde, a comprehensive roadmap to teach overachievers how to harness their ambitious skills to strive for joy. If you match the right book to the right person you’re bound for gift-giving success. As an author, if you know your audience, you already know exactly who would be thrilled to unwrap your book this holiday — you just need to market to those shopping for them.

Write a Gift List to Sell Books

A great way to market your book during the holidays curating gift lists. Write a few different lists for specific audiences that stump gift-givers when searching for that perfect present to put under the tree. Here are some ideas:

• The Top 10 Best Books for a New Mom
• The Holiday Gift Guide for the Future Retiree
• The Top 10 Gifts Under $20 for The Tech Enthusiast

Post your list on Instagram or Facebook for your own fans to consider. Even better, shop that list around to some major blogs that will be looking for content this time of year that search engines will love. Since you’ve already done the hard work of curating that list, connect with bloggers or influencers you know your readers follow and put that list in front of a much bigger audience.

Companies Give Books as Gifts

Contact organizations or companies that will be giving gifts to clients or employees. Take the opportunity to offer a bulk discount on your book. For example, David Frost’s “KaBoomer” could be a great option for the owner of a fitness company or gym to give all their personal trainers for the holidays, or Pat Watson’s “Tactical Lockpicking” could be a great gift to a team of emergency workers like firefighters or EMTs. This option does require a bit of work and some upfront costs; you’re going to want to mail out a nice little package with a copy of your book to those targeted organizations. But if you mail out 10 or 15 of these and you end up getting an order for 100 or more copies of your book, then the time and money spent is well worth it.

Incentives Sell Your Book Too!

Another great way to sell your book during the holiday season is to create incentives. Get people to buy your book during a period of time or buy in a certain quantity. For example, offer a free addition in exchange for the person’s email address when they buy a copy of your book – like a spreadsheet that calculates how much money you need to retire or a menu plan for paleo vegetarians. Make sure the offering is something the reader would have otherwise paid for, so it has a value in addition to the book they’re buying. Some other great offerings to consider these options to buy:

  • Three copies and get free access to a one-hour prerecorded talk on a particular topic featured in the book.
  • 25 copies and receive the same templates for high-paying clients that the author used to build their business.
  • 100 copies and get a free webinar training seminar for your company.

Time-based or quantity-based incentives motivate buyers to buy now – before it’s too late and they miss the deal!

Make sure your SEO and metadata are accurate!  Sell more books from searches that are already happening with the right metadata. Plenty of shoppers will be searching for gifts so target the audience searching for a book like yours!

Not sure what that means, then these two videos are for you!

7 Keys to Creating Your Amazon Book Page

If you’re self publishing a book, Amazon matters a lot. 69% of adult nonfiction books are bought online. Amazon isn’t the only place readers look for books, but it’s probably the most important.

That makes the most crucial sales page for your book … your Amazon book page!

Here are the 7 essential elements you need for creating your Amazon book page:

Number one, your book title and subtitle are essential to the success on Amazon.

I’ve talked about what makes a great non-fiction book title here.

But one thing we didn’t cover there is the importance of your subtitle. Ideally your subtitle includes one or two of your keywords and hooks your readers by answering this simple question:

What’s in it for me?

Always be thinking about how will your reader benefit. Will your book make them more beautiful? Richer? Fitter? More successful? And bonus points if you tell them how long it will take to alleviate their biggest concerns en route to the thing they want.

A couple of my favorite subtitles:

  • The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape nine to five, live anywhere and join the new rich.
  • The Perennial Seller: The art of making and marketing work that lasts.
  • The Dip: a little book that teaches you when to quit and when to stick.

Those are great titles with fantastic subtitles

Number two is your cover.

Think in thumbnails. Of course you want a cover that looks good in print, but the most important thing for selling your book is a cover that  creates visual curiosity in a small image. You also need to be able to read the title when it’s in the thumbnail version too.

It’s the number one reason templates for book covers are a terrible idea. You must stand out. To do that, you can’t look like other people’s books. We are visual creatures so a colorful, explosive, and in your face cover is a perfect way to capture your reader’s visual curiosity.

Number three, make your book available in more than one format.

In an informal survey on my Facebook page I asked whether people felt a hard cover book was more professional than a soft cover book.

The answer was interesting. Many people said that it was the number of formats, not hard cover vs soft cover that mattered.

When people see a book is available in an eBook, a softcover, a hardcover and an audiobook, it looks professional produced.

This is a really important thing if you’re self-publishing. You want it to look professional. And if it’s only available in Kindle, you could be losing readers because they will not think it’s professional.

Number four, keywords.

What do your competitor’s books have for keywords? What keywords do you know people are using to search for solutions you help solve? Figure out which keywords are important for your book and write a fantastic description that will utilize those keywords. Amazon does give you some good guidance on keywords in its catalog.

What’s in its catalog is all it’s going to search for. And it’s going to personalize that to each person. So the best way to get seen is by keeping your words generic and broad, but specific to your book category.

Number five, description.

Your book description has one job … to sell your book.Kick the description off with your hook. Entice the reader with what is in it for them. Include proof of what you’re saying and why you were the only one who could write this book. This is a great opportunity to use those keywords again, by the way.

Number six, endorsements and reviews.

They’re not the same thing, but they’re equally important. Endorsements are those quotes from well-known people, media and other authors. Those should be in your book description area.

Then you need reviews for your book. The most important thing is the stars, then the content. If you can get video reviews that is awesome because those will show up at the top. The most liked review and most recent will be the most important because those will be shown first. So make sure you have recent reviews and that the average overall stars is four to five or better. If they aren’t, take a look at what reviewers are criticizing and see if you can fix it.

Number seven, categories.

This is a big subject. First, you only have a little bit of control over this, but the strategy is to start in the smallest category possible, and then have Amazon keep moving you up within that overall category. You get moved up by selling well. But here’s the thing that many authors may not realize. Canadian categories aren’t the same as American categories. Amazon print categories are not equal to Kindle. So it takes research and setting yourself up in different categories for different accounts.

Ugh, right? It is a lot of work! That’s what Book Launchers is for. We do a lot of that hard ground work for you. If you want to find out how we help, you can visit this page. If you want to set up a time to speak with us about your book, tell us more about your book idea here.

Like this article? Check out the following posts:

Three Quick Tips to Make Your Non Fiction Book More Marketable

You already know you need a great front and back cover to sell your book. It’s obvious that your book needs a fantastic title. And, of course, you’ve written a compelling book people want to read right now. But, there are three other things that will help make your nonfiction book more marketable.

Number one, when you’re writing your book, create four to eight pieces of content that stand alone.

This is content that is inside your book, but could be pulled out of your book and people would still get value from it. Think sidebars or boxed content.

Check out this great example from

The content in these items could be used as blog posts, news articles or other stand alone content that promotes your book. So start thinking about the eight ways to make your biceps bulge, the five things you need to know about sex after 60, or how to sell your business for seven figures checklist. Those kind of lists make fantastic standalone content that media will eat up.

When you’re deciding what content you should put in a box or a sidebar of your book, just think about what will create intrigue and interest the most. Remember, the goal of this material is to be excellent stand alone content that will make people want to check out what else is in your book. Put some of your best tips in these boxes!

Plus, when people skim your book, they will often glance at this material to decide whether to buy your book so it can also sell your book to potential readers that way.

Number two, prepare a really compelling answer to these questions:

  1. What made you write your book?
  2. And, Who is this book for?

You will be asked these questions all the time. If you can get a really succinct answer that makes people wonder what’s inside that book then you’re going to have a fantastic promotional piece for your book.

Now, a little tip from my writing coach (who is the chief writing coach at Book Launchers). He says, if you can help people become more beautiful, lose weight, get rich or become famous then that’s going to sell. So if your book does one or all of those things, make sure you include it in your answer.

Number three, design your Table of Contents to sell your book.

Of course a great book title is important but each of your chapter titles acts as a salesman for your book.

Keep this in mind when you’re naming your chapters. Every single chapter title needs to sell your book and create curiosity. Spend a lot of time on these little salesmen. During 95%+ of the media interviews you’ll do to promote your book you’ll discover that the interviewer didn’t read your book. At most, they’ve opened your book to the table of contents and skimmed your chapters and subtitles. Expect questions about those if they are interesting enough!

My first book, More Than Cashflow, had one chapter called Where Are the Ladies? Who knew but a lot of media loved that chapter title.  My second book had a chapter called You Are Who Google Says You Are. That created so much interest I was asked to speak on the subject. I ended up creating a talk that I gave in multiple locations across Canada. That was great promotion for my book and my business!

So make sure those chapter titles sell your book for you.

Social Media Isn’t Going to Sell Your Book – But Here’s What Will!

“I just need someone to help me sell my book on social media. I have more than 3,000 followers on Twitter and almost 1,000 friends on Facebook.”

“That’s great!” I said. “But, are your social media connections interested in learning how to meet the love of their life?

They weren’t. They were friends and people who knew her from work (which was in an unrelated field). That was definitely part of the problem.

I was chatting with an author who wanted help promoting her book. It wasn’t selling, and she was frustrated.

She thought she just needed the right message for Social Media to boost her book sales, but that wasn’t going to help her.

The problem?

Her book didn’t have a juicy hook. It also didn’t have a clear audience.

Social media isn’t a catch all solution to sell your book.

In fact, you are more likely to waste a lot of time trying to use social media to sell your book than you are likely to successfully sell books via social media. Unless, of course, you have a good plan in place first.

If you haven’t already, download our 8 Ways to Sell 1,000 Books for Under $100 free guide.

First, you need to plan to sell your book from the start.

Your book needs a hook. To know what will hook your readers, you need to know who your readers are.

Once you know who you’re writing for, you can figure out what is going to catch their attention.

At Book Launchers, this is a critical step for every author. Even if you’ve already completed a manuscript, we’ll take you back to the start to make sure the ideal reader was identified and that the book is well positioned to get their attention. When you do this right from the start, the entire process will flow a lot faster and more effectively.

Second, identify where you can connect with your ideal reader.

Just because you love Facebook doesn’t mean your ideal reader is connected with you on the site. You can probably find a subset of your audience on Facebook, but you’ll need to find out what Groups they are hanging out in. Then you begin to develop relationships within those groups that will help you promote your book to those groups. Showing up to a party and saying ‘buy my book’ isn’t going to work. Make friends with people, add value, and then ask people to consider your offer!

If it sounds like work, that is because it is!

There are often other places that are more efficient to connect to your ideal readers than social media. For some book types, you’ll find many readers on Good Reads. You may also find them offline at conferences, reading magazines, frequenting certain types of businesses in your area or searching for solutions via video or podcasts.

Social media may be the answer, but there may be better ways to find your ideal reader.

Third, consider who you know.

The success of my first book, More than Cashflow, was entirely as a result of the support of a handful of key people in the Canadian real estate industry. Their support pushed my book to number one overall … without them, I was only able to break the Top 100 overall.

Tim Ferriss launched the 4 Hour Work Week to massive Best Selling status a little over 10 years ago using relationships he’d built with other bloggers. These relationships were built well in advance of publishing his book – were cornerstone to his success.

If you’re a Platinum Level member of Book Launchers we pitch your book to bloggers and podcasters on your behalf … and we’ll get you some exposure. But, the people who will help you the most will know you personally. If you want your book to do well, make sure you’re building relationships, adding value, and supporting people in your industry so that they will do the same when the time comes for you.

Fourth, develop your own list.

Social media is a great way to interact and connect with your readers. You can build an audience on a platform that people frequent on a regular basis and stay in front of them without too much effort. You should never rely on it exclusively though. Always remember that you are squatting on property owned by someone else. You don’t ‘own’ those contacts. At any time the owner of the property (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube etc) can decide that they no longer like the way you’re using their property and throw you out.

If they do that – and you haven’t been building your own connections on your own website – you lose everything.

Use social media to supplement your book marketing strategy, but always focus on developing your own audience. Collect email addresses. Ask for phone numbers. Get mailing addresses. Whatever you do – make sure you have other ways to connect and contact your potential readers. These folks will be the most likely to buy your book, spread the word for you, and help you with early reviews.

Bottom line, social media offers a way for readers to interact with you. It’s a great way to stay top of mind and build connections. But, for social media to work you must know who you’re writing for, what’s going to get their attention, and find a way to get yourself in front of those people.

Best of luck with your book!

And, if you want help figuring out who you’re writing for, and have support through the entire self-publishing process, book a call with me! I’m happy to chat to see if we’re a fit to help you write, publish and promote your book.