Here’s a little-known fact for aspiring self-published authors: The holiday season is not the best time to publish for new, self-published authors.
Excerpted from BookBaby’s latest guide, 5 Steps To Self Publishing, Part IV of our series addresses why NOW is the best time to publish.
Q: What’s the best time to publish your book?
Here’s a little-known fact for aspiring self-published authors: The holiday season is not the prime selling time for new, self-published authors.
Think about it: Established authors target holiday sales’ periods because it’s a safe, easy gift choice for a lot of folks. The same can’t be said for most self-published authors. These relatively unknown authors’ books need to stand out and attract the interest of potential readers. This kind of discovery and browsing usually doesn’t take place in the hectic holiday time frame. As a result, they’re often disappointed with holiday sales efforts.
So when is “prime time” for new authors to release their book? Just about any other time than the holidays, starting with the beginning of the year. People are going to have more time to spend reading during the cold winter months, and it’s a fact that book sales soar during January and February. Thousands of new eReaders and gift cards given during the holidays need content; there’s no reason why it can’t be your book!
Many authors think the enrtie first half of the year is a perfect time to launch and promote self-published books because of another major book-buying season that happens during that time. Do you know what the biggest selling season is for books? Fair warning: It’s probably not what you’re thinking.
Most people will say: Christmas. Sure, the holiday season is important for every retailer, including book merchants. But they would be wrong.
The summer time reading season is the top selling season for books. There are over $3.4 billion in sales over the long hot summer, according to industry sources, compared to about $2.9 billion spent for holiday gift giving.
But in reality, there’s really never a bad time to release a book. One idea may be for you to follow the patterns set by the book publishing trade. Traditional publishing houses have a rough calendar by genre for their release dates:
- Quiz and Novelty books
The bottom line is, don’t worry so much about “when” you publish. In fact, the worst thing self-published authors can do is not publish their book because of some perceived timing advantage. It is often said that self-publishing is a marathon and not a sprint, and authors shouldn’t worry so much about the placement of the starting line. Just publish it!
10 ways to make the most of your eCommerce book page
Selling direct to your readers will maximize your profits and readership.
Just like a realtor trying to attract house buyers, you need to consider the “curb appeal” of your direct-to-reader selling pages. Your efforts will be far easier than remodeling a bathroom or applying new paint. In fact, setting up a sales page can take just a few hours of work. It’s an investment in time that will surely pay off.
Here are many simple ways to boost your potential book sales.
1. Link to your sales page. Every time you mention your eBook or Print On Demand title online (in your email newsletter, on your website or blog, via social media), make sure you include your website address and a link to your sales page.
2. Tell your readers you’ll make more money. Be direct and tell your readers why it’s important to buy your books from your own pages. Don’t worry: your readers don’t mind learning this. In fact, when you share such details, readers will be even more engaged with your work. If people love your writing, they’ll want to help support you by purchasing your book from whatever outlet benefits you the most.
3. Same low prices! To support the above point, it’s also worth mentioning to your fans that they’ll pay the same price whether they buy your book from a store like Amazon or from your own page, so they might as well buy from the outlet that most benefits you.
4. Give your readers format options. If possible, you should offer your eBook in as many formats as you can. That includes print, eBook files (.mobi for Kindle, ePub for all other readers), or a simple PDF file.
5. Link to other retail sites. If someone already has an account with Amazon, they may prefer to just buy your book from there instead of going through a brand-new check-out process. If that’s the case, you don’t want your page to be a dead end.
6. Make sure your book cover is a sales magnet. Your site should feature an oversized image of your book cover. Of course, if your book cover is going to be big, it had better be great. Otherwise your visitors will assume that the writing matches the poor quality of the cover design.
7. Write a catchy book overview and description. Here’s your chance to grab a reader’s attention, but you only have a few sentences to win them over. Invest the time to make it persuasive so your readers are drawn in from the very first word! Feel free to pepper your book description with positive quotes from reviews if you have any.
8. Use your author biography to intrigue your readers. It’s time to tell the world about you! What is it about your own life experiences that will make your book worth reading?
9. Use accurate metadata to aid search. What’s metadata? It’s the basic information about your book that’s used in online searches. Your metadata will include things like genre, subgenre, ISBN, publication date, language, and page count. Make sure this data is accurate and you may just boost your traffic from people searching on Google.
10. Encourage your readers to use the social sharing function. Most selling pages will include simple social media icons for sharing. That makes it easy to show the page address on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and many more. Be sure to ask your fans to help you spread the word.
This post was excerpted and adapted from 5 Steps To Self Publishing: All the essential information you need to go from manuscript to marketplace. Download your free copy today.
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