Surfing the Book Sale Wave

The push is on. Publishers and authors alike spend time before Christmas promoting their books as great gifts. Many offer discounts and specials right before the holidays to generate sales for their books.

This strategy is great. It works to sell books. However, it does not work as well for ebooks. Most gift-givers do not purchase specific digital books as gifts. While it is possible to purchase a specific ebook as a gift via Amazon and other online retailers, many people don’t know how (Amazon has developed a YouTube video to show people how). Hence, most people still prefer to give gift cards, allowing the recipient to purchase and download the books.

As a result, holiday book sales now come in two waves. Print sales before Christmas is the first wave of book sales. The second wave is the sale of digital books on Christmas day and the days following.

Did you know that last year Amazon sold more Kindle books than print books on Christmas day? Why? Because each person who received a Kindle e-reader for Christmas immediately wanted to load his new reader with books to read (and many received gift cards to purchase books along with the gift of the e-reader).

This year will be no different. If anything, more e-readers and tablets will be given as Christmas gifts than were given last year. After all, sales of Kindles were up 300% this Black Friday from last year, not to mention the surge of new e-readers and tablets currently hitting the market.

How can you smoothly surf the book sale wave and capitalize on the digital sales that come on Christmas day to sell your ebooks? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Remember that the promotion you have done before Christmas for the print version of your titles is not completely lost for those wanting digital titles. Some will remember your book and purchase it in the ebook version.
  2. Offer the first couple chapters of your book as a free download. You can do this on a number of website including on Amazon through the Kindle Singles program. Be sure to include a link at the end of the chapters to where the reader can purchase the remainder of the book (the full version). Be sure to promote this free download.
  3. Offer a Christmas week special on the ebook version of your book. You can do this by temporarily reducing the price of your ebook on Amazon and other retail sites for that week. Be sure to announce your special in your newsletter and on all your social media sites.

With a little planning and ingenuity, you may be able to ride the Christmas ebook sale spike and sell more books this holiday season.

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