The Fall Kickoff to Christmas Shopping

I started my Christmas shopping last week.

Recently I had the excuse to do a little in-person shopping for some new home items and along the way,
I ran into a few fun Christmas gifts. I am just delighted with getting what is for me an early start.

Of course, much of the rest of the shopping will be done via Amazon, but the in-person, old school style
gift shopping is fun at least some of the time.

How about you?

Are you wondering why are we talking about this?

I’m thinking about authors and selling their books at Christmastime. Some of you are way ahead of me
on this and preparing already. But others of you may need a nudge to find time to start thinking of ways
to draw attention and remind people the book or giftable product or service is out there.

Whether your book is old or new, you need to keep marketing it. This is a great time to develop your
plan to contact people to remind them about the book or books you have that would make a great
Christmas gift. Similarly with your product or service.

Contact them how? How is your social media following?

Going to purchase advertising somewhere? Where? When? Is the ad designed?

Or do you intend to reach out to those on your list with a flyer? Have you designed the flyer? How
updated is your list?

And what about the product or book itself – time for special pricing or two-for-one deals and Christmas

And don’t forget about showing up in person – such as at fall festivals and events. I’ve worked with
several clients who found it quite worthwhile to take a vendor table at school festivals or holiday gift
marts many organizations have – sometimes in connection even with business meetings. These have
typically occurred in October and early November in cities where I have lived, and often have availability
even just a few weeks before the event. The vendor tables in community settings like that are typically
reasonably priced and you may be able to share with another author or friend who has something else
to offer. Be sure to make some effort with your table to make it attractive so you get noticed.

One client author, who has a few titles, bundled them in pricing, which also allowed someone to buy a
book for themselves and for a friend.

The in-person aspect of these events also allows you to meet people, which is great if you are a speaker
or building a speaking ministry. If you are a speaker, be sure to bring your speaker one-sheet and a sign-
up sheet for your mailing list.

Another idea worth pursuing, which works across sales channels from in-person as well as website sales,
is to come up with an extra giveaway product as an accompaniment for your book. If you market the
item together with the book as a package, the bonus makes the book as a gift even more appealing. Or
the bonus item might be something a gift giver can enjoy for themselves.

It’s also a way to provide a holiday tie-in. Ideas for this might be a Christmas devotional guide or coloring
pages for a kids’ book or a parenting book, or a worksheet with a timeline and checklist for pre-holiday
home-improvement projects.

Right now, I have in mind an author whose book could be part of a person’s work recovering from a
major life loss. For topics like that, the holidays can be especially tough. A two-week Christmas
devotional could be a comfort and encouragement. If you find it meaningful to write, and it is received
well, you might even find an expanded version of it could become a future book along your author

Other non-holiday themed bonus items might be more appropriate for other types of books.

While a bonus item as a download is fine for many times of the year, I’d suggest at this time of year that
if your product is printed, that you also print the bonus item. I’d use some extra nice paper so it reflects
the effort and thought you put into it, and also so the bonus item can make a gift a little more special.

Of course, if the books or products are all digital (I still don’t love wrapping or dealing with receiving a
digital gift but don’t tell my kids I said that) then your bonus item can be digital too.

The main point is to remind you it’s time to act on your plans for Christmas sales. I hope these
reminders will get your creative brain going to dream up even better ideas for helping readers find your
books this Christmas.

Originally sent as an email to the Buoyancy community on September 15, 2023.
Joni Sullivan Baker
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