by Will Viharo
Some authors publicly complain about the fact they have to promote their own books on their own public platforms and social networks more than they actually pitch their products.
Feeling pointlessly insecure is typical for a writer, depending on what phase of the process or mood you happen to be in any given hour, but there’s at least one day a year when you needn’t beat yourself up for beating your own chest.
Welcome to Cyber Monday: if you’ve got a product for sale online, you’d be a fool not to brag it about it as loudly as possible…
Cyber Monday, like Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, is a designated day for shoppers of all stripes to get out there – or in there – and take advantage of holiday sales while supporting their favorite vendors at the same time.
That can include their favorite authors.
Of course, the only way for a reader to decide on their favorite authors is to read their books, and there’s no better time for indie authors to exploit a collective spending spree than Cyber Monday, since most DIY authors have eBooks on the market.
Might as well strike while the general public’s buying mood is hot and green.
Here are a few ways writers can exploit this “shopper’s holiday” for the digital domain, however commercially manufactured the occasion may be:
Offer free or 99-cent virtual stocking stuffers
Talk about a bargain – literary-minded browsers can gift your Kindle book to the appreciative readers on their list, or buy a print copy at a special rate, “available only for a limited time.” And there’s no reason to limit yourself, either. ‘Tis the season for bulk sales…
Bundle up those backlogged books
Offer several or all of your books at a bargain bundle rate, meaning advertise the fact a reader can own your entire body of work for a special bargain rate, like ten books for ten bucks. Amazon may not allow you much flexibility since they’re basically the marketplace and you’re merely the seller, but if you creatively promote deals via your own networks, thrifty bookworms will go to the trouble of ordering each of your discounted books individually while still feeling like they got a “group rate.” This is a great way to introduce your older, “forgotten” books to new audiences.
Holiday-themed books are timely
Need something to do this weekend, if you’re not spending quality time with friends or family, or better yet, need an excuse not to? Knock out a Christmas novelette, in any genre. A “hacker Santa” could be either a philanthropic computer whiz or a festive serial killer depending on how you tell the story.
Whip up a quick cover, upload, and voila, you’ve got a 99-cent Kindle on the market just in time to take advantage of the Kris Kringle Kraze, not to mention all the ways you can celebrate (or frankly, exploit) Kwanzaa or Hanukkah. Then there are all your older Christmas books that need to be quickly dusted off and reintroduced during their limited marketability window.
This column is shorter than usual because I’m betting you’re busy this holiday weekend, whether having fun or working or, if you’re a writer, hopefully both.
So don’t feel ashamed about promoting your eBooks this Monday. Of course, you should never feel ashamed about being your own publicist. The shame only comes in pitching inferior work, below your own standards, just to rush out a product to meet an artificial deadline.
Have nothing worthwhile to pitch this Cyber Monday? Never too early to start planning for the next…
What are some of your ideas for promoting eBooks on Cyber Monday, or anytime?
PHOTO: JOHN MARY