Book Marketing Advent Calendar – Day 4 – Offer a big discount
OK – seeing as Cyber Monday has passed, this will be one you tuck away in reserve for the 2016 holiday season. Not only did it pass, but sales were up by 25 percent over Cyber Monday 2014, hitting $3 billion+, worldwide. That’s a lot of people buying a lot of stuff online.
Which, as an author, is where you are probably spending a lot of your time looking for sales.
I’m old school. I like books. I like people. I especially like people who like books. My husband swept me off my feet in his response to my Craigslist ad by comparing classic books to classic rock:
So lately for me it’s been a lot of F. Scott, Hemingway, and Steinbeck. All great books – I can’t pick a favorite. It’s kind of like comparing The Beatles and The Stones, in that both are superior in different ways. Although Steinbeck would be more like Springsteen. He takes characters that F. Scott and Hemingway wouldn’t even think about and turns them into poetry. That, at least, is my literary analysis which serves me well in my vocation as a plumber.
So it follows that I very much enjoy face-to-face bookselling opportunities. But I’m also a pretty savvy marketer, so I know that you have the opportunity to reach exponentially more readers by focusing on Internet sales than you do by spending hours on end trying to cobble together a brick-and-mortar book tour. In reality, this isn’t an either/or situation – a smart author will do both. But put head-to-head, the Internet market is just bigger than the meet-people-in-person market unless you have the vast resources and unending energy to do a very long book tour.
So, if Cyber Monday sales were up 25% over last year, what will they do next year? Well, the trend says they’re going to keep increasing. So it will be the perfect time for you to get in on the game, right? One of the best ways to do that if you’re not a particularly well-known author is by offering a special holiday discount on your books.
I don’t typically advise competing on price, but if you’ve got some leeway with your pricing as a DIY publisher, it might make sense to take advantage the holiday book-buying season to:
Mark one book down with a low price, or create a special bundle of books you don’t normally sell together.
Much like the alleged advantages of enrolling in the KDP Select program (I hear good things and bad things about it, so DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE), a markdown probably works best as a means of promoting your most current title OR promoting one specific book, with the goal of introducing your work to new readers. Then, because you’ve written such an amazing story or offered such fantastically helpful advice, those readers will (a) want to buy your next book, and/or (b) gleefully tell all their reader friends about your book.
A reduced price when you’ve only got one book for sale can work, so long as the low price is low enough to incentivize buying while being high enough for you to make money without having to sell too many more books.
And just so you feel like you’ve gotten a deal by reading this blog post, I have two special gifts for you:
- Read this most excellent blog post about Cyber Monday by marketing expert Jeff Goins. He loathes Black Friday but has some great ideas for places to invest in yourself as a writer.
- I will offer a $5 rebate on any ebook in the Holiday Author Event bookstore that you purchase between now and Christmas 2015, provided you put MARCIE BROCK in the comments area. NOTE: This offer is exclusive to EEEEEbooks.
As you may know, I am taking part in the Holiday Author Event for the next 6 days. PLEASE BE SURE to stop by the Holiday Author Event page tomorrow to view some of our authors’ video book trailers. Comment, like, and share to be entered in today’s drawing!
We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.