When the average shopper thinks of Cyber Monday, they think of the best time of the year to buy a new laptop, tablet or smartphone. It’s become a sort of unspoken rule in recent years that this shopping day is designed for technology deals, and online shopping carts are often filled with all the newest gadgets.
USA Today reported that eBay sales climbed 30% on Cyber Monday in 2013, and the most popular purchases were devices like gaming consoles and popular tech-based toys. So where does that leave self-published authors who market their books online? There must be some way for us to get a slice of Cyber Monday’s nearly $2.29 billion pie.
Cover all the bases
One of the best ways to get in on the action is to cover all your bases. Many self-published authors start with an ebook and sometimes add a print edition to the mix (I haven’t done print yet). And while it may seem that an ebook couldn’t be used as a stocking stuffer, today’s technology means that couldn’t be further from the truth.
And the holidays are a wonderful time to make print editions of your books available (hurry!). Lots of Cyber Monday shoppers will be doing ALL their holiday shopping, and print books are a popular holiday gift. If you’ve only sold ebooks, fans eager to share your work will be thrilled at the prospect of giving a friend or loved one a hardcopy of your book for the holidays. It’s also a good time to let your fans and readers know if your books are available in other formats, such as print, hardback, or audio.
Offer bundles and discounts
Although Cyber Monday is designed as a day of online sales, it’s important to understand what kind of sale you can offer. For authors who have published several books in a series, this is a great time to offer a bundle: copies of a few or all of your current titles, sold together at a lower price than the cost to purchase them separately. Making this a holiday-only deal could help encourage shoppers to purchase immediately, while the bundle is available.
This is also a great time to unveil a new title, or a new edition of a standing title. Now is also a great time to put at least one of your ebooks on sale. If you take this route, try to build anticipation in advance. Keep your blog, subscriber list, and social media accounts updated with the latest news on your work – just don’t over-do it! – and make sure your friends and followers know what kind of deals you’ll make available on Cyber Monday and throughout the holiday season.
Self-published author Nick Stephenson recently advocated making one book perma-free and offering a second book free to subscribers who sign up for your email list. New authors can offer a free copy of their book to family and close friends a few weeks prior to publication to help build interest. These book promotion strategies can also be used with social media followers via Cyber Monday contests and online raffles.
Sell direct from your website
While there are plenty of self-publishing sales platforms – think Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and Google Play – you can also consider direct sales on your website through your own storefront. This method might work especially well for non-fiction authors. It’s easy to set up an online store through Shopify. If you only have one book to sell, consider bundling yours with companion works by other authors. You could even bundle other authors’ books with similar themes – think holiday stories – to get shoppers interested.
There are dozens of ways to sell your book this Cyber Monday, and thousands of tips to make sure you net the highest sales possible. For instance, with TheNextWeb.com reporting that 18.3% of 2013’s Cyber Monday sales will be made via mobile devices, this might be the time to make sure your website is outfitted for mobile browsing.
Bottom line, it’s important that you get your book(s) in the public eye this holiday season in time for people to buy it! Don’t hold back because you think tech devices will dominate Cyber Monday sales; on the contrary, consider all the ereaders that are about to be sold over the next few months. Make your book the perfect stocking stuffer, and prepare yourself for wonderful, successful, lucrative holiday sales.
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