When I woke up this morning I had 56 emails about Black Friday sales. I don't love crowds so I shop a lot online, and this time of year, the resulting volume of admail ramps up significantly. Still, 56 seemed like a lot. A lot of money spent on a lot of marketing. Money that could have been spent elsewhere.
But nobody asked me.
Now that the rush of holiday shopping is upon us, is there room to promote books, generally and specifically? Yeah, there is. Because books are still the most personal gift out there. The one that lets you share some of yourself with the person you're gifting. And now that's we have technology specifically related to books as well, there are even more opportunities for smart book marketing.
For example, if I'm buying someone an ereader, I can also gift that person a book. People tend to forget this, though. Which means you have the opportunity to remind them.
Tomorrow lots of authors are going to indie bookstores to sell books for a day. This initiative seems a lot like preaching to the choir to me, but it also underscores the importance of authors as a book marketing audience. (I'm assuming here that authors aren't going to just hawk their own books; the one author I know who is doing this certainly won't.)
Books are relatively inexpensive, and as such, they make for good "why not get yourself a gift" presents. Hey, we're all selfish to some extent, right?
If, like me, your giftees tend to live in far-flung lands, shipping presents is, at best, a PITA. Books, however, are easy to ship. Media mail and flat rate priority mail are your friends.
If you want to give your reader-advocates another reason to gift your books, consider creating a facility for them to acquire signed books. Whether you do this yourself or with the help of a local indie store or by offering signed bookplates through your website, it's not hard.
Remember that video of the kid who pitched a fit because he got books for Christmas? It's three years old now, but makes the rounds every year, and for good reason. My point is that there's plenty of content out there you can borrow to get some attention for your books among the gift cacophony.
My point? 'Tis the season to talk about books. To buy books, in all their forms. And to have fun doing it.
Be kind out there.
In the time it took me to write this, 16 more admails arrived. And not a one about books. Harrumph.