Planning a Christmas Book Release? Here’s Why You Should Launch Early.

Filed in Marketing Your Book by on July 8, 2020 0 Comments

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So what’s the big deal about books at Christmas? Well, at the risk of sounding like a broken record: in any normal calendar year, Christmas is the biggest book-buying season of the year. 

Now, 2020 has attempted to put that to the test with record-shattering book sales every month since March, at one point skyrocketing to 777% higher sales than the same month a year prior. Frankly, in the midst of a year when at-home entertainment has proven so crucial, there’s no reason to think books will not remain one of the most popular gifts again this holiday season. 

For authors planning a new book release slated for fall, what does a publishing timeline look like? And how early is too early to start planning a holiday campaign? Answer: it’s never too early to plan a Christmas book launch, but it can definitely be too late—at least in terms of maximizing your book sales. 

Think of a book release as the exact opposite of a movie release. When a movie is headed to theaters, trailers play for months beforehand on TVs and in theaters across the country. Release week is a flurry of interviews with the starring actors on the morning talk show circuit. The movie makes its debut on a Friday night, and by Monday morning it’s dubbed a smashing success or a complete flop based solely on its opening weekend sales. Game over. 

Books, at least the vast majority of them, move more like a locomotive; it takes time to build up steam and speed. Yes, pre-launch campaigns are absolutely crucial for filling your preorder pipeline, and you’ll want a small army of friends, family, and contacts who have read advance copies and are waiting to submit reviews to online retailers the same day the book launches. 

Once your book debuts, however, the game is not over; the work is not done. In fact, it’s only just begun. That’s when you’ll want to ramp up your efforts of blogging, guest blogging, connecting with readers on social platforms like Facebook or Instagram, reaching out to local media and talking to local bookstores about scheduling signings. Your book has a much longer lifespan than a movie, and if you’re willing to put in the elbow grease you may find that with each new month you’ll sell more copies than the previous one. 

What does this have to do with Christmas? 

If you want to maximize book sales this Christmas season, you need to launch your new book (or ramp up efforts on your already-published book) as early in the fall as possible. Late summer is even better! Give yourself plenty of calendar space to recruit your launch army, to build a fanbase online that will spread the word about your book, and enough time for your marketing efforts to “snowball” into success (pun intended). 

Have questions? Now is the perfect time to reach out to your Publishing Consultant if you’re planning a launch, or your Marketing Specialist if you’ve already published your book. They can help you build a custom promotional based on your specific book!

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About the Author ()

Brittnee Newman, Marketing & Communications Strategist for Xulon Press, has been a blogger, freelance journalist and editor for just over half a decade. She joined Xulon Press as an editor in 2012, and now supports the company within the Marketing Department. Follow her on Twitter at @XulonBrittnee.

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