How to Sell More Printed Books This Christmas

Thanksgiving is almost here, which means the masses of black Friday shoppers are close behind.

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Around the holidays, most of us change our buying habits. That includes how we buy books!

As we look to buy books as gifts for other people, we spend less on eBooks and audiobooks and more on printed books that we can wrap and slide under the tree. 

Preparing for this boom in print book-buying can make a difference in your end-of-year bottom line. And as a self-published author, you don’t want your book to get buried under the highly-advertised best-sellers.

Are you prepared with a marketing strategy that will help you make the most of the holiday hullabaloo? 

From special promotions to local holiday fairs, here’s how you can ramp up your marketing strategy to sell more copies of your book this holiday season. 

1. Energize Your Email List

Remember that email list of adoring fans that you’ve been diligently growing all year? Now’s the time to cash in on their devotion with a special holiday promotion of your printed book.

Reach out to your email list with a special holiday newsletter or email blast. Remind them how easy it is to wrap, ship and give books — a lot easier (and cheaper!) than that pair of ski boots they’ve been thinking of shipping across the country. 

And even if some of your previous fans only bought eBooks, they may be persuaded to buy print copies as gifts for friends and family.

2. Offer a Special Promotion on Printed Copies

Here’s another important way you can encourage your email list and social followers to buy your book for their friends and family this holiday season. 

Offer a special promotion on the price of your printed book to encourage the gift-giving spirit. You may even want to throw in free shipping as an extra incentive to turn those browsers into buyers.

3. Excite Your eBook Lovers

If you’ve got some die-hard eBook fans who are beginning to feel a little left out, you can pull out this strategy to both bolster printed book sales and satisfy their eBook hankering.

Offer your readers the chance to download your eBook at a reduced price when they buy a hard copy as a gift for someone else. 

How do you pull this off? Just enroll the Kindle version in Kindle MatchBook, and choose from four price options: $2.99, $1.99, $0.99, or free, for any Kindle MatchBook sale. The price you pick needs to be at a discount of at least 50% on your usual Kindle price. 

4. Get Creative with Contests & Specials

Your social media followers don’t just want updates about your newest book or pictures of your cat (although we’re sure they love those, too).

Did you know a lot of social media users are also looking to knock out their holiday shopping list? 

1 in 4 social media users follow brands that they may make a purchase from. That means ¼ of your followers could be looking for ways to buy your book on social media this holiday season. 

Social media specials & contests can be a powerful way to incentivize your followers to buy your book for friends and family. For example, you could let your Facebook & Instagram followers know that the first 100 people who follow you on Twitter will receive a special code that gets them 10% off your printed book. 

Or, ask your followers to share one of your social posts in order to get their name entered into a contest to win your book. The more that fans can feel like they’re gaining access to special deals, the more likely they’ll be to follow you on all your social channels (and tell their friends to do the same!)

5. Look for Local Literary Events & Fairs

Wherever you live, chances are there are a handful of local holiday fairs where you can sell printed copies of your books. 

And these events can help bolster your self-published author career in more ways than just helping you sell books. They can also help you raise your profile as a local author within your community, which can lead to speaking engagements and more.

At the end of the day, if all else fails, you can always donate your book to important organizations that need them — like schools, prisons, or your local library. 

Sure, donating your book won’t add more cash to your pocket. But you’ll be sharing your beloved story with a bigger corner of the world, and giving back in the meantime. 

And as a holiday gift to yourself, learn which book awards you can submit to for the chance to join the rankings of other critically-acclaimed self-published authors >

Adam user

President & CEO,
Steuben Press

Adam Ellis has worked in the book industry since 2002, when he was first exposed to the wonderful world of Self Publishing. Over the years he has worked with thousands of authors and helped to produce, print and publish countless books.


I set the price, I collect the checks, and Steuben Press does all of the work. It’s a relief to know I never again have to print, package, and ship a book myself. The convenience is outweighed only by their professionalism.

– Andy Phelps, Michigan

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