Romance By Catherine: December Blues

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

December Blues

Not the holiday blues, not the "I ate too much blues." But the December release blues...

I posted a message on a loop not to long ago... it was a message to my author friends to help keep their chins up during the month of November and December. Unless you have a Christmas release you'll probably wish that your book that you've worked so hard for was released in any month other than December, right? I get it. December is a hard month to sell a book. People are busy, they aren't reading as much because of the hustle and hassle of the holidays.

So should you scale back on promo? Yes and no. At least in my humble opinion.

Work smarter. December is a good month to make some personal connections on the social networks. Talk to your fans, or give some holiday cheer. Talk with fellow writers and maybe give away a copy of your book or two. But spending a ton of time online posting excerpts and spamming the web probably isn't going to get you very far this month. People simply don't have time to check out your latest. But here is the good news... your book, the one you've spent a zillion hours writing and editing... that book will still be available in January and February and so on... Set up a "After Christmas Blog Tour" Make January your debut.

That is the beauty of e-books and small print publishers. We don't have a 7 week shelf life at the bookstore. We have a much longer window of time to tell the world how wonderful your book is. So work smarter all my author friends. And enjoy the holidays.


LaVerne Clark said...

Thanks Catherine,
I feel cheered already. I have absolutely no idea how I'm doing yet in the sales stakes, but I'm ready to cry thinking about it!
I keep checking my amazon listing and it hovers depressingly around 160,000 - 180,000!! So I assume no sales : (

But you're right. Onwards and upwards - more time to work on my next WIP!

Maeve said...

Thanks for the great advice, Catherine. THIS newbie is always looking for words of wisdom.

Catherine Bybee said...

LaVerne - Check out this website:
Put your book info in there and you can see exactly how many books you're selling on Amazon. But just keep plugging. I think I sold maybe 30 kindle copies of Binding Vows last December - this November it is at 143. So keep plugging.

Maeve: Anything to help. *wink*

P.L. Parker said...

You are doing so well. I am impressed.

Cindy K. Green said...

Hey Catherine, great advice. I know I've even had Christmas books that didn't sell great the first year because I really didn't have time to promote it but the next year it did way better. Congrats on your high Amazon rankings. That's awesome!

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Catherine,
Great advice.I guess patience is a virtue, but I don't have much of it myself.



Ilona Fridl said...

Hi, Catherine!

What's really hard are those authors (like me) who don't have the big name. You have to sell yourself, as well.

Heather Hiestand said...

Christmas-themed releases late in December are problematic too - and yes, I have one of those this year. But, I had one back in 2006 too that is still selling, so they do have legs.

Catherine Bybee said...

Just keep plugging PL

Hi Cindy. Long time no see. More than one release makes a huge difference.

Margaret: I'm short on the P word myself. But I'm trying to gain some!

Iiona, hon, none of us had a name when we started. I'm not sure I have one for the mass public at all. Promotion is the other half of the publishing game.

Heather: True, but the legs do keep going year after year.

Mona Risk said...

Catherine, I am being patient but as many said it, sales are difficult. Yet I see people with eReaders everywhere. But there are so many writers also. I read somewhere that every year the number of writers increases by 18,000. Imagine the competition.

Catherine Bybee said...

Of those writers... how many finish a book? How many send the query? How many get published? I get it... it's hard. We just need to keep plugging.

Rebecca J. Clark said...

As always, you motivate and inspire me.


Leah St. James said...

Thanks, Catherine, for keeping our spirits lifted! Writing is hard work, and promoting (or learning how to promote) is even harder! It helps to remember we're in it for the long haul. And it helps even more to hear stories of success. :-)