Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Is There Such a Thing as a Best Day to Promote Your Ebooks

I've been fortunate to meet some really cool people in the ebook industry in the last year or so. Many have been extremely generous, helpful, motivating, and all around kind. One of those folks is Anthony Wessel from digitalbooktoday.com 

Anthony spent several years working in the book industry, overseeing multiple book stores. Part of his job was to study sales trends. He's been an invaluable resource and friend. Today I'm going to serve up some information he shared with me in a phone conversation, and in a comment on my previous post. 

A question we often hear is, "When is the best time to promote?" The easy answer is ALWAYS. The sarcastic answer is, "When you feel like it." But in Anthony's experience, there are basic sales trends that can indicate peak selling days and seasons. The most obvious time to expect a greater return on your marketing efforts is Christmas. But is that the only holiday to consider? No way. There is a year full of opportunity for indie authors.

Look at your Calender. Watch for every holiday. Have you noticed how every few weeks your local grocery and retail stores switch from one holiday to the next? Well, as marketers, authors should take these peak "promotional days" into consideration. It's worked for retail, so it should work for book sales, right? The way Anthony puts it is, there is always a promotion gong on. And isn't the the concept behind KDP Select; offering a "free" promotion, or "price leader" on a regular basis.

So how do you target your promotions? In my opinion, you have a window of oportunity that varies with each holiday.

Personally, I think there's a lag time for ebook sales; "lag" being the day(s) following a holiday. This lag, I believe is the time period between the actual holiday and the days and week that follow when new Kindle owners begin playing with their gadgets and actually start buying books. I saw this after my first KDP free day on Dec 24th. My sales increased on Christmas Day and continued to rise for the next few days, not slowing down after the first of the year.

For a rundown of the holidays that remain in 2012, look at the list below. Mark your calender and plan your promotions accordingly. You should also consider how your book is unique to the holiday. For example, if you write books that take place in Mexico, you might throw some extra promotion the first week of May in celebration of Cinco de Mayo. Olay!

April 15 ~ Tax Day
April 22 ~ Earth Day

May 5    ~ Cinco de Mayo
May 13  ~ Mother's Day
May 28  ~ Memorial Day

June 14 ~ Flag Day
June 17 ~ Father's Day

Independence Day

Back to School Deals

Sept. 3   ~ Labor Day
Sept. 11 ~ Patriot Day

Oct. 8   ~ Columbus Day
Oct. 31 ~ Halloween

Nov. 6   ~ Election Day
Nov. 11 ~ Veteran's Day
Nov. 22 ~ Thanksgiving

Dec. 24 ~ Christmas Eve
Dec 25  ~ Christmas
Dec. 31 ~ New Year's Eve
Jan. 1    ~ New Year's Day

Obviously there are other holidays between January and April. Planning ahead for these events takes some serious forethought because many promotional sites like The Kindle Book Review, KindleNationDaily.com, digitalbooktoday.com, WorldLiteraryCafe.com fill up a month in advance so you can't promote effectively if you wait until the last minute.

Hopefully, looking at the big picture might help you navigate your marketing plan. What's that? You do have a plan right? Anyway, Happy promoting. And welcome to the new world of today's author, where we do it all, writing, selling, accounting, analyzing, and marketing.

Speaking of promotion, if you'd like to enter your book in The Kindle Book Review's Best Indie Books of 2012 Contest, go here ~> CONTEST. We are awarding cash, promotion packages, and giving away a Kindle Fire loaded with tons of the best Indie Books! Everyone wins; authors and readers.

Jeff Bennington is the best-selling author of Reunion, Twisted Vengeance, and The Indie Author's Guide to the Universe.


  1. Great piece, I'm creeping onto the kindle even as I type and I'm amazed at the sheer amount of writing I've got to find my place amongst.
    Think I'll hire a blimp.

    1. Hi Anthony. That's about what it takes. But if you work your tail off and let KDP Select do some of the work for you, you should find your audience. No one helps you do that better than Amazon.

  2. I'm going to have to buy some spare tails I think!

  3. Another great article, Jeff. Though Tax Day could blow either way for people... either way drinking may be involved. Heh!

  4. Thanks for dropping by, Anthony. Whatever it takes, my friend.

    Hi Toby. Thank you. Think positive and market to the folks getting a return!

  5. Great article. Some sort of marketing plan will always help, particularly as, like you said, you can then plan in advance what holidays and so forth you're going to target.


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