This post is the sixty-fourth post in a series about writing a novel. You can check out the list of past topics at the end of this post.
The holidays can make a great setting for a novel. And the holidays can be a good time to sell your holiday-themed story.
Writing a holiday-themed book
You can write a spooky or horror filled novel for Halloween or a sweet romance for the Christmas season. I even know an author that set her story at Thanksgiving. Of course, you are not limited to these holidays. You could set your romance or satire on Valentine’s Day. However, the appeal of a Fourth of July tale will just not have the same pull as a Christmas Holiday tale.
Christmas, by far, is the most popular holiday to write about. A quick search of books on Amazon brings up over 25,000 titles, and this doesn’t include Children’s books.
Tips to writing a Christmas Novel
- Keep it short – Consider writing a novella or even a short story.
- Invoke the senses – Think of snowy scenes, the aroma of hot chocolate or a baking pie
- Think happy ending – While I know there are serious stories out there that take place during Christmas, your best bet is to leave the reader at least satisfied and for a romance that would mean ending with a Happily Ever After.
- Publish it in time – Aim to publish your holiday novel in November or at the very latest the first week of December.
- Promote it – Promote it not just the year it comes out but every holiday season and reap the benefits of those holiday readers.
If you write a series, perhaps you can take some of your characters and write them their own holiday story. And even if they don’t celebrate “Christmas” you can still write a story that takes place at a winter holiday. (Think Gift of the Night Fury from the How to Train Your Dragon TV series.)
It may be too late this year to get out a Holiday book, but if you invest the time now, you can have a book that will sell well each holiday season.
Promoting your book (any book) during the holidays
Cold winter nights where readers want to snuggle up with a good book or perhaps the abundance of new iPads and e-readers, there are many good reasons to consider running a holiday promotion.
If you have a book in print, you can host a holiday book signing. You can promote your book as a great gift or stocking stuffer. While folks can actually gift e-books, if you offer your book only in electronic form, you probably shouldn’t expect a lot of people buying your novel for others.
If you have an e-book, you might consider offering your book at a discount during Cyber Monday.
If you have published a Christmas or other holiday novel/novella/short story, you definitely need to run a promotion starting at the end of November/beginning of December and get it in the hands of those holiday readers.
Instead of trying to find readers before the holidays, sometimes it is easier to approach the new owners of Kindles, Nooks and other e-readers or tablets. And there are quite a few others out there with gift cards waiting to fill up their e-readers.
Of course, the trick is to reach those new readers and let them know about your book sale. As with any promotion, you need to know how to reach the readers of your genre.
Another idea is to create a bundle or box set of books and offer them at a reduced price. Or perhaps get a few indie authors together and offer some of your books as a bundle.
No matter how you plan to do some holiday promoting, just make sure you take advantage of this book-buying season.
#45 – Pricing your e-book
#50 – Marketing your E-book