Hark! The Christmas season is upon us and the mad dash for gift ideas has begun. In fact, this season represents a high time for the bookseller market, with spikes in print book sales before the holidays and spikes in e-books sales afterward as new e-reader owners build their libraries. Now is the time to begin Christmas marketing!

Christmas marketing sign

Although it can feel mercenary to market during the time we celebrate Christ coming into the world, remember that the words you’ve written could become a real blessing both to the gift giver who purchases it––finding the perfect fit for their friend or family member––and the gift receiver who will have the opportunity to be thrilled or encouraged by your writing.

We’ve put together a list of four creative Christmas marketing ideas that tie into the season.

1. The Advent Posts

One of the main challenges of creating social media or blog posts is finding content. So, let the content write itself. There are two iterations of this idea floating around. Marketer Tim Grahl suggests giving away an exciting line or paragraph from your book for each day of advent, counting down to Christmas.

“Just like the advent calendar, give away a piece of your story every day through Christmas. Send it out via your email list or post it on your blog each day. Promote it via Twitter, Facebook and other means.”

–Tim Grahl

If you’ve gotten a late start, though, consider the second iteration: the 12 Days of Christmas countdown. It’s the same basic idea of giving away one quote per day, but easier to get on top of if you’re starting late in the game.

2. Prizes, Gift Baskets, and Bazaars

Christmas is a season just bubbling with events––parties, craft fairs, and fundraisers––and often the organizers are looking for prizes, donations, or featured items to give away. Keep your ears open for opportunities to include your book in a gift basket or have it featured as a door prize at a local soiree. Or consider partnering with local chocolate shops, florists, or gift shops to get your book included in their offerings. This is a great way to be generous, while also getting your work out there and visible to the public. See this article on Wheat Mark for even more ideas.

Christmas marketing newspaper boy

3. Extra! Extra! Read all About it!

The weeks before and after Christmas are usually very slow for news organizations. Consider sending out a round of press releases at this time. Try to tie your book into the holiday season again, or maybe point your theme toward New Year’s––fresh starts, inspiration, nostalgia. If you find a good hook or angle, this may help draw attention to your book.

4. Go on Tour

When it gets down to it, we’re all in this together. If you have a few author contacts, band together to promote each other. Write a guest post for someone else’s blog or secure an interview on your favorite podcast. Remember to return the favor too. While promoting another’s work might seem counterintuitive, you will both benefit by reaching a new base of readers and joining in with the charitable spirit of the season.

There you have it: our top four Christmas marketing tips. Now get out there, sell some books, make some friends, and enjoy this season of giving.