Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice: as we head into the homestretch of 2020, it’s a good time to think about ways to tie book marketing and promotion to gratitude and gifts.
In “Get Your Book into Gift Guides!” – Episode 12 of our Book Marketing Tips & Author Success podcast – we go deep in our discussion about this super fun marketing strategy, so be sure to download and listen to the show for all the details, recommendations, and considerations!
The Allure of a Guide in Book Marketing and Promotion
I love adding Gift Guides to book marketing and promotion plans. Why?
There are so many gift occasions, and so many potential gifts for each of them, that consumers appreciate recommendations from trusted sources; gift guides can carry a lot of weight when it comes to making gift-buying decisions.
While we typically associate gift guides with winter holidays, they are actually published year-round. We’ve seen or used them for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day as well as for graduation and teacher appreciation gifts.
For any major gift-centric time of year or occasion, outlets are capitalizing on this need and vying to be a legitimate resource. For this reason alone, gift guides are a great option for book marketing and promotion.
Is Your Book a Good Candidate?
Let me say right now that this is not a strategy that is going to work for every book. Gift guides typically aim to appeal to as wide an audience as possible.
We encourage authors to get super creative when it comes to pitching themselves. But when it comes to pitching gift guides, you have to seem like a sure thing.
So, for example, if you wrote a book on succeeding as an entrepreneur or starting a small business, yes, the exact right person may love that as a Christmas gift if they’re starting down that path in life, but as a general rule, a book like that doesn’t make sense for a broader market. Unless you dig really deep and happen to find a business publication that’s doing a gift guide!
Be realistic about where – and if – your book fits in and spend your time on opportunities that really make sense to everyone involved. When it comes to book marketing and promotion, you always want to use your resources where they’ll bring the greatest return.
In order to do this, spend some time researching outlets. I always recommend doing a quick Google search for bloggers and online media that have produced gift guides in prior years. And some places, like Buzzfeed, do gift guides all the time.
You can also check out HARO (Help a Reporter Out) to see if anyone is looking for submissions to their guide.
Pitching Gift Guides
Pitching a gift guide is much like approaching a blogger. You need a tightly written pitch and you must follow their guidelines.
In your pitch, make it very clear what your book has to offer to the individual it’s being gifted to and why it’s unique enough to make the list. I also suggest mentioning any accolades that you’ve gotten for the book – awards, great reviews, etc. All of this is Book Marketing and Promotion 101.
Sometimes you’ll need to submit a digital or physical copy of your book for consideration. Whoever you’re pitching will likely want to see it in person and feel it in their hands to check out how your product presents itself.
This is a book marketing and promotion strategy that can work for older titles, too. One nice thing about pitching to gift guides is that your book doesn’t necessarily have to be brand new. If you have a book about something that is trending at present, offer it to any takers.
For example, in light of everything going on with COVID, people are really digging into new hobbies and creative interests. I think we’ve all seen #covidcraft during our travels on social media.
If you have an older book that fits this market right now, your title might shine enough to generate interest.
And if all else fails, you can always create your own Gift Guide – we did this for a client a few years ago and had a blast! To hear more of that story, tune in to Episode 12.
Happy October! May your month be filled with successful book marketing and promotion. And if you need some help, take a minute to click on the resources and downloads below.