With Thanksgiving fast approaching, many Americans are thinking about time with family and friends, elaborate meals, gratitude, and (says the marketer in me)…Black Friday sales.For decades, retailers have treated the day after Thanksgiving as the start of the holiday shopping season. The time of year when their profits turned from being “in the red” to positive, or “in the black.”Thanks to a deluge of ads, frenzied shoppers are in the mood to land deals.
So, how can this translate into book sales? First, ask yourself: do you have any existing promotions planned over the weekend? Can these be re-branded #BlackFriday deals? You can amplify an existing sale by simply renaming and appropriately hashtagging it (consider: #BlackFriday #BlackFriday2018 #BlackFridayads #giveaway #BlackFridayDeals #BlackFridayWeek #Blackfridayshopping #Blackfridaybonus #ShoppingDay #Shoppingtime #Sale #ShopTilYouDrop)
Alternatively, can you launch a new promotion? Keeping the audience in mind, do any of your titles have special applicability as gifts? Can you team up with other authors to create a holiday-appropriate set? Do you want to offer a special discount on pre-orders for an upcoming launch?
Second, make the deal appealing enough to qualify as Black Friday-worthy. Shoppers are expecting exceptional bargains. So if you market a promotion as “Black Friday,” make sure you meet those expectations.
Beyond just discounts, consider giving extras. Do you have bookmarks, novellas, or other freebies to include? How about a unique experience that links to the premise of your story?
Third and most importantly, your promotion should fit into your overall brand promise and broader marketing strategies. Stay consistent with your tone of voice. Use the promotion to strengthen the connection with your unique benefit.
Lastly, if you miss Black Friday timing, there’s always #CyberMonday (use this for ebook sales), or #GivingTuesday (use this for books that generate donations towards good causes).
Best wishes turning Black Friday into Book Friday. This holiday, I’m grateful that our paths have crossed, whether in a writing group, at a speaking engagement, or conference. Wishing you an exceptional Thanksgiving.
Carol Van Den Hende, MBA