Repeat after me. “Christmas is coming. Christmas is coming. It’s just around the corner.”
Now that we have accepted the inevitable, let’s take a few minutes to think about what we need to do to make this year your most successful sales year yet. Lucky for authors, book sales are up in 2016 with printed books making a huge comeback, so this could be the best year ever for holiday book sales, but only if you are ready.
If you are in the final stages of completing, editing or revising your book and wish to have it ready for holiday gift giving, there is no time for procrastination – particularly if you wish to have your book available for purchase in all online bookstores for the holidays.
As you race to the finish, keep these things in mind:
- Your print book must meet all distribution requirements before it can be approved for online distribution. To prevent it from being rejected by retailers, take a few minutes to carefully review the requirements and make edits prior to publishing.
- Before your book can be submitted for distribution, you must first purchase and approve a proof copy. Once you review and approve your proof, Lulu will release it into distribution.
- Retailers will review your book to ensure it meets distribution requirements. If your book is rejected, you must edit it, then purchase and approve another proof copy before it can be resubmitted to distributors.
- Once your book is sent to retailers, it will usually be available for purchase from online bookstores in about three weeks. However, due to retailer processing, workloads, and holiday volume it could take 6-8 weeks for your book to be added to all online booksellers.
- Each retailer has their own process and schedule for reviewing books and updating their online catalogs. There is no means for Lulu to expedite this process for you.
If you are running out of time and think there is no way you will finish in time, don’t worry. You can forego distribution (for now) and publish directly to the Lulu bookstore.
When you publish to the Lulu bookstore:
- Your book will be available for purchase within minutes of publication.
- You can publish without an ISBN, which means there is no required retail markup resulting in higher profits for you and no US income tax withholding.
- You can take advantage of Lulu discounts to boost holiday sales.
- You can purchase your book at manufacturing cost.
- You can even publish a hardcover special edition to sign and give to family and friends as Christmas gifts.
And, don’t forget, you are not alone. The Lulu support team is here to help Monday-Friday during regular office hours. You can also get author-to-author support 24/7 in the Lulu forums.
So get back to work!
Writer extraordinary and generally amazing guy, Glenn makes sure that ever day is the best day ever.