Independently published writers are more than just authors. At trade shows and panel discussions, I have often described these writers as being self-employed entrepreneurs—heading a business with only one employee—themselves. As such the author must be adept at both writing and the business of publishing. All decisions are the author’s; from developing the concept to publicizing and marketing the finished product to making sure there is a product to sell.
The holidays provide more opportunities than any other time of the year to get your product in front of people who are actively seeking to spend their money. Whether you are planning a social media marketing push, have scheduled a book signing and speaking events, have booked space at your local winter market, or meet someone on the bus, you need to be ready to make the sell.
Inventory Preparedness Questionnaire:
- How many events do you have planned for the holidays?
- How many books do you anticipate selling at each event?
- Is there enough time between events to order and restock?
- Will you be selling signed or personalized books from your website or social media pages?
- How many books do you need as gifts for friends and family?
- Do you have bookmarks or postcards advertising your book to hand out in the event you sell out of books or someone wishes to purchase an eBook?
- Do you have a high-quality pen for signing and personalizing books?
One of the benefits of print-on-demand publishing is that there is no costly inventory to maintain. However, this also means that when you or your customers place an order, the books must be printed before they ship. Regardless of the number of books ordered, printing will take from 3-5 business days. This time of year, average printing times are on the shorter side of that range; however, as Christmas approaches, printing times will push towards five days. Add shipping time to that and you can see why it is more important than ever to ensure you have the stock on hand to make the sell.
To help ensure you have a successful holiday sales season, Lulu is running author-only discounts in November so you can save now on the inventory you need for the Christmas holiday season.