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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Are Books In Your Stocking Stuffers?


Over one in four holiday shoppers begin their holiday shopping before November and nearly 19% wait until December to launch into buying up goodies.  But 41% begin their holiday spree in November, the most popular month by far, likely coinciding with Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  So what does this mean for authors and book publishers?

Well, first, keep in mind that people have already begun shopping for gifts, and books make great gifts.  In particular, some books are more gift-worthy than others, such as coffee-table books, photography, hobby, cooking, or compendium editions like “the greatest sports heroes of all-time.”  But anything can be given as a gift if you know the recipient would value it, such as a novel, business book, or a travel guide.

Second, the holiday shopping has begun but it doesn’t end until December 25 – and really into January, when returns and exchanges are made and when gift cards get used.

Books have always made great gifts.  First, they are reasonably priced.  Many hardcovers sell in the $20-30 range, paperbacks are less, and ebooks are dirt-cheap.  Actually, ebooks are so cheap they may not be expensive enough to hold value as a gift.  People want to feel the weight of the gift when it’s in digital form, as well.  But gift cards for Barnes & Noble and Amazon are soaring.

How can we encourage book-giving as a great gift?

First, books can be personal.  If you get a book on a subject or by an author that you know the recipient likes, that’s a nice way to show you care.

Second, suggest to people who buy you gifts that books and book gift cards are welcome.

Third, become the gift-giver of books to those you plan to buy gifts for.

Four, make recommendations in your blog and via social media of books to give as gifts.

Fifth, think of books for people who would like a book on a certain subject but would never buy themselves.  For instance, get a handyman’s guide to your husband who needs some help.  Or give your girlfriend a book about something she needs help on.  For your kids, don’t just get them toys and gadgets – buy books that make reading fun and expose them to new ideas and worlds.

I would love to see bookstores hold birthday parties for kids or adults.  How cool would it be to have a book-themed party where everyone buys books for the birthday celebrant and every attendee gets a book for a thank you?  

Give books as a gift, for every book is a gift?

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014

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