It’s a month packed full of moments we treasure, and moments too of almost unbearable stress. Sometimes–amidst the hustle and bustle of writing up wish-lists, shopping for gifts, wrapping up precious bundles, and decorating cookies as well as cars and trees and houses and everything that stands still long enough to surrender to the holiday spirit–we can find ourselves burned out on forced levity and compulsory cheerfulness. It’s a season where we’re expected to do a great deal of things, and be a great deal of things … and sometimes, all we really need is to pause, take a deep breath, and have a moment to recapture what it is we’re doing it all for.
It is not in spite of the holiday busy-ness that I recommend publishing in the heart of December, but because of what the holidays are meant to be: a time of celebration, collectively and individually, of who we are as people. and who are you? You’re a writer. So what better way could there possibly be to celebrate who you are and what you have to offer than by self-publishing a book during the holidays? I don’t think there is one, personally, but I thought I’d offer up a list (don’t we all love lists in December?) of my top five reasons to self-publish this month:
- You’re around family, friends, and co-workers.
Publishing your book gives you something to talk about during those long family gatherings and endless holiday parties when all other pithy conversations have run themselves dry. You may not want to lead with your accomplishments (you are the humblest of souls!) but you ought to be (justifiably!) proud of your mammoth accomplishment. You’ve published a book. A book, my friends! That’s a game-changer. That’s worth celebrating!
- Or maybe you’re not around your loved ones.
In that case, publishing a book gives you a great reason to contact those same people now that your book is finally out there in the world. Books, like holidays, can be a bridge to healing the breaches that divide us. It doesn’t have to be nonfiction or a memoir or even spiritual feel-good fiction to mend fences; all it has to be is an expression of your mind and spirit. By sharing the publication of your book, you’re reaching out and extending an opportunity to enter into conversation. Don’t underestimate the value of simple conversation to heal!
- You can take advantage of holiday promotions, or create your own.
Oh, yes. You knew this had to be on the list! Holiday sales and promotions events are invaluable to the self-publishing author, even if your book isn’t specifically holiday-related. Readers are out there actively looking for new favorites to buy and gift to their loved ones, and e-books are on the rise as popular gift items because of their transferability and the ease with which they can be distributed to loved ones who live far away or don’t have access to a permanent physical address. (And there are an increasing number of modern tech-savvy nomads for whom this is a problem!) Get your name and your face out there by offering a discount or a promotion through your personal website or through your Amazon book listing, and spread the word through social media and all other avenues available to you!
- For certain genres, there’s less competition.
We can all understand why holiday, religious, and feel-good books sell well around Christmas, but here’s a thought to consider: many authors in other genres push back their publication dates for the spring and summer, when readers are looking for their next “beach read.” But this shows the myopia of an industry that has, for the most part, been structured around the Northern Hemisphere–and readership has gone global! Consider the fact that in Australia, folks are heading to the beach at the same moment we’re unpacking our snow gear. It’s never a bad idea to gear at least a few of your sales pitches towards a global audience … and don’t forget that there are plenty of people looking for a nice addition to their library to cozy up around the fire with in the winter, too. I guess what I’m saying is: don’t neglect the oft-neglected audiences.
- It’s something you can gift to yourself that no one else can.
Let’s face it: you know what you like, and what you want, and you want to be a self-published author. It’s not selfish to bring a book into existence if doing so brings you joy–and helps you bring joy to this, yes, often-stressful world.
The holidays can sometimes be a lonely time. Even if you’re not going to be with your loved ones this holiday season, I’m here and so are the other contributors to this blog.
You are not alone. ♣︎