Chris McMullen: Read Tuesday, Black Friday

I’d like to introduce those of you haven’t heard about Read Tuesday to this spectacular event!

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I’d like to thank Jennifer, Writings of a Mrs., for the opportunity to do this guest post. (*my pleasure Chris*)

The problem with Black Friday for book sales:

Every year when Black Friday arrives, customers do plenty of shopping, buying products for themselves and gifts for others. Stores offer enticing discounts, at least on select products, and shoppers stand in lines for hours before the stores even open.

I love to read books, and I sometimes buy books as gifts, too. However, it occurred to me that I don’t buy books on Black Friday.

We’re busy buying electronics, tools, toys, and clothing. Bookstores probably pick up some traffic, too. But most of the Black Friday shoppers are aiming for tablets, video games, and other hot items besides books.

The books I see discounted on Black Friday aren’t what I’m looking for. That’s my experience with Black Friday as a reader and shopper. Let me turn to my experience as an author.

I published my first book in 2008. When Black Friday rolled around, I was really looking forward to it. I shouldn’t have, since it turned out that I didn’t sell one book that day. It really got me thinking. Since 2008, I have sold some books on Black Friday, but nothing like normal. The same has been true for Cyber Monday.

Of course, it depends on the book, but many of my books actually are purchased as gifts, which is why sales of my books usually improve considerably in December (paperbacks, especially, so you can’t attribute this to e-readers that people are buying). However, not many people buy my books as gifts on Black Friday.

Authors would like to get some of the Black Friday business. Who wouldn’t? One thing you can do, as an author, is discount your book on Black Friday and promote this sale. But even then, it’s a challenge because people are so intent on buying other products on this day.

A possible solution:

This year a possible solution came to me: What if several authors got together and promoted their book sales on one day to create a Black Friday type of sales event just for books?

I suggested this on my blog in late September, and the support has been amazing.

We’re calling it Read Tuesday and it’s scheduled for December 10, 2013. We have:

* an official Read Tuesday website, http://readtuesday.com/

* a Twitter page, https://twitter.com/ReadTuesday (follow us @ReadTuesday and use the hashtag #ReadTuesday in related tweets)

* a Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/ReadTuesday

We already have a large show of support considering the program was launched in early October.

Of course, just having a website doesn’t make an event successful. What helps is to have a lot of early support among both readers and authors. We’re advertising the event and looking for other ways to help spread the news and create buzz for Read Tuesday. We’re also looking to go beyond the blog to reach more readers.

A great thing about the program is that both author and reader participation are free. Everyone is eligible; there are no fees, no subscriptions, no newsletters, nothing to sign up for.

The one-day sales promo is an idea that some authors have employed successfully, and the books that are normally priced much higher and rarely discounted can be great savings for readers. With authors from around the globe coordinating their promotional efforts to bring a huge book sales event to readers, this becomes a wonderful opportunity for:

* readers to enjoy great savings

* people to gift books at amazing discounts

* authors to get a nice fourth quarter sales boost

Authors can use the Read Tuesday event to help market their own books. By promoting the event while also mentioning their own books, Read Tuesday can help authors market books in a way that doesn’t seem like self-promotion (because it isn’t) and may therefore be more effective at grabbing the interest of readers.

Anyone may use the Read Tuesday images (http://readtuesday.com/images/), designed by artist Melissa Stevens (http://www.theillustratedauthor.net/), for free to support the event in a positive way. Feel free to add a Read Tuesday logo to your sidebar to show your support.

Other ways to show support include liking or following the Read Tuesday pages and helping to share the news. Even mentioning it by word of mouth would be a big help.

Thank you, Jennifer, Writings of a Mrs., for helping us to spread the word about Read Tuesday.

Chris McMullen’s blog: http://chrismcmullen.wordpress.com/

The Read Tuesday website: http://readtuesday.com/

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3 comments

  1. Pingback: Read Tuesday: A Black Friday Styled Event | The Literary Syndicate
  2. Pingback: ARE YOU GOING TO “READ TUESDAY…?” | Watch Nonnie Write!

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