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Kim Wilson
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Christmas Marketing Plans for the Innovative Writer

by C. Hope Clark


About the time you buy the Halloween candy, you need to plan your Christmas marketing strategies. Thinking about it is great, but not writing it down leads to New Years before you know it, as well as lots of missed opportunities. December is wrought with so many obligations already. Set up your writing promotional plans in advance and enjoy the holidays a little more.

Look at your calendar and start setting benchmarks or actual time goals to do specific tasks.


  • Decide on your promotional sales. Set up any e-commerce you will need for those specials and determine any redesigns needed for your Web site.

  • Determine your advertising budget, and how, when and where you intend to use it.

  • Confirm partnerships with other writers, newsletters, writing groups, stores, businesses and clubs who might have seasonal events that could use your publications and your guest appearance. Consider places like the mall, arts commissions, writing clubs, reading groups, the Chamber of Commerce, the holiday craft fairs and publications that need your ads.

  • Check with schools and libraries about promotional opportunities. Keep them supplied with ample amounts of promotional material.

  • Create your printed material. Have copies made.

  • Remember promotional blurbs for your e-mail, newsletters, chats and list groups. Go ahead and write them.

  • Order any books you want to keep on hand.

  • Insure you have ample supplies of your specials, gift offers, etc.

  • Schedule radio shows.

  • Submit guest articles to newsletters and Web sites online.

  • Prepare your Christmas cards and postcards. Place the print order.

  • Pick up your Christmas outfits for personal appearances.

  • If you can, knock a few of these efforts back to September, especially in more metropolitan areas where holiday scheduling is a year-round task.


  • Post your Web site. Make e-commerce live.

  • Submit your November advertising as planned.

  • Post a press release at PR Web.

  • Distribute flyers, brochures, bookmarks and postcards as planned.

  • Keep a handy supply with you at all times, and keep promotion on your mind whenever you leave the house.

  • Purchase ample postage for mailing books and gift specials. Learn to use the automated postal machines at the post office. Remember that lines are getting long for holiday mailings.

  • Or go to USPS.com and consider having packages picked up from your home instead of fighting the lines.

  • Send your Christmas cards and postcards the day after Thanksgiving.

  • Keep in touch with your business partners on at least a weekly basis to ensure that supplies and materials are well stocked (and checks collected).

  • Participate in as many chats as you can. You have more time in November than you do in December.

  • Update your Web site often. Stay connected with your readers a little more often than usual so they are reminded of your holiday specials. Don't spam.


  • Stay on top of orders. Your customer is gone forever if she receives her order after Christmas.

  • Spread promotional material even heavier than in November. Last minute shoppers will jump at your opportunity if you hand them an answer to a gift problem.

  • Stay connected with the readers via newsletters, chats, etc. While other writers/authors are extremely busy, you might capitalize on being readily available.

  • Attend Christmas events with ample cards, postcards and books. Don't pass an opportunity to sell yourself and your material at a social function.

  • Check back with business partners more than weekly. Every other day or at least biweekly is necessary since these are hectic business times.

  • Be prepared to ship a flurry of orders the two weeks before Christmas, especially since this year you have en entire business week available.

These ideas are generalities because writers produce copy, sell books and create columns, but the gist of the advice is to plan before December rolls around. The first of October might be a little early to hear carols and admire decorated pines, but it's not at all too early to plan your holiday writing events. Think like the magazine editor needing seasonal material—three to five months ahead of the deadline. In doing so, your events are more successful, your attitude is more enjoyable and your sales are something to sing Jingle Bells about.

C. Hope Clark is founder of FundsforWriters. Her holiday offer this year is The Shy Writer/TOTAL FundsforWriters combo special. Purchase The Shy Writer and receive a TOTAL FundsforWriters subscription for free. 









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