The Holiday Season is a wonderful time for most, a time of special music, colorful lights, great food, renewed friendship, and renewed souls. What’s not to love? It’s a rewarding season for all.
Not so much for authors of eBook mystery and crime novels. I’ve noticed a lag in sales during most U.S. holidays, lasting a day or a weekend at most, after which sales generally pick up again. But the November-December time is different.
As an Indie writer who has not yet explored print book sales to any useful degree, this is a bit of a nail-chewing time. I cannot rely on print book sales to get me over the hump, nor are my audio books yet ready to hold their own.
I’ve thought a lot about this, and have a number of questions, which I will now pose to the air out there.
- Am I the only eBook author facing this dilemma? The question is not do other authors outsell me; rather do other authors experience a similar percentage drop in sales of eBooks at this time as well?
- Is my genre (fiction, mystery, crime, Southwest Indian, FBI, paranormal) too uncomfortable to read during a season dedicated to love and family?
- Is it just that this is a season for print books, which can be dedicated, wrapped, and personally handed to loved ones or placed under a tree?
- Or is it all about the eBook customers, who in my imagination stock up their iPhone or Kindle or iPad with fast, fun fiction during most of the year to read while traveling, commuting on the train, waiting for a meeting, etc., but are now in a different modality of gift buying, party attending, carol singing, etc., and have no time now for such frivolous pursuits as reading eBooks?
- Are people just not in the mood?
In answer to my own questions I suspect it is some combination of all of the above. I have noticed that certain authors in my genre who are well known and popular and normally sell eBooks in the $10 to $15 range have now lowered their prices to the $2.99 to $4.99 area. Thus I infer I am not alone.
When I ask myself if I would buy a scary, ghoulish, bloody read during Christmas time, my answer is maybe, but it less likely to occur to me.
Would I buy an eBook as a Christmas gift for friend or family, sent by Amazon or Kobo, with Holiday Greetings in industrial format wrapped in a pretty virtual ribbon? The answer is, in all honesty, only if I am running out of time.
Although I am not one of those fast-tracked, business traveling eBook readers I describe in Question Number 4, I do stock up fun eBooks in my Kindle so never to be without a good read. As an author, I tend to do less writing during holidays, however, and thus have more time rather than less to read my stockpile of eBooks.
There is indeed a mood change during this season, a tendency to want to read feel-good stories, stories of faith and love and perseverance, of close families and Christmas miracles. My books have little of those qualities.
Perhaps I must simply recognize I will not sell as many books this Holiday Season and just get on with my life. Or…or maybe I should write a Christmas novel instead.
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