Undoubtedly responses to this question will be varied.
Summer holidays are a period when people like to take a break from their normal run-of-the-mill daily lives, or at least that is the theory. The principal aim is to relax and have fun: with family, where they have one; with friends; or sometimes alone (‘Getting away from it all.’). Some also like it to be an opportunity to visit new worlds and to learn about different cultures. Whatever a person’s motivation, reading often forms part of their experience. Again, this may simply be for entertainment (nothing to unduly tax the mind); or it may be their opportunity to catch up with some serious reading for which their normal lives do not provide adequate time.
A majority, in preparing for their break, will have pre-selected a series of books based upon their preferences and assessed reading time availability while away. However, there are also those who are less than organised, who leave everything to the last minute or perhaps not even then. Whether someone falls into the first category or the second it remains likely both will seek additional reading material while away. The first because they may well find they complete the books taken quicker than anticipated and the second, obviously, because they have no reading material in the first place. These present opportunities for authors to promote their books in a timely and accessible manner.
Of course, there is also the issue of authors being on holiday themselves and wishing to have their own break from the ‘norm’. After all, for the majority of independent authors promotion and marketing are seen as tedious, undesired but necessary activities from which they gain little pleasure. It is therefore natural for them to want a break. Nevertheless, should they really miss-out on the opportunities summer holidays afford them?
The important issue for these promotions is, as already mentioned, Timeliness and Accessibility. This is an area where social media certainly comes-into-its-own. Despite their assumed intention for having a break from normal daily activity, it seems many modern day people find it difficult to abandon their mobile devices for any length of time, if at all. What this says about today’s society is another matter not up for discussion here. Whatever the opinion about this habit, it has to be acknowledged it provides real opportunities for authors to get their books in front of readers eyes at a time when they may well be looking for entertainment, diversion or information.
Bearing in mind, these are principally relaxed occasions, or at least should be, the method used for promotions is important. Advice at all times, taking into account users increasing habit for scanning rather than reading, is to utilise eye-catching visual content as much as possible. This applies across the board, whether the content is for or from a website, blog, or social media account. Authors should therefore be looking at creating engaging images for their books; preferably not just the book cover with a buy link. It is also wise to have more than one visual for each book (users are likely to quickly disregard something where the same image is constantly presented).
But, what about authors also enjoying a break from their business? (Independent authoring, liked or not, is a business. Maybe a small one but nevertheless a business that does not just stop because someone wants a break.) Naturally, they will not wish to be tied to their mobile device or computer while away. The answer? Scheduling. Some social media facilities have inbuilt scheduling software and for those that do not, unless these have blocked third-party access as has come about with some recent changes, there are scheduling services that may be utilised, many for free. Of course, this takes a little bit of fore-planning but authors should be accustomed to preparing material in advance, especially for marketing projects.
All holidays, summer ones in particular, are great opportunities for authors to promote their books. Naturally, some of this should have been done prior to a holiday season commencing thereby enabling readers to pre-select books for their break. Nevertheless, people do sometimes run out of reading material or were not organised enough to have taken some with them. This is where holiday promoting comes into its own. Eye catching visual promotions that incorporate easily accessible purchase and download links are the best.
It is worth remembering there are multiple varied devices in use and therefore may help if promotions are geared accordingly.
E.g. for the same book have a promotion that links to:
- iBooks (AppleBooks) for iPhones and iPads.
- Amazon for those with Kindle e-readers or Kindle apps on their device.
- E-pub editions suitable for Android devices.
Of course, there are also paperback editions for which authors may consider providing appropriate links though, unless the reader is using their home as a base for their summer recess, they are unlikely to order a print edition while away.