This has been true for years now, so I expect it will continue to be true in the near future. Every January sees a surge in ebook sales and it’s down to one thing. Presents!
People get new devices for Hanukkah and Christmas, or just because there are good deals and they want to treat themselves. And by “devices”, I mean all sorts of things. They might be Kindles, they might be other ereaders, but they also might be tablets, from Kindle Fire to Galaxy to iPads. They can even be phones. Someone getting a smartphone for the first time might want to check out this whole “reading ebooks on a phone” thing.
Librarians know this, because there’s always a flood of new people trying out Overdrive or other ebook lending platforms. More books get checked out; hold queues get longer; and there are more phone calls to the library asking how to use this whole ereader/ebook thing.
But how can you, an ebook author, cash in on this spike?
Be poised and ready!
That doesn’t mean slapping a book together in December. Because, if you’re anything like me, December’s already full of shopping and traveling and wrapping and baking and family and who knows what. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you’ll get anything much accomplished in December. Unless you already have a proven track record of being able to pull it off.
Get that book ready to go by November. Use Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) as an excuse and a motivation if you like.
Then, when it’s finished, don’t hesitate to put it up for sale. To be best poised for those January sales, you’ll ideally have:
* Lots of 4 and 5 star ratings.
* A print version for sale.
Neither of these things can happen very quickly. Fortunately the reviews and ratings ARE something you can work on in December. Set a free promotion in December and publicize the heck out of it. Offer review copies to reviewers. Nag your family and friends. These things take time in aggregate, but it’s something you can do in the spare moments between trips to the store for more Scotch tape and eggnog.
In short: Plan ahead. No one at all can buy your book in January if you never managed to get it up for sale by January.