by Vicki Lesage
It’s only October yet it seems Christmas books are everywhere! It makes sense, though. As the air turns crisp, we order pumpkin-everything and holiday lattes. Decorations go up earlier and earlier. It’s fun to get in the holiday spirit, and that carries over to books as well.
So, as a writer, how can you join in the fun? Depending on what genre you write in, here are a few ideas that might work for you:
1. Write a Christmas-themed book.
I make it sound so easy! But hear me out. While it might take a while to crank out another full-length book, it might be easier than you think. Take a look around your local bookstore or your favorite online retailer. You’ll notice that a lot of cozy mystery, chick-lit, and romance authors have a Christmas-themed book. If you write The Baker’s Dozen cozy mystery series, write The Baker’s Christmas Dozen. If you pen the Lover’s Ranch series, consider Christmas at the Lover’s Ranch for your holiday-inspired offering. Build off the characters and worlds you’ve already created to have a new book without starting from scratch.
I’ve written a series of memoirs, the Paris Confessions series, and my most recent addition is Christmas Confessions & Cocktails. The cover matches the design of the other books, and the stories have the same feel as my other stories – just with a Christmas theme. This will hopefully attract Christmas readers and draw them in to read the rest of the series.
2. Write a Christmas-themed novella.
Less daunting than writing an entire novel, this will still give readers a taste of the holidays. Maybe your Christmas novella could be a side story about one of your existing characters (one that your fans says they always want to hear more about!) or it could be about totally new characters but take place in the same setting as your other books. For example, Survival of the Christmas Spirit, a Christmas novella in the Survival Series, is a fun, quick read that gets you in the holiday spirit.
A novella is a great way to capture reader interest around the holidays and introduce them to your writing and your characters, then encourage them to read the other books in the series. You have a little more flexibility since a novella can be shorter and doesn’t have to fit in strictly with your series.
3. Contribute to a Christmas-themed anthology.
Do you feel like there’s no way you could work a Christmas theme around your existing titles? I get that. If you write, say, fantasy, the characters in your world might not even celebrate Christmas (though raise your hand if you’d like to read Cersei Does Christmas: A Holiday Game of Thrones Book). Or if you write Sci-Fi, Planet Zycorn probably doesn’t know what the heck Christmas is. Or if you write YA dystopian fiction, your characters may no longer celebrate Christmas since they’re too busy fighting to survive. No worries! How about you contribute to an anthology or collection instead? Most publishers post calls for submissions in January with deadlines in March so they have time to publish, get reviews, and start marketing in time for Christmas. You can find a great list of anthology submission opportunities at BeyondYourBlog.com, so start checking now for opportunities for 2016!
But wait a minute… does that mean it’s too late to write a Christmas book for this year? Well, it’s never too late to get started, and then you’ll be ready for next year. In fact, you kind of HAVE to get started now in order to be ready to publish and market by the next holiday season. But for now you can start seeing what else is out there, get some inspiration, and keep an eye on unique Christmas marketing techniques. I’ve gone nuts on Christmas by trying all of the above ideas. So I’m sure you can find something that will work for you while still being fun to write!
So grab a pumpkin spiced latte (I’ll take one too, if you’re already going!) and start brainstorming. Write a Christmas tale that will attract new readers to your work who will then check out your other titles. Draw them in with the holidays, and get them to stay because of your fab writing!
Vicki Lesage writes about the ups and downs of life as an American in Paris. She loves fondue, wine, math, zombies, and spending time with her French husband, rambunctious son, and charmante daughter. You can learn more about Vicki on her blog or her Amazon Author Central Page.