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How to Self-Publish Your Book in Time for the Holidays

Smart authors take full advantage of the holiday shopping season. They know that their book would make a perfect gift, and they want to make sure that it’s on shoppers’ lists. But, if your book isn’t ready in time for the holidays, well…you’re not going to see that nice holiday bump in your book sales and royalty payouts, either.

If you want to publish you book in time to take advantage of the holiday shopping season, you need to be getting started NOW. In this episode, I’ll walk you through everything you need to do to get your book ready for holiday shopping season. I’ll also share the #1 thing you need to do to make sure shoppers actually buy your book as gifts (hint: you can’t unwrap an eBook). And, I’ll tell you how you can get a copy of my self publishing checklist for nonfiction authors. That way, it’s easy to see what you’ve already done and what you still need to do to get your book ready for holiday shopping season.


See all of the steps you'll need to take to self publish your nonfiction book in one easy place.



(This is a direct transcript of the episode. Please excuse any typos.)

Hello there! Hope you are doing well. I’ve been talking to a lot of clients and several of you about getting your books ready to sell so that people can buy them as holiday gifts and just making sure that all of your ducks in a row so that you can take advantage of the holiday shopping season. So I wanted to chat with you about what you should be doing now to prepare for that so that you can take advantage of all of those holiday shoppers looking to buy your book as a gift. So let’s back things up a little bit and talk about first and foremost, getting your book into print and why you need to do that. And especially if you want people to be buying your book as a gift, you really should be getting it into print. Most people just do not want to buy digital products as gifts because that means somebody doesn’t have that gift to open on the holiday.

And I know personally, after moving multiple times, I had some books that I wanted to read, but I didn’t want them as a physical book because I didn’t want more stuff to move honestly, but still I put those books on my wishlist and my family still went out of the way to get me the print book that they can send to me so that I could open it. So one of the things I really want you to think about and consider and hopefully do is to get your book into print because again, most people aren’t wanting to give those digital products as a gift for the holidays. They want to actually give the, that printed aversion, that actual physical thing they can hold in their hands. And so if you had had your heart set on just doing an Ebook, I really want you to do and get it into print, I really think you should.

So keep that in mind. If you want to have your book for sale for the holidays, and if you want people to buy it as gifts at the latest, I would say have it launched by Thanksgiving because after Thanksgiving and even a little bit before people are starting to do the holiday shopping, you want to make sure your book is out there even better. Ideally, your book should have some reviews on Amazon for example. So when people are buying books, they can see that your book is worth buying. To do that, you’re going to need to factor in a little bit of time for your book to come out and for people to leave reviews. Now, you could always send out, for example, digital copies as reviews, like send out a PDF of the book to people so that they can leave a review that’ll speed things up.

And if you’ve already sent them a preview copy before your book launches, then hopefully they will have read it and they’ll be ready on day one to go leave your review. So, there are some things that you can do to speed up that process. But for most people, I would really suggest launching your book mid November at the latest. If that’s not gonna work for you. Quite honestly, I would wait until after the holidays to launch. I myself, for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November. I wrote a nonfiction books are technically not a novel, but I worked on. It fell a little bit behind though and so I wound up launching that book about a week before Christmas and that launched totally fell flat because of all of the craziness of the holidays. People are getting bombarded with messages right and left to buy this or buy that.

You don’t want your book to get mixed up in that. You want people hearing about your book before the big holiday rush comes on and you want them ready to buy the book. It was plenty of time when they’re really in the middle of their prime shopping as opposed to right before, for example, Christmas. If you have a lot of people who celebrate Christmas and buy books for Christmas, if you launch within the few days before Christmas, most of them have probably also done or spent their holiday shopping budget and even then if you’re ordering the or if they’re ordering the book from Amazon, for example, keep in mind that they’re going to need a couple of days to actually get it to their house. All of that gets built in. And so really I would encourage you to plan ahead and launch by mid November at the latest so that you can have that proper momentum so that you can capitalize on sales before the holidays.

So from that, back engineer how long it’s going to take you to write the book. How much time are you going to need to format that book? Or, if you’re having somebody designed the book for you, how much time do they need? How much time is your cover designer need? So write out a list of everything, all of the different parts that need to happen to make the book occurred to make the book happen. Um, so really those are writing the book if you haven’t done so, you’ll have to plan the book first, but let’s assume you’ve gotten that line, you’re going to need to write your manuscript, you’re going to need to edit your manuscript. So figure out if you’re having somebody else edit it, whether you’re paying for a professional editor or not, that person who’s going to read the book is still going to need some time.

So factor that in again, factor in any time you need for the cover and especially if you are not designing it yourself. If you are having a cover designer, do that. Talk to them, figure out how much time they need for revisions of information that’ll go on the back cover. If you need to get quotes for that, make sure that you factor in time to send a draft of your book to people who are writing quotes for that. So factor all of that in. Again, if you are formatting the book yourself, figure out the amount of time you’ll need for that. If you were having somebody format and design that book for You, talk to your book designer, talk to your format or and figure out their turnaround. Put all of that into a, you know, even a big spreadsheet, but figure out those amounts of time, especially if you’re relying on somebody else to do parts of the book for you so that you can figure out, okay, this is my hard deadline for finalizing my manuscript so I can get it to my editor so then I can have time to do my edits and then I can get it to my book format or my book designer and time.

So just take some time to think through everything and all of those steps so that you can have your book ready to go again before thanksgiving, before the holiday shopping season begins. Really so that you can build up some momentum. Get those reviews. Get the word out about your book. Get people excited about it so that when they are doing shopping for the holiday season so that your book is in a good place to really get some good sales before the holidays and get your book into people’s hands as gifts because it is a really great opportunity. You just need to plan ahead a little bit.



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What you need to do to self publish your nonfiction book in time for the holidays, including a checklist to help you stay on track.

What you need to do to self publish your nonfiction book in time for the holidays, including a checklist to help you stay on track.