|A holiday display at Dragonwings Bookstore|
in Waupaca, WI
Let's begin by looking at the pros and cons of holiday books:
• Many holiday books have a ready consumer market every year, with shoppers willing to open their wallets to buy. In 2017, Money magazine asked the National Retail Federation to rank which US holidays have the most consumer spending.
|National Retail Federation, 2013|
*The second largest "holiday" spending is Back to School. Another topic to consider!
• The school and library markets also buy holiday books, and are often interested in a greater variety of topics. While bookstores might not carry a wide stock of books on minor holidays, such as President's Day or Groundhogs' Day, schools and libraries order these books to support student learning.
• Often readers build their own personal libraries of holiday favorites, adding to their collections every year. Repeat business!
• The window for selling holiday books is narrow. You only get one shot each year for sales - the rest of the year, sales are pretty non-existent.
• The holiday book market is crowded. It can be difficult to come up with a unique offering that will stand out.
• Publishers interested in selling co-editions (versions of the book published in other countries) will also not be interested in holiday books with a limited audience.
So, still interested? How do you get started?
1) Visit the library and the bookstore. What holidays are celebrated in books? Read, read, read!
3) Diversity offers opportunity. Is a holiday that you celebrate under-represented?
4) Look at book formats. Has a particular format not been done? Concept book? Wordless? Nonfiction? Historical fiction? Poetry?
5) Apply your craft. Elements that make a terrific traditional picture book are the same ones that make a great holiday book. My favorite craft book is Ann Whitford Paul's WRITING PICTURE BOOKS.
Below is just a small sampling of my favorite Christmas books. What are yours, readers?
|Economy of words, and so funny!|
|Cute character and sweet ending|
|A classic, in rhymed text|
|My favorite historical fiction|
Best wishes for the New Year!