Black Friday & Cyber Monday (or How I learned to love the sale)

Friday Morning: A riot of soccer moms fills the the halls of a shopping mall, some punching and clawing at each other, others trying to keep their heads down and just praying the store isn’t out of…whatever. It looks like a cross between the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan and a football brawl in Europe.

Monday Morning: At home, millions of Americans sit at their computers, ready to jump on the latest deal and sneer at the plebes that still actually left their houses to get a deal.

Yes everyone, it’s that time of year again: Black Friday and Cyber Monday, when millions of the faithful celebrate Consumerism’s highest holidays. Maybe that’s a little cynical and exaggerated for me to say, especially about that first bit. The obsession with finding a good deal is a part of the American DNA, but Black Friday and Cyber Monday both take that to a new level; a consumer’s nirvana, if you will.

On a certain level I can’t blame someone for getting excited over a good deal. It hearkens back to the days when we were hunter-gatherers, and we got the opportunity to make a good kill. Except now the stakes are much, much lower. Now, instead of being worried about getting killed or starving if we lose the deal, we worry about paying extra money on a product we probably don’t really need or getting elbowed in the face by an overzealous shopper.

On another level, these two days are just consumerism in a nutshell: buy a lot of things that you don’t really need, but they’re there, so you might as well buy them. It’s not just on the consumers’ end either. Businesses have been slowly walking back their opening time for Black Friday, and some businesses have opened on Thanksgiving Day just to beat the competition.

Depending on where you stand, this is all either an affirmation of everything good and right with America, or everything bad and wrong.

So what does this have to do with writing?

If you’re an independent author then you have to face facts: you’re a businessperson.

Not exactly a Wall Street executive, or an international mogul, but you’re in business. It just happens to be the business of selling books.

And since you’re a businessperson, this means you have to take advantage of the spending frenzy on Cyber Monday. For example, on Monday I’m going to have some kind of sale for my novel, In the Land of God. It will be tremendously discounted if not free (via a coupon on Facebook)

Why?

Publicity. If you can get your book into as many hands as possible then the slight profit loss is worth it.

Admittedly, it’s self-serving, but it also sends a strong message to potential readers and to the traditional publishing industry at large:

a) I want to make it easier for you, the reader, to get your hands on a copy of my book

and

b) We, the indie market, will use the same strategies as the traditional publishers to ensure our success too.

Happy belated Thanksgiving, and feel free to leave a comment below or on Twitter (@ahahnjones). Are you an indie author, and have you used Cyber Monday to push your book? Did it work? Lemme know.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you stick around.

A luta continua.

In the Land of God is now available on Amazon’s Kindle Store as an eBook ($2.99) and a paperback ($9.99). Pick up a copy there, or via the CreateSpace eStore and check out the Facebook page for news about events, deals, and updates.

 

 

 

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