7 Things Santa Can Teach Us About Book Marketing

Santa Claus reads old books

How does he do it? Santa, the big man himself, is everywhere.

During the holiday season, he makes appearances in parades, shopping centers, and of course, your home. Every year, he comes out a little bit earlier to add a few more appearances to his list. The man has hustle.

Santa can teach authors a lot about book marketing. How to dress well is not one of them. Authors, please do not put Santa on your sartorial advisory board. Put him on your book marketing advisory board instead. You will be much more successful as an author that way.

Here are seven things that I think Santa can teach us about book marketing:

Listen to the podcast: This post was featured in a Novel Marketing podcast that you can listen to here.

1. Santa Persists

Nothing is harder than getting up and writing when you don’t feel like it.

Work ethic is what separates amateur writers from professional authors.Click to Tweet

Professionals write whether they feel like it or not. They know that things have to get done. The bottom line propels them.

Santa is the same way. He delivers presents whether the weather is good or bad. For Santa, “snow days” means that he adds Rudolph to the lineup of reindeer. There is no calling in sick. He adjusts his life so no one is disappointed on Christmas morning.

2. Santa is Easy to Contact

Santa gets more mail than anyone else on the planet. His address is simple: Santa Claus, North Pole. If you don’t have a stamp, you can drop off your letter at the nearest Macy’s. If that’s not easy enough, you can visit him in person.

Every year, thousands of children stand in line, waiting to sit on Santa’s lap and tell them what they really want for Christmas. This personal connection is what builds an emotional bond that lasts for generations. The easier you are to reach, the greater your emotional connection will be with your readers.

The greater that connection is the more likely they are to read and share your book with others. Don’t hide your contact information.

3. Santa Focuses on Giving to Others

One of the reasons everyone loves Santa is that he is so generous. He doesn’t ask for anything in return for his gifts (although he does accept milk and cookies).

Many authors think about what writing can do for them, how it make them rich, famous, and adored by millions. This is backwards thinking. Authors, no one cares about you. People care about themselves and what you can do for them.

If Santa came into people’s houses looking for what he could take, he would have been locked up long ago.Click to Tweet 

You build a following through generosity not through greed.

4. Santa Fosters a Great Team

Creating toys for the children of the world is not a one man job. Neither is writing and selling a book. To be successful you will need a great team.  Think of them as your own small army of elves. Or you can think of them as your evil minions.

Your team should include:

  1. A Book Mentor,
  2. A Critique Group,
  3. An Agent,
  4. An Profesional Editor (self-published authors I’m looking at you on this one),
  5. A Publicist,
  6. A Webmaster, and
  7. An Assistant
Trying to go it alone with your book is like trying to fly a sleigh without reindeer.Click to Tweet
You’ll be left out in the cold without your team and everyone will be disappointed.

5. Santa Focuses on Just One Thing

Santa only does one thing on one holiday. He doesn’t take a second trip in February to give away Valentines Cards or drop off a significant other at your front door. This takes self control because there are a lot of lonely hearts on Valentines Day who would love for someone as trusted as Santa to set them up. But we know that it isn’t going to happen. Cupid does Valentines Day. Santa does Christmas.

As an author you owe it to your readers and to your brand to focus your writing on a single subject area.Click to Tweet

Focusing on too many things is one way to wash out as a writer. By focusing on one topic, you will become an expert and your readers will know what to look forward to.

6.  Santa Works Hard

Bringing Christmas presents to every boy and girl in the world is not an easy task. Even with the elves, Santa has his work cut out for him. But guess what? Santa doesn’t care.

He puts in long hours, knowing that there are millions of children expecting him to live up to his legend. Writing a book is not an easy task. Learning to write well is even harder. Be prepared to work hard.

7. Santa Enjoys the Journey

Many authors get destination fever, thinking they will only be happy once their book is on the shelves. Santa has a lot of work to do but he keeps a positive attitude and genuinely enjoys what he does. The authors who learn to enjoy the journey the writing, editing, hustling and selling and the ones who are truly successful. Like Santa, these authors are jolly.

You can be like Santa or the Grinch. Choose wisely.Click to Tweet


What other book marketing lessons can authors learn from Santa?

Want to give the gift of a new author website to yourself? Author Media can help. Contact us to find out how we can help you spread cheer while building your online platform.

13 Responses to 7 Things Santa Can Teach Us About Book Marketing

  1. Janet Ann Collins December 22, 2011 at 5:55 am #

    Keep laughing!

  2. Jean Joachim December 22, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

    Thanks for this. A great post!! I agree with you, authors need to connect and be generous. Too many don’t get that yet.

  3. Kent Julian December 23, 2011 at 9:52 am #

    Excellent post, Thomas! Thanks for sharing the reality of book marketing in such a creative way. I loved reading it and was encouraged to keep on keeping on.

    Thanks again…

    Live it forward,

    Kent Julian

  4. Kathy Carlton Willis December 25, 2011 at 2:16 am #

    Thomas, have you been reading my mind again? Good post! Excellent comparisons. Way to drive home some great tips in a fun way. (Much less painful that way!) You’re singing my song! I’ll be sure to share with my social networking buddies. Blessings to you this Christmas season.

    • Thomas Umstattd December 25, 2011 at 2:31 am #

      Thanks Kathy! I hope you have a very merry Christmas.

  5. Kathryn Barker December 28, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

    Great post! Such a timely analogy!

    I’ve been studying reasons that Amish businesses succeed. “Santa” and the Amish share some common ground….persistence, fostering a great team, staying focused and working hard!

    Thanks for the reminders!

  6. Tony Mabane January 14, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

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  7. Jane Wells December 20, 2012 at 8:09 am #

    I love this!
    As a publicist I’m sharing this with my authors – and as an author, I’m applying it to myself as well.
    Thank you for the gift of encouragement!

  8. Hira Azam December 19, 2013 at 12:16 am #

    Your post is one of the best I have seen so far. Thank you for the post!
    I would love to share this with my blogger friends.
    Thanks again!

  9. Vonda Skelton December 19, 2013 at 6:20 am #

    Thanks for this entertaining and informative article, Thomas! Have to share it!

    • Thomas Umstattd December 20, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

      Thanks Vonda!

  10. Gayle Veitenheimer May 13, 2014 at 5:28 pm #

    Loved it. What a great post!!

  11. April Kuper January 11, 2015 at 8:43 pm #

    Thank you, your post is perspective I never thought of.