Tips for Authors: Holiday Gift Guide Submissions

While it seems too early to think about the winter holidays, if you’re interested in having your book placed in the holiday gift guides NOW is the time to get started. If you wait too long, you will miss the boat.

Here are a few general tips submitting your book to holiday gift guides:

1) Know your desired outlets and their submission guidelines: The first step to submitting your book for holiday gift guide consideration is to list the outlets for which you’re most interested in securing coverage and determine their submission guidelines. In most cases, along with a copy of your book, you’ll want to send a personalized cover letter, book release, and author biography. Make sure you follow the guidelines! Editors will not waste their time researching the required information on their own.

2) Know when to pitch: When it comes to holiday gift guide submission, deadlines are crucial. Pitch too early and your book will be forgotten; pitch too late and you won’t even be considered. Now that you have your list, do your due diligence and research the deadline dates of your most desired outlets. Magazines will most likely need submissions by August (early September at the latest) whereas newspapers may require submission only two months before the holiday season. Don’t just pitch to every outlet at once because it’s easier. Respect the media’s deadline dates or else you’ll run the risk of annoying editors and, perhaps, ruin your chance at inclusion.

3) Donate a portion of your holiday sales to charity: Not only is ‘giving back’ the right thing to do, but by donating a portion of your proceeds to charity you’ll increase the appeal of your product. Media contacts can then plug the organization your product benefits. The holiday season is all about giving back, so why not start with your book? It really is a win-win.

4) Position your book as a ‘Great Gift Under $30’: Or $20. Or $15. Whatever the price of your book is, use the hook when you submit for consideration. By encouraging awareness of the cost of your book, you might inspire the editor to include your book in a featured section of the holiday gift guide. The more categories your book fits in to, the higher the chance will be for inclusion.

5) Give a reason why your book is different than others: Does your book recap a hot trend of 2010? Is it eco-friendly? Telling editors why your book is different from others will give it an edge.

Corinne Liccketto is the Sales & Marketing Manager at Smith Publicity, Inc. Beginning in 1997, Smith Publicity is one of the world’s leading promotional firms, specializing in book publicity. Fueled by a passion for making good things happen for clients, the company has worked with over 900 individuals and companies–from authors and entrepreneurs to publicly-held companies and businesses representing a wide range of industries. The Smith Publicity reach is international with offices in New Jersey, New York City, Los Angeles, and London. For more information about Smith Publicity, Inc., please visit


  1. says

    Excellent advice! As a blogger who writes product and book reviews, now is the time for bloggers to fill up their gift guides for the holidays…and, if we don’t start now, we may miss opportunities that other bloggers have already snatched up…

    Also, if you wait until November or December to approach a blogger, they may already have their hands full of prospective gifts for their gift guide. The bloggers who accept have either not prepared ahead of time…or might not be catering to a host of companies.

    A great topic to cover…your ideas are definitely something that I would be looking for as a blogger.
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