The midwinter is actually my favorite time of the year to write. There aren’t many conventions or writing workshops in January and February, since organizers know that their customers are busy with family affairs, so I like to focus on work. But there are some things that you should know as a writer.
First, this is a great time of the year to do book signings. The weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas are high-traffic days at bookstores, and especially that final weekend before Christmas is a perfect time to be hawking your books. In certain parts of the country, Hanukkah sales can also be brisk. Autographed copies make great gifts, and you’ll find that your signings often have triple the sales during the holiday season as parents and grandparents buy books.
But guess what? The days just after Christmas also make excellent days to autograph, since people are very often returning books that they don’t want, or simply taking time off work to stroll in the malls.
Second, the best time to sell books online is on Christmas Day, as folks open their new e-readers and tablets. These are of course purchased electronically, so you don’t go out and sign—but you might consider advertising on that day.
Third, remember that the holidays are a terrible time to get any work done. If you’re waiting to hear from a producer about the sale of a screenplay or from an editor on a novel proposal, just relax. Tell yourself, “It ain’t gonna happen this month.” In Hollywood, we often say that “Hollywood closes for the season. From Hanukkah, through Christmas, and until a few days after New Year, nothing at all seems to get done. Movies aren’t made, nor are rights purchased. The same is true in New York. Business really slows, and I don’t even bother querying editors and agents for about a month, much less hold my breath as I hope for news.
Instead, I tend to see it as a time to wrap myself in a blanket, put on my Santa hat (in order to keep my bald head warm), maybe drink some hot chocolate, and just write. . . .