'Tis The Season For Author Generosity; "The Santa Switch" Author, Laura Lee Scott, Explains Why Book Gifting Can Be Key To Long-Term Success

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For indie authors, being generous with book giveaways -- especially during the holiday season -- will ultimately boost awareness, sales, and even inner happiness.

"I simply love making readers happy," says "The Santa Switch" author, Laura Lee Scott. "While that's difficult to quantify, the joy I receive from giving easily rivals any promise of future sales."

What's it take to become a successful indie author these days? As always, a great concept, strong writing, and dogged perseverance -- but, according to Laura Lee Scott, Portland-based author of "The Santa Switch" holiday book series, once published, a healthy dose of generosity is also key. "I believe 'success' -- no matter how it's measured -- starts with a willingness to be fully invested in heart, mind, and pocketbook," says Scott, who has donated well over 100 hardcover copies of her award-winning children’s picture book since its publication just before Christmas of 2012. "Perhaps because the theme of 'generosity' is central to my book, as well as to the holiday season in general, I feel a strong sense of personal satisfaction in the ability to gift 'The Santa Switch' to those I know will truly appreciate it. In addition to heightening awareness and interest -- which, in turn, generates more reviews and sales -- I simply love making readers happy. While that's difficult to quantify, the joy I receive from giving easily rivals any promise of future sales."

For newly self-published authors, most of whom have footed the inarguably hefty bill for their book's creation and publication themselves, giving away freshly-minted copies may feel somewhat counter-intuitive -- even painful, at first. However, without the backing of a traditional publishing company's advertising/marketing department, indie authors are wise to incorporate as much book giving as possible into their overall publishing budget. "One has to give to get," says Scott, who’s been writing professionally for nearly 25 years. "In addition to sharing books with store owners, buyers, reviewers, and distributors, I'd suggest doing giveaways on social media, at signings, and just out running errands. In fact, my favorite is to hand a book to a complete stranger as a random act of kindness...usually, in line at a coffee shop or in a grocery store, or when I hear about a child or family going through a crisis. In addition to spreading the word, and hopefully, inspiring some favorable reviews, it's simply a very rewarding way to connect with readers."

With her brightly illustrated book about a hip, capable, modern-day Mrs. Claus already selling at over two dozen store locations, as well as on http://www.jessicaclaus.com, iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-santa-switch/id761308313?mt=11&uo=4), and Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GO36GE6), Scott's strategy of ample giving seems to be paying off. What's more, favorable reviews for "The Santa Switch" have been plentiful from Christmas fans and literary reviewers alike. (For a recent review, check out http://www.bookroomreviews.com/2013/11/17/book-review-the-santa-switch-writen-by-laura-lee-scott-illustrated-by-cheryl-crouthamel/.).

To Scott, who also reads "The Santa Switch" in as many classrooms and kid-friendly settings as possible throughout the holiday season, generosity is as much of a "state of mind" as it is a marketing strategy. Case in point: the seasoned writer donates $1 of every hardcover sold throughout the 2013 holiday season on http://www.jessicaclaus.com, as well as at all Market of Choice’s Oregon locations, to the Children’s Center (http://www.childrenscenter.cc/), a non-profit medical assessment facility working to help victims of child abuse and their families in Portland. She has also donated numerous books to various charities, toy drives, and libraries. "It’s one of the reasons I chose the self-published route in the first place," Scott adds. "I get to make creative decisions that can potentially make a lasting difference. And, that's real success to me."

Scott will be signing books in the Portland metro area at Market of Choice (West Linn) on Saturday, Dec. 21 from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. and at Made in Oregon (Washington Square Mall) on Sunday, Dec. 22 from 10:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. For a complete list of stores carrying "The Santa Switch," go to http://www.jessicaclaus.com. The next title in "The Santa Switch" holiday book series, "A Trip for Mrs. Claus," is slated for publication in early summer of 2014 by Scott's imprint, Passionflower Press.

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"The Santa Switch" author, Laura Lee Scott, spends much of her time during the holiday season at elementary schools, working to inspire young authors- and illustrators-in-the-making.During the holidays, "The Santa Switch" author, Laura Lee Scott, spends much of her time reading at various schools. Says Scott: "It's a joy to inspire young authors- and illustrators-in-the-making."GIfting books, time, and even a percentage of sales proceeds is a key aspect of "The Santa Switch" author Laura Lee Scott's marketing plan. "Every author should give away as many copies as their budget can afford," says Scott. "One has to give to get."Gifting books, time & even a percentage of proceeds to charity is a key part of "The Santa Switch" author Laura Lee Scott's success. "Every author should incorporate as much gifting as their budget can afford," advises Scott. "You've got to give to get.""The Santa Switch" is available at www.jessicaclaus.com & in over two dozen bookstores & gift shops. The e-book version of "The Santa Switch" is available on iTunes (enhanced audio version) & Amazon."The Santa Switch" is available at www.jessicaclaus.com & in over two dozen bookstores & gift shops. The e-book version of "The Santa Switch" is available on iTunes (enhanced audio version) & Amazon.The gender-empowering, inspirational message found in "The Santa Switch" resonates well with the young and the young-at-heart. "To me, one component of success is connecting with readers on an authentic level," says Scott."I believe 'success' -- no matter how it's measured -- starts with a willingness to be fully invested in heart, mind, and pocketbook," says "The Santa Switch" author, Laura Lee Scott.To Scott, who also reads "The Santa Switch" in as many classrooms and kid-friendly settings as possible throughout the holiday season, generosity is as much of a "state of mind" as it is a marketing strategy.GIfting books, time, and even a percentage of sales proceeds is a key aspect of "The Santa Switch" author Laura Lee Scott's marketing plan. "Every author should give away as many copies as their budget can afford," says Scott. "One has to give to get.""I simply love making readers happy," says "The Santa Switch" author, Laura Lee Scott. "It's difficult to quantify, but the joy I receive from giving easily rivals any promise of future sales."Laura Lee Scott, author of the award-winning holiday book series, "The Santa Switch," feels gifting has been key to her book's steadily growing success and brand recognition.