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Timing isn't everything, but it's extremely important to your book's sell-ability.
Here are a few things to consider as you decide about the timing of your book launch:
Seasonal book-buying trends.
The publishing industry has identified seasonal patterns related to when consumers buy books. For example,
- Self-help books are big in January because people make New Year's resolutions
- Relationship books do well in February because of Valentine's Day
- Travel books sell more in the spring and summer because people are planning and taking trips
- Fiction sales trend up beginning early summer as people
prepare for a little vacation reading.
Here are some industry best-practices in terms of when to launch books by genre:
- January / February / March / April: Self-improvement, Self-help, Romance, Relationships, Business, Personal Finance, Cooking
- May / June / July / August: Adventure, Fantasy, Travel
- September / October / November: Academic, Horror, Paranormal
- December / January: Children, Cooking, Illustrated, Quiz and Novelty books
Does this mean you can't launch a novel in November? Of course not. It just means that, whenever you launch, make sure you've put some thought into why that particular timing is a good idea.
Here are some additional factors that can complement—or even supersede—the seasonal trends we just talked about:
Holidays and other special days & events.
It's no secret that annual holidays and events—Father's Day, Mother's Day, Valentines Day, Memorial Day, etc.—influence readers' purchases.
Trending news topics also influence what society is thinking about. For example, it makes sense to launch a book about politics prior to an election (about three to six months), a book about war heroes around Memorial Day, a book about a past event around the anniversary of that event, and so on.
A few years ago, we released a book written by a survivor of the Columbine High School shooting on the 20 year anniversary.
PWR Bonus Tip #1: Newspapers, magazines, and podcasters are often looking for stories that correlate with holidays and special events. Reach out to them two or three months before the holiday and offer your story to them.
Special marketing or public relations opportunities.
overlook opportunities that, with some effort on your part, you can leverage to promote your book.
example, if you as you're planning to launch a cookbook of Captain Picard's favorite Instapot recipes and and there's a Star Trek convention coming, then it's the perfect opportunity to rent a booth at the convention.
We've actually had some of our authors take advantage of this: Regional morning TV shows are often interested in interviewing local experts for short segments on topics that are relevant to the season, a special day, anniversaries, awareness months, etc.
By virtue of authoring a book, you are an expert on your book's topic.
Here's how you can make this work for you:
If you're writing a memoir that deals with autism, consider launching your book to coincide with National Autism Awareness Month.
Writing a book on how to improve your brain power? You could make it a self-help release for January or—since it's a crowded market for that genre—consider releasing it in March
with a press kit to local media with a tie-in to Einstein's birthday on March 14th.
These are such
great ideas...they make me want to write another book!!
PWR Bonus Tip #2: Professional writers oftentimes begin with a special day or event and write to it. Is there a day or event that has always struck your fancy? Mark my words—you should have no problems turning on that ever-elusive spigot of creative ideas.
PWR Bonus Tip #3: Professional writers also rely on writer's market guides to learn what genres are trending up. Then they write to the trending genre. Especially if you're new to the whole writing thing, you'll appreciate the many resources these guides give you. They run about $20 a copy on Amazon.
Seriously, if you've never read a writers market guide, you need to purchase one TODAY.
Even if your book has been out for awhile, you can capitalize on these kinds of publicity or marketing opportunities. But there's no denying that when your book is newly released, it has extra appeal to local media who love the idea of bringing something fresh to their audiences.
While we're on the subject...
PWR Bonus Tip #4: If your book has been out for awhile, now is a good time to update it. Typically, you need at least 10% new material, but readers will give an old book a new look if its been updated.
Identify any times or seasons that could work against the launch of your book.
It's also a good idea to recognize months that might actually work against the most effective launch for
For example, everyone thinks getting in on the Christmas selling season is desirable, but that might not be the best launch time for your book—especially if you are currently an unknown author, or your book doesn't have an obvious tie-in to the season.
During the holidays, people make quick gift-buying decisions and may not take the time to consider or research an author they've never heard of, opting instead for celebrities and established names.
If you need to be discovered as an author, you want to avoid getting lost in the holiday mayhem. If your book is releasing around Christmas, make sure you've thought through how to get your book in front of the perfect buyers. Or publish sooner—in the summer or fall—and get to work generating some buzz for your book before the holidays
Bottom line, don't wait until your manuscript is written to think
about the release date of your book. Your launch strategy is important enough that it should be one of the first things you consider as you begin the grand adventure of launching your message or story into the wild.
We're already in the month of August, which means the Christmas season has already begun in eyes of the publishing world.
If you're interested in releasing your book in early 2024, we need to chat right now.
New Year's Day will be here before you know it.
Let's Set You Up for Success
From book idea to book promotion, we do everything in our power to set you up for success.
If you'd like help brainstorming the release of your book, let's schedule a time to chat.
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Let’s bring your book to life!