What’s the Best Time for Book Launches?
Aspiring self-published authors don’t make connections with official publishers. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. When you’re able to publish your own work, why wouldn’t you do it? However, there’s a problem: you don’t get access to the wisdom that publishers have at their fingertips. Well it’s not wisdom per se. It’s actually business know-how. They’ve been in the industry for a very long time and they know how it works. So they know exactly when to schedule a book launch, so they will attract a great deal of attention with it.
When a writer is left on their own, they make many assumptions. Some think it’s best to launch a book around the holidays, since that’s when people buy books as presents. Others don’t even get the thought about timing. They assume that the best timing is as soon as they finish their book, since that’s how the readers can access it ASAP.
The truth is that the holiday season is not the best time for new publications, but there still is proper timing to plan.
The Talk about Holiday Season
You might assume that people buy more books by the year, but you’re wrong. Actually, Publishers Weekly published a report showing that book sales in December 2017 were lower when compared to the sales in December 2016. But that’s not the most important thing.
What’s important is that book promotion for the holidays is not a sprint, but a marathon. People plan what books to buy months before. They carefully craft their to-read lists on Goodreads. The list for 2019 is already ready and they might not have space for a book they just found out about. They will plan to get it if they like it, but it will have to wait its turn.
Yes; it’s important to rely on marketing techniques that promote your book during the holidays. You’ll give Black Friday discounts and you’ll relate the campaign to the occasion. But if people are seeing the book or you as an author for the first time, it might be too late.
Pay Attention to Annual Book Publishing Events
The timing is dependent on the book’s genre. There’s a specific calendar of events that the most notable publishers follow. Even if you’re self-publishing the book, it might be a good idea for you to plain its launch during the month that’s specifically dedicated to that genre.
January, for example, is the month of the Annual Winter Conference of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. February is all about romance. In July, the Romance Writers of America Annual Conference takes place.
If you plan to attend any conference related to your genre, it’s best to publish your book at least a month before, so you can successfully promote yourself as an author during the event.
Summertime is Usually Okay
You always choose a new book for your summer vacation, right? You remember trips by the experiences you have, but also by the books you read? Many people have the same idea about their vacations. They pack several books or get new ones for their e-Readers.
Marissa Richards, career advisor at UK Careers Booster, explains:
A writer came to me for advice on publication timing. I carefully researched the publishing industry and found that for their genre, summer was the high sales point. I related that to my personal experience: I always stock on books before a vacation, since I don’t have much time to read throughout the year. For this writer, the strategy worked!
But keep this to mind: you can’t launch the book in the middle of August and expect people to go crazy over it. Summer should be the peak of your campaign, but you should plan the release in early June or even May. You’ll have just enough time to build the hype before people are ready to start buying their summer reads.
Publish When You Are Ready
What if your book is not what people consider a summer read? What if you’re not attending any conferences? Even if you are, could it hurt to publish the book way before a conference?
The true answer to the timing question is: publish when you’re ready.
No; you’re not ready as soon as you finish writing the book. There’s an entire process that occurs before the publishing point. You have to edit it to perfection. You need a great cover for it.
But most of all, you have to plan a brilliant marketing campaign that would get it closer to the audience. In most cases, the marketing campaign starts before the publication date. You’ll promote yourself as an author on your website and throughout social media. You’ll build a personal brand through your blog. You’ll communicate with your audience. You’ll share reviews on Goodreads. You’ll do everything a self-publishing author is supposed to do in order to get the target audience excited about their work.
Only when you heat up the audience, you’ll be ready to publish. Plan the date well and take the necessary steps for pre-promotion.
Eugene Eaton is an Australian-based blogger for UK Careers Booster, who is into stand-up comedy. His favorite comedians are Louis CK and George Carlin. A good morning laugh is what keeps Eugene upbeat and motivated through the harsh day.