Monday, August 6, 2012

When's the Best Time of Year to Release a Book?

I had a recent conversation with a fellow author about the best time of year to release a book. Years ago, I remember thinking in terms of specific times of year, but stopped focusing on that and simply went along with the dates that my publishers had set. But because I'm re-releasing titles and debuting a few ebook novellas, lately I have found this conversation to be very interesting.

I was told that the summer months are not as good for sales, as a lot of people are going on vacation, attending weddings and family reunions, putting kids in summer camp - thus there are tighter reins on finances during the summer months. Also, December can be a concern because readers are spending money on Christmas, though there is a tendency for readers to buy books as gifts, so it's a toss up.

An editor told me that the best times of year are fall and spring. Also, specifically February and March work well. Plus if the weather is bad, more readers tend to shut-in with a good book,whatever month that might end up being.

I suppose it just depends on the title and how bad a reader wants to buy it. I have author friends whose books came out this summer, and are doing very well, and some who always have January releases that do well, too. I have titles pubbing in December 2012, February 2013, and May 2013. In the ten years that I've contracted with various mainstream publishers, none of them have ever scheduled my book releases in the summer months (perhaps just a coincidence). Publishers do try and stick with a specific release month for each author, and readers seem to make note of that particular month when it comes to their favorite writers.

Do you consider the time of year as it relates to your book releases? Which time of year works best for you as far as sales, or does it not seem to matter one bit? Right now with ebooks, I think a lot of self-pubbed authors are posting their titles as soon as the books are done.

I know that publishers put a lot of thought into the subject, though I'm not certain the time of year matters as much as a reader's burning desire for the title. Interesting though!

Write on!

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