When should you publish your book?
Does it really make a difference when you publish your book? It sure does.
Most newbie self-published authors don’t really think too much about when they want to launch their books.
They are much too focused on the quality of their writing and the process of actually getting the thing done! Well, I shouldn’t say ‘too’ focused. You can never be too focused on the quality of your book. But you should not lose sight of your larger publishing strategy. Your book could be amazing, but if your launch is not well planned and timed, all your hard work will go to waste.
So when is the best time to publish?
In the US and most of the English-speaking world, more than half of retail sales are made in the few months before the Christmas holidays. That’s crazy! Books and eBooks are very popular last-minute gifts–right up there with socks for Dad—meaning that online book sales in particular skyrocket during the last few week before Christmas.
This means that your print book should ideally be published and ready for distribution somewhere around September or October if you want to maximise on Christmas holiday sales. With eBooks, January and February are also excellent times to go to market. Once Christmas is over, there is a slew of new Kindle users clutching their new devices and hungrily searching Amazon to fill up their new shiny devices with books. You should do everything you can to be at the top of your category during these critical retail months.
Ok, so only before and after Christmas?
The clear best time to publish your book is in the months leading up to and after Christmas. Unless, of course, your book is tied to some other seasonal topic. A book on dating techniques, for example, might be better placed to sell around Valentine’s day, and a Halloween-themed recipe book would do better in the fall.
Once you have identified your ideal publication date, you can plan your marketing and promotion strategy accordingly. It’s all a matter of working backwards, planning your tasks one by one, week by week, until you have a plan that will get as many eyes on your book as possible!
PS: Need help with your publishing strategy? No idea where to start? I will soon be opening up registration for my step-by-step self-publishing course, which will launch early in 2021. Stay tuned!