The answer to that depends greatly on several factors. Is this book a first in series or a sequel? What genre is it? What other books are being released?
Mick Rooney gave some general guidelines that you can use to help plan your launch because there are some constants in the book publishing industry.
In the beginning of the year, romance novels, cookbooks, self-help, and books about business tend to do well.
For example, beach reads tend to do well in the spring/summer months, along with travel, fantasy, and adventure.
Most everyone agrees that August is a tough month for releases of just about any kind, but of course your mileage may vary.
September – November can be great months for academic books and horror and paranormal.
Sometimes closing the year out with gift-friendly books such as children’s books, cookbooks, puzzles/quizzes works. In his article, he tells us that literary fiction is the outlier. Basically, you could release those at any time and be fine.
I polled some author friends of mine (a group of more than 2,000 self-published authors) and got the same basic response to the question “When is the best time to release a book?” over and over again. Are you ready for these words of wisdom from those who are successful in the industry right now?
I know. That’s not the magic eight ball answer you were hoping for and I’m sorry. But the truth is that there are no hard and fast rules. Some authors talk about hitting the charts as their goal and swear by NOT releasing amongst the December traffic because then your book is competing with some pretty heavy hitters. Others love December releases because they get a giant boost in sales due to the gift giving season. So in some sense, when you release depends on your goal.
They also told me that a first in series performs differently than a sequel. While you might follow those seasonal guidelines I listed above for a first in series, if you have fans eagerly awaiting sequel you wouldn’t need to wait to release your paranormal in the fall, for example.
It’s important to keep in mind that in life, as in the self-publishing industry, the only constant is change. Seasoned authors recommend experimentation. Your books are unique and therefore so is your audience. One thing is certain, the more prepared you are in the days leading up to book launch, the better results you’ll see. Check out this post I wrote that outlines critical elements of a successful book launch. Because we can get books to market much quicker than traditional publishers, we have the freedom to put our books out more frequently. You might consider whether it’s worth it to wait for a traditional publishing time or if it matters more to you to put your books in the hands of your readers as soon as your book is ready.
We want hard and fast rules, but when it comes to launching, sometimes we have to look at the guidelines and the details specific to our launch and then make the best choice we can.
Have fun, experiment, be prepared, and launch your book into the world. You got this!
If you want to learn how to get more press and reviews for your book, tune in to Bibliocrunch’s webinar later today!