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Alley

When Should A Book Be Released

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Posted (edited)

I am wondering, when is the best month/time of year to release a book?  Does genre play a roll in when to release a book?  Is there a time that is better for short stories or novellas?  Are there other factors we should be looking at when planning a book release?  

Edited by Alley

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With some books, timing can be an important boost. Say a romance novel that ends in a wedding might be best released in June. Or one with a Christmas scene or theme would, of course, be best after Thanksgiving. If there's some element that stands out or there's an obvious theme or setting, it's good to pay attention to that.

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4 hours ago, lynnmosher said:

With some books, timing can be an important boost

Is there a time that books should not be released?  I hear this is important also.  

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Gosh, Alley. I don't know. I don't think I've ever read anything on that. I guess if it conflicted in some way with an anniversary of some tragic event that would be offensive to some??? Something to think about.

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I had heard that January was a bad month, and sometime in the summer, but I can't remember when or why?  Thought you guys might have some ideas.  Phy, SW, and EL are usually a wealth of information.  

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Oh, yes. That's right. I'd forgotten about that. Summertime is usually pretty slow and so is January. People are busy. Reading takes a backseat. ;)

 

Oh, and I'm sure the guys will chime in.  :D

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Posted (edited)

I have a slightly different point of view on this, Alley.  Yes there are some upticks for releasing books in the holiday season because people are buying gifts.

 

Other than that, book release dates are the wrong focus (in my opinion).

 

First, if you are published by a traditional house, they'll tell you- not the other way around, so that's in their hands.

 

For a self published writer, I'd recommend ignoring all of that and release it when it's ready for market.  From there, it's not the date of release that causes problems, it's the lack of quality ongoing sales and marketing.  That can be hard and embarrassing work (ever see those poor writers at a bookstore with a table, a pile of their books and everyone in the store except their relatives ignoring them?) or it can be a lot of fun, depending on your personality and work ethic.  Working the convention circuit can be really, really trying for some, for example, but for people with more outgoing personalities it's more like torture.

 

Most writers just don't have that "press the flesh" personality.

 

Diligent writers track their word count.

 

Successful writers write everyday, but they should sell everyday, too.  Getting sales means selling product.  A writer who doesn't sell books everyday shouldn't be surprised at meager results.  On the other side of the coin, a writer who sells everyday finds that they actually can make money.

 

So, don't focus on release dates- focus on selling and marketing everyday, just like you do writing each day.  

 

There is an old sales story, about a salesman who didn't sell on Monday, because he thought no one wanted to be bothered 0n the first day of the week.  He didn't sell on Tuesday, because customers seemed to be more grump on Tuesdays.  Wednesday was, of course, hump day, and... well, you can guess the rest of the story.  He was so busy focusing on what days were good sales days that he only sold a half a day per week, and you can guess at his sales results.

 

I hope that helps.

 

Concentrate on two things: quality writing everyday and selling everyday.  People like being called authors.  Almost no one likes being called salespersons.  The point is, anyone can be a writer, but without sales, you're never really an author.

Edited by suspensewriter
housecleaning edits

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4 minutes ago, suspensewriter said:

The point is, anyone can be a writer, but without sales, your never really an author.

Point taken.   So, if sales expressly ongoing sales are the key, what do you recommend to research and focus on?  What will be the best to learn for newbies?  What will help with ongoing sales? Truthfully I've never heard anyone say more then you need to keep selling books.  How do we do that after a book launch?  

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Posted (edited)

I think you'll see a lot what needs to be scattered through this forum.  And, there are so many books on the topic, blog posts and writers forums that detail sales activities we could sink the entire city of Cleveland if we piled them all up there!

 

Networking is very helpful, and joining professional genre groups (such as the Mystery Writers, Horror Writers, Romance Writers, Christian Writers) is an excellent way to participate in group bookselling activities..  Having a website, writing articles for websites, joining discussion groups on the topics, working the convention circuit (offering to help on writing panels, etc.).  Contacting bookstores to arrange book signings.  Speaking at groups on the topics that you've written on are good, too.  Speak at churches, schools, etc.

 

Similar to putting together a business plan for your writing- a seriously important thing to do that is ignored by nine out of ten writers- it's critical to put together a sales plan.  And yes, I mean in writing.  Dates have to be set for the activities the same as in any other business, and those dates need to have activities attached.

 

Being concrete is essential.  For example, what is the date of your book launch?  How much money are you spending on it- what is your budget?  What are your giveaways, etc.  What writing organization are you joining so that you can leverage their network and take advantage of their enormous wealth of marketing and how-to-sell information?  What day will you do that?  Remember to mark that down as a business expense as well.  You can't do a writing budget without knowing the costs involved.

 

Writing magazines have so many pages on book marketing that we truthfully could fill the Grand Canyon with them.

 

How much will your advertising budget on Amazon and other places be?

 

The thing is, the information is ubiquitous.  It's sitting down and making your writing business plan that's hard.  I've known writers who have been asking how to sell their books for ten years.  "Nobody says anything except you have to sell," the say.  While they're saying that, there is always another writer who isn't talking- they've got their calendar and their calculator and are creating their writing business plan.

 

Chris Fox has a book called "The Six Figure Author" that makes some very solid sales points.

 

In the end, though, it comes down to making a writing plan that includes a budget and a plan for sales.

 

Don't laugh at this Alley, but as writers you or I could do the web research on how to sell self published books, put together our own manual, and then sell it!  It wouldn't take longer than a month or three to write and take it to press.

 

I hope this helps.  I wish we had a bit of a better sorting mechanism for topics here because this forum contains a wealth of the type of detailed information you're asking about.  Also, I started wondering about video capacity on this site- whether or not we could have speakers on these type of topics here.   I know Rebecca is considering new things and I think it could be really helpful.

 

At the IBPA we have educational seminars on these type of topics, and they're just great.

 

Wow, I think I've been rambling- heading for more coffee.

 

 

 

Edited by suspensewriter

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Trust in your God-given ability to write, publish, market, sell...

make mistakes, expect obstacles, even disappointment...

writing is a life ambition, a longing

rarely follows a set of rules..

.be flexible, love what you're doing...

this will be your greatest reward...

if you love what you're doing.

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9 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

So, don't focus on release dates- focus on selling and marketing everyday, just like you do writing each day.

 

Soooo...not to be disagreeable, just pondering. ;) Why can't you do both? A release date is just a short ponder. Focus is then on selling and marketing. Don't the two go together?

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50 minutes ago, lynnmosher said:

Soooo...not to be disagreeable, just pondering. ;) Why can't you do both? A release date is just a short ponder. Focus is then on selling and marketing. Don't the two go together?

 

Heck, that's not being disagreeable, Lynn.  The release date is a part of sales and marketing.  But it is not the most important part of sales and marketing.

 

Some people bear down as the release being the critical element of book sales, but it's not even the beginning.  You begin sales and marketing of a book long before it's released.  Successful sales people develop their ground game for their sales activities long before their first sales call.

 

Most writers don't like sales or feel comfortable with it, and it really is to the detriment of their book's audience and themselves so they stall.  I actually had one writer tell me that sales wasn't fun.  He didn't get very far.

 

So to get back to your point- you're absolutely right- you have to do both.  The release date is just a small part of the overall sales plan, but it's definitely part of it.

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1 hour ago, suspensewriter said:

Successful sales people develop their ground game

Alright, I have my gaming controller, and I'm ready to go!  

 

1 hour ago, suspensewriter said:

Most writers don't like sales or feel comfortable with it,

I did not feel comfortable behind the wheel of a car the first time.  It does not mean you stop.  

 

1 hour ago, suspensewriter said:

I actually had one writer tell me that sales wasn't fun. 

Neither is changing a diaper, but if you want to be a parent, it's part of the deal.  

 

1 hour ago, suspensewriter said:

The release date is just a small part of the overall sales plan, but it's definitely part of it.

Thanks for keeping us focused on the big picture. 

 

I'll probably be back with more questions when I have some more time today.  :)

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This is some eye-opening stuff, suspensewriter. I'm not a schmoozer by any means. Guess working on that is in my future. Thanks for the heads up about the forum content. I'll be looking around. 

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On 6/1/2018 at 11:52 PM, suspensewriter said:

Contacting bookstores to arrange book signings. 

I have been wondering for some time now; is it really necessary to travel to all of these big author signing events in the bigger cities, especially ones you have to travel far to get to?  I hear many people saying you have to do this, but do you really have to or is it more of a traditionally published thing?  Not that I think it would hurt, but how important is this?  

 

On 6/1/2018 at 11:52 PM, suspensewriter said:

And yes, I mean in writing.  Dates have to be set for the activities the same as in any other business, and those dates need to have activities attached.

Just picture a meltdown here.  The emojis don't do this justice.  

I'm melting; I'm melting!!!  

 

On 6/1/2018 at 11:52 PM, suspensewriter said:

Similar to putting together a business plan for your writing- a seriously important thing to do that is ignored by nine out of ten writers-

I would think if you want to make a profit this would be a duh comment, but what do I know.  

 

On 6/1/2018 at 11:52 PM, suspensewriter said:

What writing organization are you joining so that you can leverage their network and take advantage of their enormous wealth of marketing and how-to-sell information?

What kind of Christain organizations are out there?  I feel like they are hidden in the vast world of internet land, or maybe I am really bad at finding them.  

 

On 6/1/2018 at 11:52 PM, suspensewriter said:

Writing magazines have so many pages on book marketing that we truthfully could fill the Grand Canyon with them.

What do you think about placing them in other magazines?  Do you think it would be worth it other types of magazines?  Maybe depending on the content?  

 

On 6/1/2018 at 11:52 PM, suspensewriter said:

advertising budget on Amazon and other places be

I take it Amazon is a big one for marketing on?  Do you have to use kindle direct publishing for this?  

 

On 6/1/2018 at 11:52 PM, suspensewriter said:

"Nobody says anything except you have to sell," the say.  While they're saying that, there is always another writer who isn't talking- they've got their calendar and their calculator and are creating their writing business plan.

Right now I have my pen and paper, and I'm taking notes on the how to's.  I want as much info as I can get from all of you that have been there done that got the t-shirt.  I'll be taking all the info, and advice, and praying over it.  Then making out a plan, but I figure if I can't even follow the lingo I am not ready to start a marketing plan.  

 

On 6/1/2018 at 11:52 PM, suspensewriter said:

The Six Figure Author

I'll need to check this out.  

 

On 6/1/2018 at 11:52 PM, suspensewriter said:

Don't laugh at this Alley

:(

 

On 6/1/2018 at 11:52 PM, suspensewriter said:

Also, I started wondering about video capacity on this site- whether or not we could have speakers on these type of topics here.   I know Rebecca is considering new things and I think it could be really helpful.

Add this to the Support Forum.  It says to add suggestions there.  I really like this one!  

 

On 6/1/2018 at 11:52 PM, suspensewriter said:

At the IBPA

Unless you are rearranging the alphabet, I have no idea what this is.  

 

On 6/2/2018 at 9:46 AM, suspensewriter said:

But it is not the most important part of sales and marketing

Like always, keeping us focused on the big picture.  Thanks!  

 

On 6/2/2018 at 9:46 AM, suspensewriter said:

Successful sales people develop their ground game for their sales activities long before their first sales call.

Again, I'm still in the info gathering stage.  

 

On 6/2/2018 at 10:28 AM, lynnmosher said:

And not because you said I was right!  ;)

It's totaly because you said she was right.  :D 

 

Sorry I did not get back to you sooner.  My migraines have flared back up, and I forget things easily when it happens.  What was I saying?  o_O   

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, lynnmosher said:

Ooo...hope your migraines are better. Awful buggers! :|

Thank, Lynn.  I guess the root canal did not help as I have hoped.  It's getting there.  I just forget things really easy when I get them.  What I was talking about two hours ago when the last time I ate was.  Once I even forgot the last five chapters of the book I was working on.  I knew I had written them but had no idea what they said.  Had to read them to be able to keep going.  So I'm sorry if I forgot something, talked too much because I did not remember talking before, and I'm pre-sorry for any time I do so in the future.  :)  And thanks for being patient with me.  

Edited by Alley

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10 minutes ago, lynnmosher said:

Poor thing!

I did not say it for you to worry, just as an explanation.  

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On 6/4/2018 at 6:52 PM, lynnmosher said:

Poor thing! You're fine. Not to worry.

And when we say things like this, it's because we're family and we care. Consider it to be like a hug when you need it.

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2 hours ago, carolinamtne said:

And when we say things like this, it's because we're family and we care. Consider it to be like a hug when you need it

Oh, thank you.  I already adopted Lynn.  You're next.  :D

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IBPA=Independent Book Publishers Association

 

Sales= Reach

 

"I'm no good at selling," you say. But that's not true. You already sold yourself as a writer to your friends and family. You sold yourself to yourself when you put your butt in the chair and put a pen to paper, tapped at a keyboard, dictated to the scaly beast that speaks of its nature.

 

So you finished the darn thing. You shopped it out to agents, traditional publishers, Amazon; selling it again, telling the world that this is worth looking at, worth the investment in time and in money that they were going to spend on something else, someone else's book or movie.

 

Now you have a product, a book of sorts. When you sell  it, you found a way to get it out there, to get someone to read it. A traditional publisher or literary agent will help you because you sold it to them, and you sold yourself as a person who believed in this book.

 

So you have already succeeded in selling it. Why not take the next step?

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