Self-Published Authors: Your Sales Season Is Around The Corner (i.e. After The New Year!)

self-published author sales

Think you’re missing out on the Christmas rush? Maybe not. Self-published author sales peak after the new year, starting in January and February. So get ready!

To any author who decided not to rush their self-published books into production just so they could get it done before the holiday buying season, I have one thing to say to you:

Good job!

In this hurry up, instant gratification world we live in, publishing your book is the exception to the new rules. That manuscript you’ve slaved over for months or years demands the same kind of consideration in every step of the publishing process.

As the president of a company that works with thousands of authors, I feel confident making this statement: No one is happy when authors cut corners and rush the production of a book. And that includes your potential reading audience. They’ll be able to tell if you’ve skipped a professional editing job, or slapped a less than eye-catching cover on the book. They’ll notice the typos in the quickly penned book description on your Amazon page.

But beyond quality concerns, there’s another compelling reason why authors shouldn’t force their book to be published before Christmas:

The holiday season is NOT the prime selling time for new, self published authors.

Think about it: Unknown authors need to grab attention for their books in order to find their reading audience. Their books need to stand out and arouse the interest of potential readers who have the time and inclination to read. Now I don’t know about you, but December is the time of year I have the least time – and energy – to enjoy a new book. There’s shopping and parties and family visits and more.

Big time established authors can push out a lot of books over the holidays because it’s practically an impulse buy. It’s a safe, easy gift choice for a lot of folks. That’s simply not the case with the vast majority of self-published authors, and as a result they’re often disappointed with holiday sales efforts.

So when is “prime time” for most BookBaby authors? It’s right around the corner – the start of the New Year. Yes, it’s logical that people are going to have more time to spend reading during the cold winter months. But it’s also a fact that book sales soar during January and February. Think of all those Kindles and iPads that are going to be opened on Christmas morning! Or all the gift cards to Amazon or Barnes & Noble in Christmas stockings! Millions of potential readers are ready to discover their new favorite author or book, and there’s no reason why it can’t be yours!

Actually the entire first half of the year is a perfect time to launch and promote self published books because of another major book buying season that happens during that time. It’s the “beach reading” season, and I’ll be sharing some eye-popping sales statistics with you in the coming weeks.

So for authors who are disappointed their books aren’t yet out in the marketplace – take heart! Publishing your book the right way – thoughtfully and carefully – is the best way.

Happy New Year!

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The End


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Steven Spatz is a writer, marketer, and the President of BookBaby, the nation’s leading self publishing services company. Spatz’s professional writing career began at age 13, paid by the word to bang out little league baseball game stories on an ancient manual typewriter for southern Oregon weekly newspapers. His journalism career continued after graduation from the University of Oregon at several daily newspapers in Oregon. When his family took over a direct marketing food business, Spatz redirected his writing and design skills into producing catalogs. The Pinnacle Orchards catalog was named "Best Food Catalog," received dozens of other national awards, and the business grew into one of the nation’s largest gourmet fruit gift businesses. After the company was sold, Spatz continued his direct marketing career with Fortune 500 companies including Mattel and Hasbro. He joined AVL Digital in 2004 to lead the direct-to-consumer marketing teams for music industry-leading brands Disc Makers, Oasis, and CD Baby. After serving as Chief Marketing Officer, Spatz was tapped to lead the company’s new publishing division in late 2014. In 2019, the AVL Digital Management team purchased the New Jersey brands, including BookBaby. The company is headquartered in Pennsauken, NJ (just outside Philadelphia, PA) and meets the printed book and eBook needs of thousands of self-publishing authors around the globe. Spatz lives in Glenside, PA with his two children, a demented cat, and some well-used bicycles. Steven loves to hear from authors, editors, and publishers in the BookBaby community with tales of publishing trials and triumphs. To tell him your story, write to


  1. I have found that non-fiction works show an uptick in sales if tied to relevant anniversaries/celebrations in the author’s neighbourhood and/or home city/state. Best, and happy writing–C

  2. Good point about people being so busy at holiday time. I’ll definitely keep your “after holiday” advice in mind. Thanks!


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