When’s the best time to publish your book? Now!

BookBaby publishing specialist Alli Henderson gives some practical advice about the best time to publish your book. Spoiler: if your book’s ready, it’s time to publish!

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

When independent authors think about the best time to publish a book, they often come to the same, logical conclusion you might have just arrived at… the end-of-the-year holiday season.

It makes sense. Retailers bank on a big percentage of their annual sales happening in the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and book retailers are no different. Publishing industry reports show that book sales reach nearly three billion dollars during the holidays.

Of course, to have your book written, edited, designed, published, promoted, and ready for sale by Black Friday, you need to be wrapping up your manuscript around June. But, just like everyone else, lots of hopeful authors aren’t thinking about the holidays until much later in the year — which means their books aren’t ready in time for Santa’s sleigh ride.

There’s never a bad time to publish your book!

The good news is, there’s never a bad time to publish a book, and as an independent, self-published author, there are arguably better opportunities for you outside of the holiday rush.

Think about it. Established authors and publishers target holiday sales periods because their books are a safe, easy gift choice.

Consumers are actively looking for titles from established authors, celebrities, and other well-known folks that are being promoted during the holidays.

The same can’t be said for most self-published authors. These relatively unknown authors’ books need to stand out and attract the interest of potential readers. This kind of discovery and browsing usually doesn’t take place in the hectic holiday time frame.

But… book sales soar during January and February. Thousands of new e-readers and gift cards given during the holidays need content, and there’s no reason why it can’t be your book!

Summertime is reading time

And it’s not just January and February — many self-published authors think the entire first half of the year is a perfect time to launch and promote their books because of another major book-selling opportunity… the summertime reading season.

Industry sources indicate that summer book sales are actually stronger than the holidays — closer to 3.5 billion dollars! That means New-Years-resolution time is the perfect window for indie authors to start the publishing process and be ready for summertime readers.

Publishing calendar

There are plenty of other holidays to target for your release date, and your book may have some built-in opportunities to explore. Does your fantasy fiction novel take place in a forest in early fall? Maybe a late-August release date would tie in perfectly with your promotions. Got a self-help title to help teens manage stress and anxiety? Coordinate your release with the start of the school year. Get creative with your book’s themes and content and coordinate your release with a calendar event.

You can also take a page out of the industry’s rough release calendar.

Have you written a romance, self-help, cookbook, or business book? You might want to target a release some time between the first of the year and the end of April.

Have a fantasy, adventure, or travel title? Consider May through August for your release.

And if you’ve written an academic, paranormal, or horror book, they tend to be released some time between September and November.

But remember, there’s never a bad time to publish

The bottom line is, don’t worry so much about “when” you publish. In fact, the worst thing self-published authors can do is not publish their book because of some perceived timing advantage. It is often said that publishing a book is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t worry so much about the placement of the starting line — just publish your book when it’s ready! Plus, your book launch is just one promotional event in the life of your book. You can always push discounts and promotions around specific holidays and events.

BookBaby is ready to help!

Whenever you decide to publish, the team of experts at BookBaby is here to answer all your questions, guide you through the production process, and turn your manuscript into a beautiful book.

Email us at info@bookbaby.com or call 877-961-6878 and get started today!

See all our Indie Author Minute videos on the BookBaby YouTube channel.

Book Publishing Plan guide

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