Thursday, December 18, 2014


Great writing is important.  Compelling titles and riveting covers are important.  A book cover synopsis that entices yet leaves folks wanting for more is important.  However, there's something else that many writers struggle with without even realizing it.

When to release his or her novel.

Summertime is when all the blockbuster movies come out.  Even wonder why that is?  For both people who don't know, it's because school is out, families see summer as vacation and entertainment time, and movies sell better.  Studios aren't stupid - they release for when to gain maximum exposure to the audience.  Although a few other times can also resonate - December to generate Oscar buzz, for example - no one releases a great movie destined for mega-bucks in February.

Writers need to approach the release of their work the same way.  When can you release for the greatest impact?  When will people be looking?

The research I've conducted is in line with what should be common sense if thought is applied.  The first is mid-late Spring(think the beginning of May) because people are looking to go on vacation, and many want a book as a traveling companion.  They haven't gone yet(most wait for June or July), but they're in the preparatory stages.  They're gathering supplies, and a good book to read on the plane or by the pool means one less thing they need to think about.

Late fall before winter sets in is also good(think November).  Winter is harsh in many places in the US, and being cooped up all day is more bearable if you can curl up next to the fire with a cozy tome.  Also, it's the beginning of the holiday shopping season, and an early November release gets you out there for either purchase, or to be ready for those bookstore or Amazon gift cards that people get at Christmas.

Remember, these are generic dates that won't always work.  Sometimes you need to be timely, like releasing that horror book a week before Halloween or that patriotic novel just before the 4th of July.  However, this should be a good guideline to get started.  If you want to release more often, by all means, go ahead, but do some basic research and figure out when is good(the start of the school year?) and when is not(Spring Break?).  Like the high school prom, the right date can make all the difference.


  1. Excellent article. I think this works very well for the indie writer (which explains much of my writing), but traditional publishers work their own schedules and leave very little decision-making to the author, at least in my experience (limited though it is).

    1. Good point, Dan. Indie certainly gives the writer much more control over the schedule.

  2. I wonder if avoiding releasing the same time as another competitor is considered?

  3. Interesting question. I think that might apply if a big time author is releasing at the same time, but that should be the exception. To me, more than that can become self paralyzing.