The publication date of your book—how important is it?

Posted By on April 18, 2013

Setting your book’s publication date is a bit more complicated than just deciding when you’ll have books in hand ready to sell. In fact, you should plan your pub date somewhat strategically.

If you are hoping to get reviews from industry publications (see my post about this from yesterday), keep in mind that they prefer to pass judgment before the official publication date. So you’ll want to tack on three or four months to give reviewers a chance to give you some free publicity.

Some other considerations come into play when choosing a publication date. Bear in mind that trade advertising is concentrated during those times of year when the sales force is making its effort to sell the forthcoming major publisher lists. That is in January and February, and again in June and July. Also remember that the time from Labor Day until shortly before the December holidays is rather chaotic as publishers vie for holiday gift dollars. Advertising and publicity (reviews especially) go hand in hand. If you can steer clear of these periods, you’ll have a better chance of garnering publicity, as there simply won’t be as much competition. Thus, December and January are especially good choices.

You might benefit by tying your pub date to some special event or day. A book on how to achieve success, wealth, and fame might well be launched on the birthday of Horatio Alger Jr., January 13. Mae Day, in honor of the ultra-liberated Mae West, is August 17. Got a book on how to attract men? This would make a heck of a link. There’s a great book called Chase’s Calendar of Events available that includes such goofy “holidays.”

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2 Responses to “The publication date of your book—how important is it?”


  1. Hi Sue: Nice post. Thanks for the information. My middle name is Sue and my maiden name is Collier, and I use it as my author-name. I’m a fellow A-Z Challenger stopping by to say “Hi.”


  2. Hi Kathy! A fellow Collier. :-) And Sue! Thanks so much for commenting.

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