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Oops, it’s Tuesday

You’ll pardon me if I’m a bit scattered this morning. The past week has been interesting — yes, that’s the word. Nothing serious has happened but nothing has happened on schedule either. The writing and editing have been suffering as a result. Between company — which I loved but, damn, I don’t love the prep for having people over — my neighbor doing something in his back yard that has required 3 days of jackhammering, any attempt to concentrate has been futile. Add to that the fact the installers arrived at 1830 last night to put in my storm doors — and couldn’t finish because they’d never installed a door like one of mine — and I’m tired and frustrated. Again, not conducive to writing.

Yet, I have to write. I also have to figure out why I’m having issues converting a book to put up for pre-order. Oh, the life of a writer. If it isn’t one thing, it’s another.

While trying to figure out what I wanted to write about today, I came across this post from Bookbaby Blog. It asks the age-old question, when should I publish my book? It’s something many indie authors angst about. There is so much information out there, much of it contradictory, about when a book should come out. Sure, a lot of us follow the simple rule of “publish it once it’s done.” But there really is more to it than that.

I agree with a lot of what Bookbaby has to say in the post. Now is the time to publish your work. Don’t let it sit there gathering virtual dust. The only caveat Bookbaby gives, and it is one I agree with, is that the holiday season isn’t the best time for a new indie author to release a book. Yes, it is a time when many of us are buying books, either for ourselves or as gifts. For the latter, most of us don’t want to risk giving a book we aren’t sure the recipient will enjoy. So we tend to go for authors we know they read or who we know write in much the same way as those authors our friend or family member likes. Newbies aren’t even on the radar.

But that leaves the rest of the year.

Now, I know a lot of us suffer what we call the summer doldrums when it comes to sales. Reading the linked post had me thinking about that and then nodding. Summer is when a lot of readers are looking for what can be euphemistically called beach reads. That doesn’t necessarily mean they have to be fluffy romances, even though that is often what we see the traditional publishers pushing at this time of year. But escape seems to be the theme most wanted. For the summer months, Bookbaby suggests we follow what the trads do and publish books focusing on adventure, fantasy and travel.

It makes sense, especially if you are marketing your books properly. Why? Because these are the months readers in the U.S. traditionally “escape”. School is out. Families schedule vacations to get away from the pressures of daily life. They don’t want to be reminded of everything they left behind. They want to escape. It’s why movie makers release their blockbuster films during the summer. Escapism is the name of the game.

As indies, that means we are competing with the trads for those precious readers. But we can and often do win. The challenge is making sure we are doing everything the trads are doing when it comes to insuring our books looks as professional as theirs. We also have to make sure our metadata is set up properly so readers can find our books using whatever their favorite search engine is. Sure, we also have to promote (gag, ick). But we can and do grab our share of the market — we just have to work at it.

Something else we have to look at is the timing of our books if they have a certain theme. A book where your main character runs away for the summer can come out any time. However, a Christmas themed book probably needs to come out close to the holiday season. That’s not a hard and fast rule. After all, the first rule of indie publishing is not to sit on your work. However, there are a number of readers who, as we get close to the holiday season, want holiday themed books. They will risk buying an indie author they’ve never heard of if the book conforms to the holiday theme and if the blurb and sample look interesting. That said, they don’t search those books out at other times of the year. So, weight that along with all the other factors when writing a holiday themed book.

A couple of other thoughts — and yes, I know I’m all over the place today. Sorry — about when to bring out your books. Whether you are writing a series or stand-alone books, you need to have a publishing schedule. Sure, you can alter it because life happens. But you need to stick as close to it as possible. Why? Because your readers need to know they can count on you to continue to produce in a regular fashion. Going hand-in-hand with this is something I am seeing with my own work. If you can put out a new title (and it doesn’t have to be a novel. It can be a short story.) every three months, you may be able to keep your sales from taking that dramatic drop they seem to do all too often a few months after a new novel comes out.

As for what day of the week you should bring your books out on, you can do what some of the better selling indies and trads do and publish on the first and third Tuesday of each month. I don’t always do it on those particular Tuesdays but I do try to come out on Tuesday. Why? Because most folks are too busy getting back in the swing of the workweek on Monday to worry about buying a new book. Tuesday lets you grab them and you have the rest of the week to remind them you have a new title out and come get it for the weekend. You also avoid the end of the week “all I want is for the weekend it get here” attitude so many of us have. Will it work for everyone? I don’t know but it has seemed to help my sales.

And, joy of joys — not, it looks like they are about to start the jackhammering again. So, before that happens, let me close this out. As an indie, you are in command of your professional life. Do your research and don’t be afraid of releasing your book when it’s ready. Push the baby out and start working on the next one.

Until next week!

  1. thephantom182 #

    “You’ll pardon me if I’m a bit scattered this morning.”

    I will. I’m that way every damn morning. Morning sucks. 🙂

    This is excellent advice, on timing. I will be making use of it.

    July 11, 2017
    • I am NOT a morning person. That’s why I try to write my blog posts the night before. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen yesterday. But hey, Amazon has Death Wish Coffee as part of their Prime Day sales. So I snagged some. It helps more than most when it comes to getting started when I’d much rather still be in bed.

      July 11, 2017
  2. paladin3001 #


    July 11, 2017
    • *drunkenly hits post*

      July 11, 2017
      • *makes sure the post doesn’t hit back* Dimension lumber is not always your friend.

        July 11, 2017
        • It did not work. In usual form I sobered up in two hours and brain refused to quiet despite throbbing headaches.

          I would like to know why it has the first few bars of Hail to the Chief on loop though. And why it kept it up for three hours.

          I’d like my insomnia to be useful, not maddeningly annoying.

          July 11, 2017
          • Could be worse. Could be the theme from Barney & Friends. (runs)

            July 11, 2017
            • Which we avoided having the children watch somehow, and I’m only aware of the one that goes ‘With a shotgun – bang- he’s lying on the floor, no more purple dinosaur.’

              July 11, 2017
            • Exactly why I disable autoplay as one of the first tasks with a new computer. Fooled ya!

              July 12, 2017
          • *passes tea and plays old hymns* (It works on the three month old… it’s worth a shot. The hymns not the tea.)

            July 11, 2017
            • I’m thinking now of just trying to stay up and not sleep until perhaps 15 hours from now.

              My problem is, at some point, caffeine just doesn’t work on me any more and sends me straight to sleep instead. I can’t win, I tell you! T_T

              July 11, 2017
    • QED

      July 11, 2017
  3. I’m trying for a book every three months, and short stories or story packs whenever I have enough material to launch. I wanted, dearly wanted, to release the WWI books on Nov 11 of last year and this year, but Life happened.

    A neighbor has been doing remodeling. That’s fine. Starting at 0630 with compressor and table saw and power tools. Not so fine. This is the neighbor with the Security Light from H-ll (it gets turned on by waving branches and shines right in between the gaps in my curtains. Arrrrrgh!)

    July 11, 2017
    • Makes me glad I live way out in the country. Worst that’s happened so far is cows blocking my way to get off the property to work.

      July 11, 2017
    • Well, there’s always 28 July… but that might be just a bit more obscure.

      July 11, 2017
    • That utterly stinks, and I can totally sympathize. Critters in my attic keep waking me by dancing around on the ceiling above my bedroom at 0545. I thought I’d chased everything out of the attic before I repaired the damaged gable vents and augmented them with chicken wire, but from the sounds two days later and the fact the chicken wire was knocked loose from the inside three days later it looks like I was wrong. [sigh] Guess I’ve got an extra task this weekend.

      July 11, 2017
      • TRX #

        Toss a couple of bug bombs up there and see if it runs any critters out.

        July 11, 2017
    • I feel your pain. The neighbor with the jackhammer is next door — next to my office. Trying to work anywhere else in the house is problematical because of Mom and animals and, well, you get the idea.

      July 11, 2017
    • Mary #

      I have blackout curtains. Perhaps those would help.

      July 11, 2017
      • So do I, but I can’t close them 100%. I keep thinking that some afternoon I will go over, introduce myself again, and ask that they either change the motion sensor or tip the security light down so it shines onto their yard and not across the alley and into my house. I’ve asked before, and it got a little better for a while, and then I guess someone fussed about not seeing things in the alley and up it came. (They, and I have 8′ fences between the yard and the alley. I don’t know why anyone needs to see into the alley at night if they are not in the alley themselves. End of rant.)

        July 12, 2017
        • snelson134 #

          Taking garbage out after dark. I have a flashlight for that, but not always enough hands.

          July 14, 2017
  4. Uncle Lar #

    Been helping Stephanie Osborn get her new indie series off the ground this year. Released the first book in January on the advice of a knowledgeable friend. Trad pub dumps their big dogs in December to catch the holiday buying frenzy so the competition is fierce. But if you publish your e-books in January you catch all those folks with shiny new empty Kindles and Amazon gift cards burning a hole in their pockets. We did quite well with book one.
    Trying for a book every three months, so book two in April. Never considered it would be a week before tax day. Very slow start, but steady sales so we’re hopeful. Will skew book six release to avoid the tax season doldrums if we can.
    Book three is up for sale on Amazon today, July 11, which we scheduled months ago only to find we’re right on top of Amazon Prime Day. Waiting to see if that really helps or really hurts us.
    Book four will go up in October. It’s done, in fact we had three and four in print at Libertycon so fans got a unique opportunity to get all four in a set. That worked extremely well for us, but Liberty is a special group unlike most cons these days. If they have it next year will probably try for a repeat, but we’ll see.
    Book five is in final review and formatting for print, so well in hand for January 2018.
    And of course the occasional short for anthologies and perhaps one or two one offs.

    July 11, 2017
  5. Sigh. Household stuff … likely will need a new hot water heater tomorrow, Got b*tched out by a local provider who thought I wanted the service of replacing it, instead of only an estimate. (Note to self – eschew those on-line providers who promise estimates from local providers. I CLEARLY asked for estimates for budgeting and comparison purposes. Obviously, someone did not read the fine print, and it was not me.)
    Anyway – I try and bring out a book in time for the holiday season, since that is when I do a lot of local markets, and it works to have the latest book out at that time. And with the Luna City series – another one at mid-year, since it is light comedy, and perfect for summertime reading,
    I agree that accustoming fans to a schedule and trying to keep within a couple of weeks of it for releases is good…

    July 11, 2017
    • Been there, done that with the hot water heater. That was two (?) months ago. HVAC was a few months before that. Now new storm doors that are turning into more of a headache than the other two combined. Makes writing hard to focus on.

      July 11, 2017

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