Setting up the Release Date of a Book
While actually writing a book is something that takes a lot of time and effort, actually getting that book released can be just as challenging a task for authors, especially since many writers are starting out with self-published works. They don’t have the advantage of working with a publisher to help guide them through the process. The obvious advantage of working with a publisher is getting to communicate with an experienced person or group who knows how to properly plan for a release date, plus they might even contract the author with specific deadlines if the writer is working on something that is part of a series. They can also help out with press releases and the like to help with advertising, especially in regards to the release date of a book.
When self-publishing though, writers aren’t going to have these resources available to them. Of course, it is a lot easier for writers to self-publish at first. Many writers will want to get their book self-published and up for sale the moment that they’ve completed their book. For their first book, this makes sense, but writers need to keep in mind that they still have to advertise. Just because their book is on the market doesn’t mean people are going to start picking it up, especially when you consider just how many other self-published books are constantly coming out.
Once a writer begins to establish themselves though, they’ll develop an audience, one that they will ideally have some form of communication with, whether that is through a personal page or just a social media site. In these situations, writers can benefit from announcing their release date a little earlier, to get their readers interested. Most publicists state that it is a good idea to start a ‘buzz’ at least 3-6 months in advance of the release date. Writers need to be careful with when they announce their release date, though. Coordinate with the publisher to make certain that the book will be released within a few days of the established date. Most publishers will stick to this as they also know the time that you will have spent setting up everything.
Some authors even choose to provide a release date after they’ve finished their book, giving them some time to focus solely on advertising, possibly even giving out a few samples so they can get positive reviews. On top of that, they might also be able to get useful feedback from the reviewers as well, so if there’s something that seems to be unpopular with the book they have a bit of time to fix it without having to worry about missing their release date.
Setting an inaccurate release date is something that can end up hurting an author. Even famous authors can sometimes fall into this trap, where they set a release date and the actual release of their book is nowhere near that date. It can be enough for readers to lose interest, or just plain forget that the book was supposed to come out in the first place. This is especially true if the author is writing a series. It is highly recommended that authors have a solid idea of the plot of their next book, sometimes even having a few chapters written before the first book is released, that way they can ensure that they have a decent pace going and readers won’t be waiting years for the next release date. Planning a release date should be one of those things that you look forward to with the same anticipation as the birth of a child. In many respects it is the book’s entry into the world, and deserves that same attention.