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Archived Author Help > Launching Your Book During Holiday Season

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message 1: by John (new)

John Lefevere (johnlefevere) | 21 comments I have completed my new e-novel after 18 months of research and writing, and just sent off photos for cover, to be followed soon by edited manuscript for formatting. I'd like to get everyone's views on timing the launch of the book itself during December, when you have the Christmas, Kwanza, and Hanukkah holidays getting into full swing. Is this an opportune time to launch (another option for a holiday gift) or a terrible time (too many distractions on other things, even for the avid reader)? Your opinions welcome - thanks


message 2: by Joe (new)

Joe Jackson (shoelessauthor) A friend told me to avoid releasing during the holiday, because that's when everything is getting released, and your release will get buried under all the other advertising. Seemed like sound advice to me, and I decided to follow it with the release of my second book.


message 3: by Brandon (new)

Brandon Greer | 5 comments I just put something out a few days ago. So far nothing, but I didn't expect any better. I am just starting. This was my first novel, and the only other thing I have out there is a few short stories and poems. I think right now I know the going to going to be tough, but I want my name out there. I have another novel submitted with a traditional publishing house, and I hope things go well there so what I have out now will be looked at then. Good luck with what you have going, though. I am new to all of this and find it very frustrating on what to do to get noticed. I am starting to understand why some people say marketing an indie book is a full-time job in and of itself.


message 4: by L.S. (new)

L.S. May | 55 comments I published my second book in mid-November... it didn't do as well as I'd thought it would.
However, I think I've heard or read about there being a bump in sales immediately following Christmas, because people get Kindles as gifts. I'm not sure if this will offset the lost in the crowd problem or not.


message 5: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 787 comments Launching a book during the holidays can be troublesome because people tend to be focused on their own priorities and wanting to spend time with family. I'd say it would be best to perhaps release a week before the holidays and even consider making the book free for the first few days to build interest and as a holiday gift.


message 6: by Shari (new)

Shari Sakurai (shari_sakurai) | 64 comments I personally would avoid December altogether as it's a very busy time for people and as well, as Joe said above, it could get buried by loads of other advertising.


message 7: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Yoder | 24 comments I've also heard that a lot of books sell in December, so I'm going to release my novel anyway (in the next few days)!


message 8: by Charles (new)

Charles Hash | 1054 comments The research I have done (not much admittedly) seemed to point to January as the best month of the year for releasing a new book.

And that is a double-sided sword. Maybe there are more books released in January, and you get lost in the wash. Maybe it isn't the time of year people are looking for new books in your genre. I plan on launching in January for this reason, however.


message 9: by L.S. (new)

L.S. May | 55 comments Charles wrote: "The research I have done (not much admittedly) seemed to point to January as the best month of the year for releasing a new book.

And that is a double-sided sword. Maybe there are more books relea..."


What kind of research did you do? Monitoring sales, or looking into what other authors claimed? I tried to look into which day of the week was best to release and I couldn't find anything about when a good time to release was.


message 10: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 787 comments Shari wrote: "I personally would avoid December altogether as it's a very busy time for people and as well, as Joe said above, it could get buried by loads of other advertising."

I was taking a conservative approach to what was being asked but I suppose avoiding the month altogether works too. Your right, given all the promotions, ads and whatever else people do to advertise during the holidays, publishing should be delayed and put off.


message 11: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Yoder | 24 comments My research was from the incontrovertible source, "They Say"!


message 12: by John (new)

John Lefevere (johnlefevere) | 21 comments Thanks to all of you - I'm still open to suggestions, but wanted to add additional thoughts in this post. BTW, this topic has been linked to someone else inquiring about releasing at Christmas, so welcome to those readers also.

Two additional considerations - I submitted my manuscript for formatting (it is ebook only) and the company, ebooklaunch.com, is very fast, so I'm expecting to release this week. However, Smashwords indicated that the holidays bring a slowdown for the ebook retailers in processing the books once received because their staffs take off for the holidays. So there may be a delay in posting your book to their online store even if you get it in front of them in the next week or so.

The other issue is that setting up Preorders now (if you haven't already) may be a problem. Smashwords requires that you allow 10 days for the Preorders to be distributed to Apple, etc - so if you did so now, you'd be talking almost Christmas Eve.

The approach that I'm going to take is to publish this week, market to those who bought my last novel (at least the ones I know, like friends and neighbors) and on my Facebook Author Page, and any other avenue I can come up with, then follow up with marketing in early January for those who are past the holidays and looking for novels.

Any other thoughts?


message 13: by Cynthia (last edited Dec 13, 2015 10:04AM) (new)

Cynthia Yoder | 24 comments Well, I did release it and I did hear things like: I'm going to get that after the holidays! But I also heard "I'm going to read that OVER the holidays" --so I'm getting both responses.


message 14: by John (new)

John Lefevere (johnlefevere) | 21 comments I think that's probably going to be true in most cases. I received an email from one of the purchasers of my last book this morning who wants to know the release date because she wants to buy several copies as gifts.

What I'm trying to figure out now is pricing. One of my beta readers (not related to me, incidentally) said it was a "great book" and suggested a price of $9.99 (or if less, not less than $6.99). This is my second novel and still building audience, so trying to get a feel - popular ebooks like "The Martian" at $9.99 on Amazon, so seems high to me - I'm trying to find (or start) a thread on pricing and get a feel for what will work.


message 15: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Yoder | 24 comments Paperback?


message 16: by F.A.R. (new)

F.A.R. | 24 comments All I can tell you is that I'm releasing my second book in December. It will go on sale December 22 and is already available for pre-order on Amazon.

I too have some doubts. I have heard a lot of things about the holiday season and I am not quite sure how that is going to work out, but I figure I need to do this in order to fully understand.


message 17: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Yoder | 24 comments good luck! F.A.R. you can always offer it as "holiday reading" or --"need a break from the holidays?" that sort of thing!


message 18: by Phyllis (new)

Phyllis Entis | 43 comments Released my first book at the end of March. The second one on November 20th. Kindle and paperback editions in both cases. In spite of setting up a pre-order on Amazon and 5-star reviews, sales of the sequel have been slower than the debut. Hoping for that post-Christmas spurt that people talk about. Think I'll avoid a holiday season release for #3.


message 19: by L.S. (new)

L.S. May | 55 comments Phyllis wrote: "Released my first book at the end of March. The second one on November 20th. Kindle and paperback editions in both cases. In spite of setting up a pre-order on Amazon and 5-star reviews, sales of t..."

I think it's normal for a sequel to have fewer sales, but the holidays might be contributing.


message 20: by John (new)

John Lefevere (johnlefevere) | 21 comments Cynthia - mine is ebook only


message 21: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Yoder | 24 comments John, I'm working w/ a marketer who makes pretty good money on her mystery books on Amazon, and she suggested a price point of $2.99 for e-book only. Also use Kindle Select, mainly so you can run sales and get into some "sweet spots" w/ Amazon. I have not gone far enough into this to say if it works or not, but it works for her! (I'm following rather blindly into the mist).


message 22: by John (new)

John Lefevere (johnlefevere) | 21 comments Interesting, Cynthia. As I recall from college Econ 101, selling 100 books at $2.99 brings in more revenue than selling 10 books at $599. :-)

I'm going to post a new discussion thread and get other opinions, but certainly the opinion of someone who has successfully used a lower price point is worth listening to.


message 23: by John (new)

John Lefevere (johnlefevere) | 21 comments or 100 books at $5.99 to correct my entry above.


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