Book Publishing Schedule: The Best Time to Publish Your Book
Book Publishing Schedule: The Best Time to Publish Your Book
November 2, 2023
What’s the best book publishing schedule to publish your book? Putting the finishing touches on your manuscript means that the next step is to publish your work. But should you publish it right when you finish, or is there a best time to publish a book? Authors spend months or even years working on writing a book, so the first instinct is likely to rush the book off to the printer as soon as the ink dries on the final edit.
Self-publishing authors can publish a book at any time, but authors who publish through traditional channels usually do not have the same decision-making power. The best time to publish a book depends on many different factors, and the first one is how you choose to have your book made.
While most people think of traditional publishing as the primary way that books make their way to the retail or library shelf, more and more authors are turning to self-publishing. An author whose book is printed and distributed through a publishing company essentially partners with the publisher who retains control over many of the decisions about the book’s contents, including the story, editing, the cover design, and they sometimes even have a say in the book’s title.
Publishers decide when and how the book is published, where it is sold, and how it is marketed. In contrast, a self-published author retains all control over how their book is developed and marketed, including when the book is printed and made available to retailers. So self-publishing authors can choose when the best time is to publish their work as well as how to market the book to potential readers.
The tradeoff for writers is that publishing houses shoulder the costs of printing, distributing, and marketing books, while self-publishing authors are the ones responsible for all aspects of printing and selling a book, including deciding on the best timing for publication.
Does It Really Matter When a Book is Published?
Every author’s ultimate goal in writing a book is to find enthusiastic readers. Choosing the right book publishing schedule for your book can play a big part in connecting with the right readers. However, to take advantage of a naturally occurring interest in a book’s topic, some types of books should be published right away or on a specific timeline that is unique to the book’s topic within an industry.
Books about Current or Recent Events: Some books need to be printed and made available to readers as quickly as possible because their content matter is time-sensitive. These books can be in a variety of genres, including news, current events, politics, history, biography, or even historical fiction in some cases. Reader’s interest will be highest close to the event or on the event anniversary, so authors will want to time their book’s launch around one of those two time frames to gain the biggest potential readership.
Books with Tie-ins: There are some specific industry or business times like a company anniversary or an important annual event that a book launch can be timed around to maximize interest in the book’s topic with potential readers.
Book Publishing Schedule: Plan the Best Launch Date
Publishing houses tend to release books around a fairly regular schedule each year. Self-publishing authors can take advantage of this timeline to launch their own books to catch the same wave of excitement that surges through the media, advertising, and each month’s seasonal activities that the world has come to expect.
Planning to publish a book that coincides with the hot topics each month is a great way for a self-publishing author to market to an audience that is already primed with familiar and similarly themed content and advertising.
January Book Publishing Schedule
New Year’s Day: Many books published around the start of the calendar year typically revolve around topics that have to do with renewal and new beginnings. Nonfiction books about cleaning, improving health, dieting, and organizing are popular as are all books in the self-help genre.
MLK, Jr. Day: Books published during January can also tie into memorializing Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday. Popular book themes to publish in January include human rights, freedom, African-American history, civil rights, and peace.
February Book Publishing Schedule
Valentine’s Day: Launching books about romance and love is always a great idea in February. Photography books and travel guides about romantic cities like Paris or New York are also widely published during this romantic season.
Spring Training: A great time to launch books about Major League Baseball is at the end of the month. Publishers love to publish a book about the start of spring training, baseball statistics, and baseball history this month. Other tie-ins to nonfiction books about baseball are biographies of sports figures, novels with a sports theme, and photo books celebrating the nation’s favorite pastime or other sports.
Black History Month: February’s designation as a month devoted to celebrating Black history makes it the perfect time to launch nonfiction books about history, culture, or biographies of impactful people. Publishers also use February to publish a book of poetry or a novel celebrating Black citizens, life, and history.
March Book Publishing Schedule
International Women’s Day: This celebratory day sparks publishing houses to focus on fiction and nonfiction books featuring strong women. Popular genres featuring women’s themes include history, photography, politics, cookbooks, and culture.
Easter: This religious holiday is celebrated in many countries, so publishers like to launch books around the themes of Christianity, history, and culture to coincide with this spring holiday.
St. Patrick’s Day: This March holiday sparks book publications around international travel, history, food and drink, and celebrations.
April Book Publishing Schedule
Holocaust Remembrance Day: Historical nonfiction and fictionalized literature remembering this tragic event are usually published to coincide with this day in April.
Gardening: With the onset of the new season, publishers often begin marketing books reflecting the themes of spring renewal, including gardening books for adults and children as well as those with cross-over themes like cooking with herbs or cooking from your own farm-to-table garden.
May Book Publishing Schedule
Cinco de Mayo: This holiday is often paired with the publication of books about history, geography, food, celebrations, and culture.
Mother’s Day: Many nonfiction children’s books are published around this holiday as well as books with women or family-centered themes.
June and July Book Publishing Schedule
Graduation: The summer months are when publishers look for books with themes reflecting taking the next steps in life following high school or college graduation, including college preparations and job hunting.
Summer Book Sales: Publishers focus on romance, beach reads, mysteries, and science fiction books during this heavy publication season.
September Book Publishing Schedule
Back to School: Publications typically focus on educational themes for students as well as parenting topics.
Off to College: Many publishers also reserve September for books about students learning to launch into adulthood, fall football, and back-to-campus topics like coping with loneliness and living on campus, drugs and alcohol, and the resulting empty-nesting of parents.
9/11: Remembrance, patriotism, history, politics, memoirs, and biographies are all popular publications related to this somber memorial season.
October Book Publishing Schedule
Halloween: The best time to publish horror, mysteries, tie-ins to movies, graphic novels with connections to costumes, Halloween themes, or spooky stories is during October.
November Book Publishing Schedule
Thanksgiving: The best time to publish a book about family, food, history, and children’s books about thankfulness is during November.
December Book Publishing Schedule
D Day: Publishers love to publish books about history, military, patriotism, and biographies of military members during December to coincide with this important World War II remembrance day.
Christmas: A great time of year to publish books about family, thankfulness, and kindness is during the month leading up to Christmas.
Hanukkah: Books about history, the Jewish faith and family are popular during the month of December.
Kwanzaa: Publications reflecting the special traditions of different cultures, history, and family traditions are all popular in December because of the popularity of Kwanzaa.
Book Publishing Schedule: The Best Time To Publish Your Book
Picking the right time to print and market your book for your book publishing schedule to potential readers as a self-published author can be tricky. Writers who pay attention to the way traditional publishers time their book launches will have a better chance of capturing the attention of potential readers when their work arrives on retail shelves around the same time as other books with similar themes or topics.
But authors who partner with a trusted printer like Publishing Xpress will know that their book will look great no matter when it is launched. Because sometimes the best time to publish a book is when you finish writing it and are ready to get it into the hands of someone who will love it.