It's that time of year. Authors with a completed manuscript who have been considering indie publishing decide they should do it -- and give it to their family as a Christmas gift.
It's a sweet idea. And, in some cases, it's possible -- we often get a book from manuscript to print in 4-6 months.
But possible and "best plan ever!" aren't the same thing.
See, launching a book is a tremendous opportunity to engage your audience. It's a great opportunity to raise the profile of your book. It's a great time to connect with new readers.
Except. Except, you know when it's hard to reach those people? Between the third week of November and the end of December. They're busy. They're with their families. They aren't, by-and-large, thinking about what new author they should connect with.
Now, I can hear the objections happening. No way! Doesn't every publisher aim at the Christmas market?
Yes, and no. Yes, these months, between September and December, are the busiest months for retailers. Yes, we often target it as a release window.
But almost none of those projects begin development in August for the Christmas market. They may have begun development in August of the year before, but it's likely that they started development long before that.
Why? Well, it's a combination of factors, actually:
- The publishing industry has long adhered to long lead-times. But it's not without reason:
- Book reviewers want at least 4 months between the book landing in their hands and the launch.
- Retailers still use catalogs, and catalogs are slow. Publishers lock down ads for the Christmas push in March. That allows the catalog to come out over the summer.
- Momentum is tremendously important. Publishers and savvy authors build marketing campaigns that grow to fever pitch around the launch of the book. But the way to make that happen is activity + time.
So, if you call BelieversPress next week and ask, "Can I have my book in time for Christmas?" We'll say, "Maybe, but is it the best thing to do to your book?"
Of course, since indie-publishing doesn't tend to live-and-die by the product launch, the answer might be yes.
Either way, we're committed to being the kind of team who shoots straight and helps you assess your project the way a professional should. We love helping you publish!