I very carefully chose a release date for my book and I think that may have been a waste of time.
I choose November first for the release date of Sell Their Stuff for two reasons.
Reason 1: I wanted it out for the holiday retail season. Even if it wasn’t really a book people would give as a gift, people still spent more at the end of the year and I thought it’d get tossed into a few extra carts that way. I was also hoping it would be an extra profit boost to end the fiscal year.
Here’s why I think it backfired: My target demographic is sellers like me who, like me, are freaking BUSY during the busiest retail season of the year. That meant my ideal buyers weren’t reading blogs to see my guest posts or reviews by others and sure as heck didn’t have time to sit down and read a book. They were too busy selling. I realize now I probably should have waited until January to release it and that my impatience may have gotten the best of me.
November 1st was the earliest I could get the book out and still give myself time to market it. My timeline for STS has been “just get it out as soon as possible” since it was so overdue after all the rewrites but I also wanted to give myself leeway to do some marketing in advance. November 1st was the date that seemed to best fit both of those needs.
Reason 2: November is always a big month for me.
I’m a volunteer with NaNoWriMo which is a huge non-profit writing event held every November. Because I run events and write articles on that topic throughout the month, my web traffic (not to mention face-to-face interactions) are higher than they are any other time all year. Even if only a fraction of those visitors were the demographic for the book, the law of averages meant at least some of them would check out the book, right?
Here’s why I think it backfired: All that stuff I do in November meant I was too busy to really do everything I should have done to help make the book launch as good as it could be. There were opportunities I didn’t get to follow up on and things that were on my marketing plan that I never got a chance to do and I know it had an effect.
Reason 3 (partially out of my control): I had four books releasing within a few weeks of each other dividing my time and resources.
I scheduled the release date for STS so many months ahead of time that I had no idea that the paperback edition of Beyond Amazon, eBay and Etsy, New Year’s Thieve and The Love of Three Oranges (one-act version) would be released right around the same time. When I realized the pickle I’d gotten myself into, I just kept my fingers crossed that they would all cross market each other and it would all work out somehow.
Instead, I think the releases of all four suffered from my having my time divided except for Three Oranges which has it’s own built in fan base so I’m not sure I could have screwed that one up if I tried.
What’s the takeaway? Honestly, I have no idea. I had a plan and it was well thought out but it didn’t take everything into account and I don’t know that anything really can. There’s always going to be circumstances beyond your control.
What do you think?