When to Start a Book Publicity Campaign

Is There a Best Time to Start a Book Publicity Campaign?

by Dan Smith

If you ask ten book marketing experts “when is the best time to start my book publicity campaign?” or “what’s the optimal time to Dan Smith from Smith Publicity gives his advice on the best time to start a book publicity campaign.promote my book?” you’ll likely hear at least five variations of answers to these questions.

We routinely hear from clients in November who have a book ready to go but don’t know when to release it. Is publishing and promoting a book in November a bad idea? Will a book get lost in the holidays?

I believe the impact of the holiday season (starting mid-November through the New Year) can often be overblown as it relates to a book launch and publicity. Keep this in mind: Just like launching a new product, it’s always prudent to find a time when the competition is reduced.

Because fewer books are released in early December, it might be a good time to launch yours. Remember that the media world doesn’t disappear around the holidays. Business magazines are still covering business topics; book reviewers are still reviewing books; producers of radio and TV shows still need guests, etc.

Book Publicity Can Start at Any Time of the Year

The best time to start a book promotion campaign is in the summer.Therefore, launching your book and book marketing campaign before the holidays might be something to consider. Minimally, think about getting a campaign up and running and the book in the hands of some media before the holiday week, take a short break during the Christmas to New Year’s holiday week, and then keep things rolling along after New Year’s.

The same principle applies to summer. It is a time of year often considered taboo for releasing a book or starting a book publicity campaign.

Well, again, think about it.  Does your local newspaper cease publication in the summer? Does your favorite talk radio station go on hiatus? Do all TV shows disappear for a few months in the summer? Obviously, the answer to these questions is a resounding no. 

Except for most of the national daytime talk TV shows, virtually all other forms of media still have airtime or column inches to fill around the holidays. Often, producers or editors are scrambling to find topics for interviews or articles.  At Smith Publicity, we routinely secure some of our biggest media hits for clients during the holiday season and summer.

The topic or genre of your book can come into play when deciding to publish and promote. I recently received a call from an author with a fascinating book about baseball, and he said: “I want to release and have you guys promote my book now!” I advised him to wait until after the new year, release his book in late January, and do a run-up publicity campaign to coincide with the start of baseball spring training.

So, if you’re nearing completion or are ready to publish and stressing over when to start your publicity campaign, don’t, if you’re prepared for a mid-November or early December release, go for it. If it makes sense to wait, then wait.

Just remember your due diligence, assess whether your specific book is better suited for a particular time of year to be released and if it isn’t, fire away when ready!