Customer Psychology and Key Dates for Fiction Book Publishing

Thinking of Publishing in July? November? Maybe Easter?

Think again. Don’t make decisions based on ‘hunches’. Make them based on data. And if you haven’t published yet and need some evidence, use mine. Above is a chart of my AMS ad spend (orange line) and my Impressions (blue blocks) for 2019.

You’ll see how the beginning of the year is quiet. This is a good time to get your ducks in a row, publish titles, re-edit, re-publish new editions perhaps with new covers, ready for…

March. The book-buying market is starting to awake after its winter sleep. The sun is breaking through and buyers are coming out hunting for a new title to read: Easter holidays are on the horizon and breaks are being booked.

When April arrives, there’s a great long weekend for many and a week break for families with children to get away. This is critical reading time, so books need to be on the shelves ready to buy for Easter. Don’t miss this opportunity. Amazon pays out after 90 days so that cash won’t arrive in the bank until June / July!

There’s a slump in May. People are back at their work desks during the day, and reading what they’ve already purchased during the evenings and weekends. This is another good time to release and promote because summer is coming!

Buy June, sales are up! People are booking holidays again, and this mentally prepares them for having time off. You should have Ads running like crazy during this time. Increase your bids/spend, get more ads out there. Hit every list and social media reach.

When July hits people are grabbing books just before they jet off to foreign lands for the 6 week school holidays. Keep the promotions running through June and early August.

By Mid-August, it’s all over. The book-buying public has made their decisions and will be settled into their sun loungers for the rest of the holiday. You can still pick up some sales towards the tail end of the month though! Don’t forget your Easter sales cash will be arriving in your bank account during this period!

September is a slump month. People are back at work. The skies are grey, the monotony of the day-job is upon everyone. Another good time to publish, and certainly make sure new titles and new editions are in place by the end of September because…

… Christmas is coming! By October there’s a fair bit of buying activity. New titles are being launched, promotions are underway, and every possible advertising spend is being hit to the max. All your Marketing activities should be hammered into the publics’ temples during October. If you miss this window you’ve blown it. Do not pass go. Do not collect £500!

November is here: things are starting to go bonkers! Impressions are up, sales are up, Ad spend is rocketing (which means bid prices are increasing too), hold on tight, keep ploughing in every spare bit of cash you’ve got, as we’re just getting started…

Now it’s December and you’ve struck gold. Don’t forget your summer profits will be arriving in your bank account around Nov / Dec, so keep pumping your cash into Ads. December is not the month to sit back and count your pennies: spend it!

By January you can crash and relax a little and take stock. Get the next titles to the editor, queue up the cover designer, as another year is about to begin. Don’t forget your Christmas cash will be arriving in your account for Feb / March to pay for all those new editing and cover design bills!

What do you think? How does your assessment of the year compare to mine? Why not create your own blog post on the experience you’ve had during 2019 and drop a link in the comments? I’d love to hear what you think.



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15 yrs of time travel!