So you want to publish your book as soon as possible

So you want to publish your book as soon as possible

The best time to publish depends on the needs of the author and the book

Should you decide the timing of the book launch on the basis of your desire or the need of the book? Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Many writers I work with have the same concern. When I ask them, when do you want to publish this latest by,  they tell me, ‘I want it out asap.’

However, what they fail to tell me is the reason it should be published as soon as possible. Is it because the book is about something topical? Do you imagine the media waiting to hear about your book? If so, will they continue to talk about it in a few weeks from now? If not, how will you convince the media to turn their eyes towards you? Can you answer in one simple and compelling sentence why your book needs to be talked about?

I don’t mean that you should forget planning the timing of the release. In fact, I encourage writers to take charge of the launch, including the timing, whether they are publishing themselves or with a publisher.

The question remains, when should you publish it?

Each book is different and hence, the answer varies as per the needs of the book and author.

Take, for instance, two authors. The first has written a book on a nomadic tribe in a desert state in Rajasthan and their climate adaptability and the other has written a futuristic romance drama. Both want to publish their book the next month, October. Which book is more urgent?

It can depend on many factors, including the reader’s choices. There are other factors as well. Here are a few questions you can ask to examine when is the best time to publish your book:

  • Will it will stay on the bookshelves for at least a few months?
  • Is it solving a problem?
  • Is it asking urgent questions?
  • Are you provoking a desire or emotion that resonates across readers?

Imagine you are the author of the futurist romance, ask yourself if readers of this genre or related genres spend more time reading in a particular month? Could you do a survey among a group online? You can also find out on the basis of the books released in this genre in the last few weeks. Go ahead and study their trailers and the audience reaction. You must understand the market to assess the best time to launch your book.

If you are the author of the said non-fiction book, imagine that there is a cyclical event that can be the talking point for the book? Will that help you get a few media outlets to cover the book? If the event happens at the end of every year, will September be considered too early release? How will visibility and sales get affected?

If you knew that it was solving a problem that is contemporary and affects the masses, push it by all means. Once you understand the need (small, big, measurable or immeasurable) your book fulfills in the market, you will figure out the best time to publish it.

The questions you ask, hence, should help find out what’s the best for your book, not just you.

How long does it take to get published with a traditional publisher?

Modern human beings are used to quick results. Author are not any different. If you want the value that comes with the reputation of a big publishing house, then you must understand that there are rules and processes to be followed.

·       In the case your book has been accepted, the publisher can take up to 18 months to publish the book. The number of months is usually stipulated in the contract.

·       If you have an agent, this can be discussed and negotiated as well. However, exceptions are extremely rare.

·       As mentioned before, if your book is topical or solves a problem that is urgent, then your desire to get published sooner is more likely to be met within reasonable limits.

·       For the majority of authors, getting published with the biggies can be a long-drawn process. Hence, it is good to know how much time it takes beforehand because a huge part of making art is waiting. While some of it is necessary, often it can get extremely taxing.

·       You must communicate with the publisher’s editor or the agent who is representing you to understand the time and the reason it takes the same. After all, all the stakeholders want only what’s best for the book.



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