Let’s Talk with Nancy J Cohen

Book Releases—What’s the Right Interval?

Nancy J. Cohen

There’s a reason why publishers like book releases from authors to be months, if not years, apart. They need time to pass the manuscript from the developmental editor to the copy editor, from the page proof typesetter to the person who creates review copies. They need to consult with the marketing and art departments and notify their sales reps of upcoming works. Then the sales reps need time to present the new books to their accounts. Reviews are sought and advance orders acquired. All of this builds buzz for the new title.

For an author, it gives us time to plan ahead. We might want to produce a book trailer, arrange signings and blog tours, order swag, do giveaways with advance reading copies, set a launch party date. All of this takes time and planning. My new book, Peril by Ponytail (Bad Hair Day Mystery #12) arrives on September 16. But my blog tour begins on September 14. You can follow the schedule on my website. I also have a contest running this entire month at Fresh Fiction with a fabulous prize. And I’ll be away off and on for signings and conference appearances during the coming months.

Peril by Ponytail

What does this mean? It means time away from the next book that I should be writing. But never fear. That’s #14 in my series, and #13 is already in production. Marketing is essential to every business, so we have to program time for these activities into our schedules. And we have to give publishers time to process our work properly. Rapid back-to-back releases work for some publishing houses and many authors as well, but not for others.

The length of time between books will vary greatly from publisher to publisher and author to author. Two books a year is ideal with time for other projects in between. These don’t have to be from the same publisher. But more than a year between books in a series is a lot. This is often beyond our control when the pub date is a publisher decision. Indie authors can set their own schedule but shouldn’t rush the process.

As a reader, how far apart do you like new releases from a favorite author? Do you get annoyed if the releases are too frequent, and you’re constantly bombarded with promo messages? Or does it bother you if books in a series have too long of a gap? What’s the ideal interval for you?