November 24, 2020, 09:13:23 PM

Author Topic: Timing - when do you/should you start advertising a book?  (Read 337 times)

Offline ScarletBea

  • Welcome party and bringer of Cake. 2nd-in-Command of the Writing Contest
  • Administrator
  • Big Wee Hag
  • ***
  • Posts: 12719
  • Total likes: 7175
  • Gender: Female
  • Geeky Reading Introvert
    • LibraryThing profile
Timing - when do you/should you start advertising a book?
« on: October 20, 2020, 12:17:40 PM »
I started asking this question to @G_R_Matthews on the thread about his book launch (this thread), but then I realised it's wider than just his book and I'd like to open it up.

One thing I noticed is that his book's only out in June, yet here we are in October doing a big push on it.
I've seen this with others as well, where the whole marketing and advertising process starts over 6 months before the actual date, to the point that pretty soon a gap is created between bloggers and similar who then get to read an advanced copy and the general public, who probably by the time the book actually comes out have either forgotten about it or are actually a bit annoyed at having to wait so long...

I recently experienced this when I saw a "out now" comment for a book that I thought was actually really old/last year because I'd been hearing about it, people reviewing it and all, for so long...

I know it's something writers don't control, but do you know how this works?
At home in the Fantasy Faction forum!

I'm "She Who Reigns Over Us All In Crimson Cheer", according to Peat!

Offline ericlewis

Re: Timing - when do you/should you start advertising a book?
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2020, 03:15:32 PM »
I've read that pre-orders have a big impact on the book's ranking on release day, so that's probably a factor. And marketing it to reviewers early makes it possible to gather some editorial quotes to put on the cover when the release edition is printed. Since the publishing industry moves at a pace that can charitably be called "glacial," there can be a big gap in between that might be unavoidable.
"No one gets what they deserve in life, except by accident."
--Spymistress Vinian, The Heron Kings

Offline cupiscent

Re: Timing - when do you/should you start advertising a book?
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2020, 11:50:26 PM »
Especially in the YA market, how the book sells in the first week matters A LOT. (In YA, I understand first week sales can decide right then and there whether you get any more books in that series.) Pre-orders count as first-week sales, so getting as many in as possible really gives a book a boost. PLUS pre-orders through a book store give that store an indication that the book may be popular, so they are likely to order more copies. It can really help an author. I try to pre-order when I know I'm going to want to buy a book.

But I think part of the long wind-up has to do with the strange crowd-sourced nature of book publicity these days. Advance review copies (ARCs) have always gone out early, whether to other authors soliciting cover quotes, or so that people can read and be ready on publication day to publish reviews, thereby generating immediate interest. But that used to be just to trade magazines and bookstores, which is a pretty limited crowd, and these days it's every book blogger / youtuber / podcaster / anyone who puts their hand up on Edelweiss / Netgalley / whatever the kids are using these days. And since a lot of that is going on on social media, it leads to a much bigger community of people talking about a book. (It has also been leading to / feeding piracy, which is a separate problem.)

The cynical part of me wonders if the publisher marketing teams are using the pre-pub cycle to gauge the level of excitement and judge how big an initial print run to order...

But again, I think a lot of this applies more to the YA market - where initial numbers and buzz matter HUGELY - than to adult fantasy, where it's more about how much you sell over a year.

Offline ScarletBea

  • Welcome party and bringer of Cake. 2nd-in-Command of the Writing Contest
  • Administrator
  • Big Wee Hag
  • ***
  • Posts: 12719
  • Total likes: 7175
  • Gender: Female
  • Geeky Reading Introvert
    • LibraryThing profile
Re: Timing - when do you/should you start advertising a book?
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2020, 03:21:34 AM »
Thanks, I understand that - but are really hardcover sales determining the future of a book/series? I know I hardly ever buy them, always wait for paperback, and I can't be the only one.
It seems a bit of a waste of good books if it's the key criteria :-\ which then links to something I also always wondered which is how long the PB is launched after the HC: wouldn't there be more sales, capturing this PB market, if it was, say, 6 months afterwards? By normally doing it only 1 year later I feel they miss out on the marketing impact - if people are buying the HC they'd do it at launch or soon after anyway, I think...
At home in the Fantasy Faction forum!

I'm "She Who Reigns Over Us All In Crimson Cheer", according to Peat!

Offline G_R_Matthews

Re: Timing - when do you/should you start advertising a book?
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2020, 11:13:21 AM »
When I signed the contract and talked over the timetable with my editor, it was clear that 6 to 8mths before the book comes out, bearing in mind it has had a final copy edit yet, they start to push it out there. The idea being it needs time to build up a head of steam - that the marketing department will have time to make the most of any opportunities, and plan for them. It seems strange to me to be pushing it now, but I can see the logic of starting the slow process of building up excitement, and getting the cover in front of people's eyes - the more it happens, the more chance they pick it up (I hope).

As for Hardcovers, no they aren't going to be the defining factor of a launch - as Bea says, people don't buy them in large numbers. However, they are still a "prestige" thing - for mine, it is the first Hardcover my Agent (who has several authors with Rebellion) has known. Now, there are others coming out - Anna by Sammy Hk Smith (which I am reading at the moment and it is bloody great) - in Hardback from the same publisher - so maybe it is a change in approach?

Also, the ebook and the Audiobook will (should) launch on the same day. I know pre-orders on the Rebellion Website are open - not on Amazon or Elsewhere yet.

I am still very new at this way of doing things!
Staff Writer and ponderer of many things @ fantasy-faction

The Stone Road (4/5* Bookwormblues.net) : myBook.to/thestoneroad
Silent City : myBook.to/silentcity

www.grmatthews.com

Offline Bender

Re: Timing - when do you/should you start advertising a book?
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2020, 12:59:34 PM »
I'd assume, if it's authors first book they'd start close to release or even after it. ARCs, free copies, reviewer copies etc.

If it's a published author whose first book did somewhat well, then probably a couple of months before release to target repeat readers.
"I shall hunt your firstborn children and laugh with glee as I tell them of your death in terrible detail, with many unpleasant adjectives!" - M-Bot

"Who needs science when you have a dragon?" - Neil DeGrasse Tyson in Sharknado 6