How to Decide on the Publication Date of Your eBook

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Publication Date of Your eBook

I would have to say that 90% of authors I have spoken to over the years fail to set a publication date for their eBook. Instead, their general response is that they will publish their eBook once they have finished.

There are a number of reasons why you need to have a better understanding of when your eBook will be published.

Unfortunately You Need to Be a Bit More Specific on a Date for Reasons Because:

  • You need a publication date to help in your pre-publication marketing campaign.
  • Your need to create anticipation with your lists, so that there is a countdown to when your customers can buy your eBook.
  • You need to allow time to release accurate and timely press releases.
  • You need to contact media outlets in advance of your publication date.
  • You need to ‘time’ your publication date with a major event that is relevant to your topic.

One of the key points that we have stressed time and time again, is that you must start your marketing campaign before your eBook is finished. This includes promoting the publication date of your eBook on Twitter, Facebook and via press releases.

The value of establishing pre-sales will not only provide you with instant revenue upon immediate launch but it will also generate significant buzz on the online stores when they experience a massive increase in orders for your eBook.

1. Create Anticipation

Your lists and blog members follow you because they value your advice or love what you write. Many of them would have already purchased previous eBooks and products you have written or recommended.

Therefore they are anxiously awaiting the release of your new eBook that could further help to answer their problem, provide them with enjoyment or satisfy their needs and wants.

2. Promoting an eBook is Similar to Promoting a Movie.

The actors perform interviews and media appearances before the release of their movie to generate interest so that when the movie is launched there are already lines of excited fans waiting at the box office doors to see the movie.

The same applies with your eBook; create such a buzz for your eBook that you have people waiting for that publication date to buy your eBook.

3. Press Releases

A press release is a powerful tool that can be read by your target audience or even picked up by a journalist for a story. It is essential that you have a publication date. If you keep dragging out this date, and constantly submitting press releases, they will lose their power.

Potential customers will become disinterested by the constant pushing back of the release date.

4. Time Your Publication Date with a Major Event

If you have written an eBook on ‘American Politics,’ then a good idea will be to time the publication date of your eBook during an election campaign.

As your topic will be of current importance and interest, there will be more interest and media coverage for issues relating to politics. Therefore, a publication date will keep your writing on track and allow you to leverage the upcoming election to help get your eBook into the spotlight.

Many of the major publishing houses will select a publication date that is a year in advance in order to generate excitement. eBook authors are less patient and want faster gratification and so do readers.

Therefore, your eBook can be published immediately upon completion and available for purchase within days once submitted to some online stores.

You Have Complete Control!

As a self-publisher you have complete control over the publication process. Therefore you must also be disciplined in sticking to your plan and that includes meeting deadlines. Discipline is one important characteristic of an author as we have outlined in other articles.

The process of writing and publication needs to run smoothly so that you gain all required information for your eBook. You will need to source and contact the appropriate people requesting testimonials and even a foreword.

Once you have built your list of people providing you with this information you need to be able to deliver you eBook to them promptly and also allow time for them to write their testimonials. Any delays will lonely delay the publication date.

So How Do You Select a Publication Date?

There are a few factors that will determine your publication date. If you can release your eBook alongside a major event, then that will influence the date of publication.

Also, you will need to know the proposed length of your eBook and what percentage of the eBook you are completing each week or month. If you have ten chapters to write and you are only able to produce a chapter each month then this will let you know that you are on target to set a publication date for approx ten months time.

For non-fiction authors, it is even vital that you are able to write your eBook quickly and publish quickly due to the time-sensitive content in your eBook. Dates, facts and data will change.

For example; many eBooks written on the topics of ‘Google AdWords’ or ‘SEO’ have a time limit attached with them. Due to the ever changing variables associated with Google and SEO these types of eBooks need to be updated every six months to keep up to date with changes.

Otherwise what is written in the eBooks will become outdated and useless very quickly.

Many readers will judge an eBook and it’s relevance by the date it was produced and the copyright date. You will want to have your copyright date as current as possible so any setbacks with publication will also require you to review the copyright date.

Ideally an eBook published early on in a calendar year will allow for that copyright date to be relevant for a longer period. If you are planning on releasing your eBook post September, you may want to consider including the copyright date for the following year as well.

Publication dates do not always mean that your eBook is available in all of the major online stores on that date. Each store will have its own policy for adding new books and eBooks to their lists.

Stores such as Amazon will list books for several months before a book’s publication date. However, they will only be taking pre-publication orders and may not be in a position to actually sell the book until the publication date.

This tactic is also being adopted by eBook retailers, so be prepared to see this becoming more common.

Setting a publication date for your book or eBook is vital to its success. There is no set answer I can give you as each author is uniquely different to their writing speed or what material they can already pull from their computer to create instant chapters.