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When is the best time to launch your children's picture book? 

Over the last few months, I’ve been working on my first-ever seasonal children’s picture book, and that’s got me thinking about when the best time to launch a picture book is so that you have the most successful launch you can! 


Ultimately, the right time to launch your book depends on a few factors, so here’s what you should consider when it comes to planning your launch date:


Seasonal Events

Of course, if your book is about the Easter Bunny, you’ll want to launch it with enough time to market it before Easter, but not too far away from Easter that no one wants to think about it yet (hot cross buns in January, we’re looking at you). 


Launching your Christmas story in April isn’t going to do your sales any favours, but launching in November gets your story into the hands of families just in time to enjoy your book over the Silly Season. 


The book I’m just wrapping up is about Matariki, which falls on the 28th of June this year. Naturally, we’ll be sending it off to the printers ASAP so that they can work their magic and then my client can amp up her marketing campaign to get as many eyes on the book (and hopefully just as many sales) ahead of Matariki. 


School Terms

If your picture book is a book for children who are at school, or it is a teaching resource, then the worst time to launch your book might be right before the summer break! Instead, you might choose to launch your book at the start of the school year, or the start of the term. 


Competition 

Another thing to think about is what else is launching around the same time you’d like to launch your book. Are big publishing houses preparing to launch a sequel to a much-loved story? Or are they relaunching a classic? And how could that affect your sales? 


Other Events

The last thing to think about is events. I’m talking about book fairs, festivals, markets, author events, and even sports games, elections, royal visits, etc. Any event has the potential for you to make lots of sales, or to have people focused on something other than books. 


Depending on the content of your book, you’ll want to launch around events that compliment it, and avoid dates and events that might make your job of marketing it more difficult.


If in doubt, consider your own schedule; the process of launching a book can be quite hands-on, so when will it suit you best to launch your book? If your book doesn’t have any seasonal constraints and your schedule is flexible, launching towards the end of the year, when people are starting to think about giving gifts for Christmas, may be worth considering. 


Of course, I’m not suggesting that you hold off bringing your book to life, or that you wait to commission an illustrator - the sooner you get the ball moving, the longer you have to perfect your storybook before you launch it to the world! Plus, the best illustrators have a long waitlist, and once your project kicks off, creating your illustrations is still likely to take a good few months, so there really is no time like the present!


Here’s the cover for my latest book project, if you like what you see, consider preordering it, or giving me a bell to discuss how we may be able to bring your story to life!

An illustrated children's picture book cover with a cat on the front. The title of the book sis Mr Darcy the Cat and The Matariki Glow

 

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