Summer Reading

Hey, SE Readers. Joan with you today. I’ve heard several authors say that summer isn’t a good time to release a book. I can’t speak to that personally since I’ve never released one at that time. At least, not yet. Curious, I recently Googled “best times to release a book” and found several articles that say anytime is good as long as you market the release. As you know, marketing is especially important for Indie Authors.

But today, I’m not going to talk about marketing or writing (well not too much). I want to discuss reading.

Before I became a writer, I was an avid reader. It was nothing for me to read two or three books a week. Those were the days before eBooks and Amazon, so I frequented the brick-and-mortar stores, including used bookstores.

While there is nothing like curling up with a good book on a rainy or snowy day, I enjoy reading year-round. The summer of 1980 was an especially hot one in Texas. I had a hammock in our back yard and couldn’t wait to get home each day, change into comfortable clothes, grab a book, relax, and read. I didn’t keep a list of what I read in those days, but let’s say I would have had no trouble meeting or exceeding a Goodreads challenge.

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Today, my TBR list never seems to dwindle. For every book I read, I somehow add two or three more to the list. And the good thing about eBooks is you can store an entire library on a small device. Whenever we go on vacation, my Kindle goes with me. If I’m waiting in a doctor’s office or somewhere I’ll be a long time, I pull out my Kindle. Lunch break at work? Yep, you got it.

Many avid readers don’t care what season it is. Bookworms love to read. Period. Winter, spring, summer, fall—they find time to indulge in their favorite pastimes.

So, how does reading tie back to writing or releasing a book? As I said earlier, I can’t speak first-hand as an author, but as a reader, it doesn’t matter to me when a book is released. I have a few authors who are on my auto-buy list and you can bet I’m going to grab a copy of their latest release—especially if it’s on sale.

Your turn. Have you ever released a book during the summer months? What’s been your experience? As a reader, do you read more during the winter, summer, or both? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

51 thoughts on “Summer Reading

  1. I read loads all year round. I generally read at least 4 books a week and libraries are a god send as I really couldn’t afford to buy all the books that I want to read. I tend to read more in the holidays as I have more time so I will read more in the Summer. But then I also read a lot in the Winter as it’s dark and cold and not a lot else to do. As you said, I have my favourite authors and I will read their books no matter what time of year they come out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is something about curling up with a good book around a warm fireplace. We also have long, hot summers, so it’s equally nice to curl up with one by the air conditioner. And yes, thank goodness for libraries. I applaud you for reading four books a week. Those days for me are long gone.

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  2. I haven’t released a book (yet!) 🙂 But I will say I do a lot of reading allll year round. My habits do change a bit during the summer though – I visit the library less and focus more on the “home shelf” of TBRs. 🙂 I find that with school out, library wait lists are a lot longer in summer as people are reading more, so I use that time to focus on the books at home.

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    • Hi, M. B. I like that you said “yet.” It shows passion and determination. Good point about the libraries during the summer months. Confession: almost everything I read these days is on my Kindle. However, our local library does have eBooks available for check out. However, the wait list is sometimes long. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. As an author, I’ve released books year round, and not really noticed any difference between Winter, Spring, Summer, or Autumn. It really is all about getting your book noticed: if you can get your book in front of the right person at the right time, it doesn’t matter the time of year it is.

    As a reader, I read a lot, and I read a lot all year, so it doesn’t matter to me when an author releases a book. If I want to buy it, I will, regardless of whether they released it in June or December, or one of the other months of the year. But the more excited you make me about the book, the more chance you have I’ll be quick to read it, since I mostly read based on impulse choices from the selection of books I have copies of from my to-read shelf, so if you can make me excited to read yours, it’s more likely to be the next thing I read.

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  4. Oh my goodness, Joan. I am so sorry I missed this post on Friday. Yikes!! I too was, am, and will always be an avid reader. During the summers, my sister and I would win awards from the Hobbs Public Library for reading so many books. That was our only form of entertainment and we loved it. I still prefer reading over watching TV for sure. As far as best times to release a book – who knows. I think the article was right. If it’s a good book and you can market it effectively, it doesn’t matter. Thank you for sharing this! Here’s to much summer reading!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I too prefer reading to television. And books are almost always better than movies.

      I agree on the dates for releasing books. It’s all about marketing (plus writing a book that people will want to read).

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  5. Hi Joan, like you, I read all year around, but I am never remotely on top of my TBR. I also listen to audio books. I have not released a book during your summer, but I have during my summer. Two of my books were published in September/October and A Ghost and His Gold was published in February this year. The children’s books have been a bit all over the place when it comes to publication but mainly in March and September.

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    • I don’t think there is such a thing as getting caught up on a TBR list. 🙂 At least not for me. I’ve had books published in May and December and a couple at other times. Like others have said, I think it all comes down to marketing.

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  6. An easy answer from me. My wife is a sun worshiper (I know- told her many times) and so I am left at the height of summer by myself with nothing to do other than a book to read. I get through many; around three novels a week when on holiday (dependent upon length wither they are a series and the complexity). Lol- the “Three Body Problem” took nearly a week as I had to keep stopping and thinking.

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  7. In the past, my publisher was the one who chose when my books would release. I’ve had them release in all four seasons, including two during the summer months. One did well, the other floundered. The one that floundered, however, didn’t receive the marketing attention the others did.

    As a reader, I read more during the summer. Throughout the year I read most every night and frequently on lunch breaks while at work. In the summer, I still do that, but I also spend weekends by my pool with a book in hand. I actually just took a break from reading on my covered patio to hop online and check this post 🙂

    I’m currently reading an excellent book from one of my auto-buy authors, so I know what I’ll be doing tonight!

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  8. Pingback: #ReblogAlert – This Week on Story Empire | The Write Stuff

  9. I looked through my books, and only two came out in summer. One did all right, the other took more work, so I think maybe romances and “beach” reading books do better in summer? But who knows? I might not have promoted as well with one book as the other. Craig’s right. Some promotions work better than others.

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  10. I’ve had books release in all four seasons, and I can vouch that summer isn’t as ideal as the other months. That said, it wasn’t terrible, either. As you said, marketing is the most important part. BUT if you don’t release in paperback, an ebook launch may not be as fruitful in the heat of the summer. I don’t like to take my Kindle to the beach, so I read more paperbacks in the hot weather.

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  11. While there are certain days I wouldn’t recommend releasing a book (and I’ve had publishers try to schedule my releases on those dates, so I’m sensitive to how bad that can be), I don’t think there is an actual bad season. Sure, there are ebbs and flows to the reading cycle, but people are always buying books. It really comes down to marketing. (Sadly, doesn’t it always?) If you get your book in front of people, it’ll sell. (Provided it’s a good book, edited well, has a knock-out cover, and has a compelling blurb.) So, I wouldn’t worry nearly so much about a summer release as I would about all the other bits.

    Though-provoking post, Joan.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I agree with you. Yes, it’s all about marketing but if the book is poorly written or edited, it’s going to fail. As for the cover, I know we aren’t supposed to judge a book by one but I’ve been completely turned off from buying a book because of a poorly done cover.

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  12. I think anytime is an okay time. Most who complain about summer haven’t done enough marketing. I think the myth of a summer launch as problematic goes back to the fact that most of the big five publishers like to schedule vacations and big-time authors are not keen on promoting tours in the summer. I don’t think the readers are gone. Good post.

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  13. Since I have no control over the timing of my releases, I have to let it ride. I have had summer releases and autumn, but I’ve never noticed much difference in sales, etc. I’ll admit, releasing a book is my least favorite thing about writing. I pack my Kindle year around!

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  14. Until reading your post, Joan, I hadn’t thought about the timing of a book release. I read throughout the year and buy whenever a book grabs my attention. Now I’m wondering, is there a method to my madness? I suspect effective marketing explains all. 😊

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  15. I’m sure promo is key. It would be nice to find a good place that delivers on what they charge. That’s kind of a crapshoot. I think genre matters, too. Some stories are more Summer stories than others. With my stories, maybe I’d be better of releasing at night. Ha!

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  16. As a teacher, I have my summers off, so I tend to read (and write) more in the summer months. Like you said, I don’t necessarily buy the books in the summers; my Kindle has hundreds, if not thousands, of books waiting for me to read. I’ve never published a book in the summer (yet), but I will probably publish my current WIP toward the end of the summer. I don’t think the publishing date affects the sales. It’s more likely the advertising and promotional push have the impact (or lack thereof). Great post, Joan. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • I think the key is marketing, but you make a good point. Readers don’t always buy books during the summer. If they’re anything like me, they have a ton already purchased and on their TBR list. Thanks for weighing in and for the reblog, Harmony!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Pingback: Summer Reading | Story Empire | Welcome to Harmony Kent Online

  18. Actually, I personally love Summer for reading. I can remember that it was the month of June when I encountered to a Book Store (Reading Books) for the first time. Minerva Book Store, The Mall Road, Shimla, India. As Summer is always famous for vacation and chill, so I get pretty good time for reading.

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  19. I haven’t noticed a difference releasing in different seasons, except right before Christmas, that made it hard to promote. Summer was my reading season for years, so I’d be buying them to read or going to the library. For me every season is reading season and like you, if its a favorite author I’m going buy their book no matter when. Great topic, Joan:)

    Liked by 3 people

    • Summer is a favorite reading season for me as well. Last summer I made an effort to purchase books written by authors I was unfamiliar with. With the exception of one or two, I discovered some new favorites.

      I don’t think I’d ever release right before Christmas because of the reason you mentioned. Afterward is probably good because many readers received gift cards and such and are eager to spend them.

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