Summer doldrums are setting in. Morning commutes are lighter. Fewer people fill the breakfast hangouts. Stores stand on a thin boundary between fewer racks of summer wear and fall fashion. Kids in southern communities head back to school soon. It seems like the perfect time to find shade or cooled air and read a book. At least in a writer’s mind.
Publishers focus on September releases with potential for big holiday spending on new titles. Book releases can happen any time of year. With self-publishing growing exponentially, book releases appear to happen any time of any day. But publishers don’t cherish summer releases when traditional rhythm says books make it big in one hundred twenty days or are stamped for clearance. September releases often last longer without another long list of new titles hanging in their immediate path to success. My July release met bookstores interested in filling events over six weeks before September release authors hit the market.
Marketing a summer release is an uphill climb. Friends and relatives are happily distracted by vacation plans or kids’ camp schedules. Sitting in a quiet bookstore on a summer evening for a reading isn’t everyone’s glass of ice tea. People tend to want to gather at noisy outdoor events with cold beer and something to throw in a mildly competitive yard game. We tried mixing music and wine for Leaving Ashwood’s launch at Magers and Quinn in Minneapolis. Competing with Major League Baseball’s All Star Game was tough, but loyal friends chose books and mingled with strangers of a similar mindset.
Grass keeps growing. Refrigerators empty. Clothes need laundering. Promoting a book, keeping up with social media, and working on the next release claim more than forty hours a week at a time when everyone is pushing for days off. Thinking I might join the summer journey to sand and water, both bad items for a laptop that will stay at home.