Though strictly speaking, the publishing schedule is not part of your business plan, except in the loosest association. However, it occurred to me that there were a few things about the publication schedule, and looking at what you’r publishing over the next year, that fell into the general category of business planning. (I’ve tagged all the business planning posts on my website here:

There are a few things that I want to say about your publication schedule.

First, and most important, give yourself time.

I feel like sometimes we’re in such a rush in the indie world. Write and release.

It’s okay to sit on a book for a while, get it copyedited, etc. We work a long ways out. Books are finished and copyedited before they are seriously put on the schedule.

For example, don’t announce that a book is coming out the first of March when it’s January and you just sent it to the copyeditor. That might not be enough time to recover if your copyeditor falls sick.

Give yourself time. Build up a stock pile if you can. Schedule out a ways.

Next, remember that the publication schedule is always written in pencil. Things change. Life happens. Sure, we might be planned out a year in advance, but then something happens. The next novel doesn’t work. We pivot and write something else, a new series, and that gets slotted into the publishing schedule instead.

Maybe you have a novel planned for the end of the year about space orcs. However, in the spring, this hit movie all about space orcs comes out. You can switch your schedule around to take advantage of all the interest in space orcs.

And the last thing I wanted to make sure that everyone remembered is that this coming year, 2020, there will be a contentious election in the US in the fall. This is not the place to talk politics. This election is just a fact.

Four years ago, when there was a contentious election, people stopped reading. Basically, everyone’s book sales flatlined from August through November. Eight years ago, we saw the same thing.

When you are making your 2020 publishing schedule, you may want to plan for that. We’re not planning on releasing the first of any novel during that time. No big releases. Just second, third, fourth books in series. We are also planning financially for a possible flatline or decrease in sales for those months.

Now, do I have an accurate crystal ball and do I know exactly what’s going to happen? Nope. Past performance may not indicate future profits, etc. But it’s something to be aware of, something you may want to plan for.

And now – back to the writing! I’m putting the novel to the side for a day or two so that I can write a short story. These things just happen.

I know that some of you can work on more than one thing simultaneously. It’s pretty foreign to me. But it’s been happening more. How about you? One at a time, or all the stories, all the time?