You may have noticed that I recently began releasing seasonally-themed novellas (if not, scroll to the bottom for the latest news!). I have plenty of reasons for creating these books, but have you ever considered what exactly goes in to preparing a book for a seasonal release? Let’s talk about three things to consider before releasing your own seasonal stories!
You probably have to start off season
Yup, I started writing my summer story actually way back last winter. And my next release, a treat filled with all things fall, I had to start in July.
Now, I’ll admit that you can technically start during that time of year when you want to release (or even one year prior to release), and if you’re fast enough, you can release the same year. But if you’re like me, you take some time to write and revise, then you spend extra time finding beta readers, hiring developmental editing, and picking phenomenal proofreaders, not to mention finding someone to design the cover!
There’s a lot to do, and publishing something start to finish within a short timeframe is not easy.
So, for me, I have to start writing 3-4 months in advance, putting me squarely one season too early.
Planning out the release dates is important
As you might expect, picking the right release date is incredibly important when you have a story that is associated with a particular time of year. I chose October 31 to release Pumpkin Spice Pie-Jinks because my main character is a pie witch and the story is heavily influenced by Hansel and Gretel (aka CANDY)…perfect for Halloween!
But honestly, it still would have worked if I released in November.
But consider a Christmas story. It may make the most sense to release it just after Thanksgiving, when a lot of people are gearing up for Christmas and super excited about it! But you only get about one month to get people to read the story before they move on until the next year. You have a little bit less of a window for that kind of release than you would for a simple summer release, which gives you a much larger window, probably from about May to August.
Keep seasonal themes and tropes in mind
Remember that if someone is reading your story, it’s likely because they want to dive into the feelings and sparkle of the season. So play it up!
Summer? Have that beach. Go to the state fair. Jump into the jungle.
Fall? All the pumpkin spice. All the leaves. All the spooky ghosts and cozy fires.
Winter? Dance on the twinkling Christmas lights. Traverse the blustery tundra. Build snowmen!
Spring? All about renewal! Have those rainstorms. Let the flowers grow.
Don’t shy away from embracing all the things people love about the season, and put your reader into those feelings!
There are plenty of things that you may consider when writing for specific seasons and times of year, but today I talked about three you can start with and build from. Remember to give yourself time to create it, pick a date people will associate with the story, and give yourself permission to embrace all the wonderful things about that season!
Do you have any advice or thoughts for people who want to write seasonal stories? Share it in the comments and let’s talk!