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When is the best time to publish a romance novel?

Rina Fontes Malka
A writer with too many ideas and not enough time.
Self-publishing is a tricky industry! Writers have to strategize titles, imagery, timelines, budgets, marketing, content... It's a lot of decision making, and a lot of experimentation.
One of the biggest questions with self-publishing is WHEN to do it. Well, that actually depends on your genre.

What month of the year should you publish a romance novel?

This may not come as a shock, but February is the best month of the year to publish a romance novel!
Just in time for Valentine's Day, love is in the air, and romances of all formats are in high-demand. $ Sales tend to peak $ in the week leading up to Valentine's Day. In February 2019, book sales were up 30% over the annual month average.


What day of the week should you publish a romance novel?

The answer for traditional publishing is quite straightforward: publishers release books on Tuesdays, as it is the lowest sales day of the week, so it’s a good way to take advantage. 
However, $ Self-Pub Authors$  advises that if you’re self-publishing, you should avoid publishing on Tuesdays because you will compete with those publishing houses. "Instead, try to release on the weekend if you want good sales. Those days seem to be good days to publish for independent authors. [...] If you’re trying to hit some bestseller list, release on Sunday or Monday."
Another strategy is publishing on a Friday or Saturday, because people are often looking for a quick read for weekend nights, and romance and erotica are popular choices for impulse ebook purchases.
However, opinions for the best self-publishing day of the week are pretty spread across the board. The day you publish won't be catastrophic for book sales, whichever you choose. Focus on creating a good product and a strong marketing campaign!

Is romance writing profitable?

First off, is it even worth publishing romance novels?
Yes, and absolutely and unequivocally yes, and also yes.
Romance is a profitable genre, because it is the highest selling genre. But that also means it’s a competitive, often over-saturated market.
$ WordsRated$ $ $  asked 76,000 Americans what their favorite book is, and the number one book cited was Pride and Prejudice. Over 35 of the 100 listed books were romance novels. Romance is actually the highest selling genre, with over $1.44 billion dollars in revenue each year.
Here is a graph to help you visualize the vast difference in genre sales:

Data from $ BookAdReport$ 
Romance made almost double the next most successful genre’s revenue in one year. The market for romance novels is huge, with a vast potential for revenue, if you can learn how to work in the system.

How much do romance novelists make?

The amount of money romance novelists make depends on many factors, like popularity, marketing strategy, book content, and subgenre. The $ 2014 median income$  for romance writers was around $10,000, but erotica author E.L. James earned $95 million in one year.
$ Amazon$  pays self-published writers 70% of ebook royalties if the price of the book is above $2.99 (otherwise it’s reduced to 35%), similarly 40-60% on paperbacks, and 60% (minus printing costs) for hardbacks.
Whereas a traditionally published author can make between 20-25% from electronic books and 6-10% from physical copies in royalties, besides a wide range of possible advance payments from the publisher.
As you can see, the amount a romance novelist makes varies widely. One way to up your chances of making romance writing your full-time career is by riding the waves of popularity in $ romance tropes and subgenres$ .

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