Timing Releases

Not directly web fiction related, but tangentially so.

Curveball now has an official release schedule. A friend of mine who collects far more comics than I do asked me if Curveball was going to adopt the traditional comic book Wednesday release. I told her I didn't know what she was talking about, and she explained that Wednesday was the day comic books were released. Apparently it just is.

Well, since that's what I'm emulating, I decided to adopt Wednesday as my release date also. No biggie. A deadline is a deadline. And since Issue One was released on the third Wednesday of July, my official deadline is the third Wednesday of the month.

Which was today, as it turns out, and meeting the deadline wasn't an issue... for the web version. The eBooks, though? I don't think it's possible.

I was too rushed for Issue One to really take note, but: Amazon, B&N and Kobo all have delays between when you load something up, and when it gets pushed live. 24-72 hours seems to be standard (on the fast side for Amazon, on the loooooong side for Kobo).

But it's not consistent. It could be any of those things. Which means that there's no way to effectively target an official day as a release date--you aim near the day and accept that it'll be AROUND that date, not necessarily on it.

So what'll probably happen is the Third Wednesday the new issue will go up (as it did today) and then a day or two later the ebooks will start trickling out.

It would be nice if Amazon etc. had a feature that allowed you to upload a book but keep it from going "live" until a certain date. That way I could put 'em up a week in advance and forget about it. But I don't see a feature like that. Jim, if you read this, I'm curious to know how 1889 handled the release date for the LoN ebook. (actually anyone from 1889 who wants to jump in I'm curious to hear from you as well.)

Maybe I'm just overlooking a toggle somewhere.

I've come across that delay with the Kindle Store as well. It's definitely annoying, but I don't know of any way around it.

It would be nice if you could have it go through approval but not go completely live until you "flip the switch". That way you could get it ready a few days in advance and then push it to a proper release at a chosen time.

I'm not involved in 1889's release process, so I can't speak to how we handled LoN's "release date", but personally my approach in the past has been to push the ebook onto the Kindle Store a day or two early and just not announce it to anyone until the release date has arrived. If people find it a little early, I say good for them. :)