Ask BHP: Why Do Books Release on Tuesdays?

Good morning, all! It’s time to answer another puzzling publishing question. We had someone contact us with a question that might be on your mind if you’ve paid close attention to multiple authors’ social media: “I’ve noticed that a lot of books release on the same day. Why is that? Why not spread them out?”

Ask BHP 2021

The short answer to this is: most major traditional publishers release books on Tuesday, with the first Tuesday of the month being the most popular. And, well, there are only so many Tuesdays in a month, so you’re going to see some significant overlap in “book birthdays.”

But why Tuesdays? Part of it has to do with giving a book a stronger shot at appearing on a bestseller list. Many bookstores often tab up sales on Mondays, so if a book releases on a Tuesday, it has the maximum time to gain sales to appear on a bestseller list like the New York Times.

Another practical reason is that holidays rarely land on Tuesdays, so there are fewer interruptions. Shipping time also used to be a factor, and warehouse or printer logistics sometimes still is. And, in some ways, Tuesdays is just now a publishing tradition.

From my point of view in marketing, there isn’t much of a need to spread book releases out. It’s actually helpful to have books releasing at the same time, because then we can run ads featuring multiple books, knowing they’ve released on the same day, or authors can join together to run a giveaway or online celebration of their releases. In publicity, sometimes it’s “the more, the merrier!” (Within reason, of course.)

If you Google this question, you’ll find that other publishers have a variety of opinions on which factor is most important, but it’s clearly a mix of reasons. Bethany House follows this tradition as well, so you’ll often see authors celebrating their release date on a Tuesday…and now you know why!

Have you noticed the Tuesday trend before? Or is this your first time hearing that publishers have a date they prefer for new releases?

8 thoughts on “Ask BHP: Why Do Books Release on Tuesdays?

  1. As a publisher in Slovakia, we came to the same conclusion regarding publishing more titles at a same date. It is not tuesdays, but that is not important.

    Thanks, Bethany…

  2. There are certain authors that I want to jump right into reading the book as soon as it releases… but would have to take a day off of work (since I work Mon-Fri). So in that respect, I often thought a weekend release would be nice. HA!

  3. I’ve definitely noticed the trend before, never really wondered why. Movies almost always released on a Friday, and I think new music normally releases on a Tuesday like books.

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