Thursday, May 14, 2015

Your Book and Release Date Timing


By Annette Cole Mastron, Communications Director for Southern Writers Magazine


The Pyramid sat empty for over 10 years on the banks of the muddy Mississippi River. It defines the Memphis, TN skyline.  It is 321 feet (about 32 stories) tall and has base sides of 591 feet.

Bass Pro Shops has redeveloped the iconic empty Pyramid into their largest corporate venue. It will be tourist and retail-sport destination. They are banking on the "must-see" opportunity with impressive views from high atop the sides of the Pyramid. Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris said, "This is a once-in-a-lifetime undertaking and opportunity." Sounds like a writer talking about their work in progress. It's why we write.

How did Bass Pro Shops decide to take on this venture? In short, a really big Mississippi River catfish. A 2005 fishing trip on the Mississippi River near The Pyramid played a defining role.  Johnny Morris told fishing buddies Memphian, Bill Dance, fishing TV show host and angler, and now deceased Jack Emmitt, Bass Pro's first fishing manager, that he would build a store inside The Pyramid if they caught a 30-pound catfish. "Sure enough, with about one hour to go, (Emmitt) got a bite and caught this catfish (now on display) in the shadow of The Pyramid, and I said, 'It's a deal -- we're gonna do it,'" Morris said. As a writer can you relate? What prompted you to write your defining book?

Writers can learn a lot from the management team of Bass Pro, when it comes to timing. Book release dates are just like opening of Bass Pro at The Pyramid in Memphis, TN on April 29, 2015. Originally the store was to open in the fall of 2013 but Bass Pro knew the opening needed to have everything working correctly because they would have one shot at impressing visitors to keep them coming back and spreading the word about the venue. Over 20,000 people attended the Bass Pro Shop opening. Writers work to edit their books to perfection in order to keep readers happy. If readers are happy, they will share with their family and friends garnering new readers for a writer.

Bass Pro Shops timed their grand opening within one day of the month long celebration known as "Memphis in May." Essentially this year the Bass Pro mega store  and hotel opening unofficially kicked off Memphis in May International Festival. There is the Beale Street Music Festival and World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, just to name a few events. It also helps the Grizzlies Basketball Team is in the midst of playoffs. Visitors abound in Memphis during the month, due to the various once a year events. Was Bass Pro's timing intentionally? You bet your Memphis BBQ ribs, it was.

As a writer, when do you think your book would have a chance of gaining the best reception? Winter, when people are snow bound? Valentine, Easter or Mothers Day? Beach or vacation time? Holidays, for gift opportunities?

Writers need to consider the type of book they are writing. Then, think of Bass Pro Shops at The Pyramid. What was your "catfish" that helped you create your book? Pay attention to timing your book release to move your book into the most readers' hands. 



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