Marketing Guru Carl Lennertz on Why Books are (Almost) Always Published on Tuesdays

I first met Carl Lennertz in 1992, when I was a summer intern at Random House.  Working for Carl, who was the marketing manager for Knopf at the time, was a total gas as he was—and still is—the sort of boss who responds to the intern’s ideas by waving his arms around and saying “Go ahead.  Go try it.”
One of Carl’s marketing ploys even got us chased by the cops.  Okay, they weren’t really cops, they were the security personnel at Southstreet Seaport.  And by “chase” I mean they politely asked us to leave.  But to a book nerd like me, it was pretty exciting.
Carl wrote this terrific post early this year on his blog, and was kind enough to share it with Blurb is a Verb.  Thank you so much, Carl!
—Sarah P.

Why Are Books—and CDs and DVDs—Put on Sale on Tuesday?
By Carl Lennertz
1 - Retailers take Monday to recover from the weekend: clean up the shelves, and most important, reorder the hot sellers and sold out items in time for the end of the week and coming weekend.  This is also the day that store managers are deep into running critical and essential sales reports.
2 – Tuesday is a relatively slower sales day, so the store staff can focus, especially in the morning, on checking in, stickering, and putting out the hundreds of new releases, whether they be books, cds or dvds.  Additionally, the store manager can schedule enough people every Tuesday, knowing this is the industry-standard on-sale date, and also have the staffing for the customers later in the day who want the latest release(s).
3- Tuesday on sale has the added benefit – vs. Wed. or Thursday – of having the maximum time for new items to be on sale, so that the first week’s sales are substantial, which the retailers and publishers and movie record companies want.
4 – So why not Monday, besides reason # 1? In order for the items to be ready Tuesday AM, they are usually delivered Monday, but held in back and not put out. If Monday was the on-sale date, items would have to be delivered the Friday before, and then the temptation to put out the much-anticipated items would just be too great, resulting in chaos and a lower number sold in, technically, the first week.
5 – And yes, a few huge releases do have a Monday release, due to expected weekend media, like 60 Minutes or a Friday magazine cover store. Those boxes are stickered with glowing neon stickers and retailers know they will lose the next big release if they break street date that weekend.


  1. Sarah, Wow am I glad I found you. Made my way over from the Blogher directory. What a terrific concept you have here, and I am riveted by every single one of these entries. I'm a writer on my own time, and for money I'm in marketing communications. Your blog is going to be invaluable both for my personal efforts and in learning to be a better marketer for my clients. Thank you!!

  2. One more reason to love Tuesday--besides Mardi Gras, of course!

  3. Never though about this. Cool post. <3 your newb follower :)

  4. This may be one of the few practices in book publishing that has a rational explanation!
    It took me til my third book and the pub of numerous friends' books to actually notice that all these releases had been on a Tuesday, but then I did begin to wonder, so thank you.