BOOK PROMOTION SCHEDULE
When my first book was first published, I didn’t know what a publisher did to promote a book and what was the author’s responsibility. After I had several books published, a pattern began to emerge, which is reflected in the Book Promotion Schedule below. The publisher’s publicity department will do a lot to help promote the book. But once the book is published, continued promotion becomes the author’s responsibility.
On the schedule below, “A” refers to the tasks that are generally the author’s responsibility and “P” refers to the tasks that are usually the publisher’s responsibility. Some tasks are done jointly—such as seeking endorsement quotes and setting up book-signing events. I recommend that you have a conversation with your publisher’s publicity department at least six months before your book is published to clarify the division of responsibilities. This conversation should be approached in such a way to let the publicity director know that you’re aware that promoting a book is a team effort and you’re willing to do anything you can to assist.
Book Promotion Schedule
24 WEEKS BEFORE PUBLICATION DATE
A&P Send out manuscripts for additional endorsement quotes.
A&P Finalize overall marketing/promotional plan.
P Finalize cover elements:
endorsements, text, and author photo.
A&P Hire a book-promotion publicist.
A Complete Author Questionnaire (including complete list of bookstores for book-signings).
P Prepare a press release to go with galleys.
18 WEEKS BEFORE PUBLICATION DATE
P Galleys sent out.
A&P Set up book-signing events (particularly at the large chain stores).
12 WEEKS BEFORE PUBLICATION DATE
P Schedule ads with Radio & TV Report to appear just prior to publication date (optional).
P Prepare list of targeted media for announcement of book.
A Prepare sample list of questions for radio and TV interviews.
P Assemble media press kit.
A Prepare sample questions (for radio and TV interviews).
P Mail media kits to magazines (which have a longer lead time than newspapers and radio).
8-10 WEEKS BEFORE PUBLICATION DATE
P Compile all the endorsements, reviews, book club contracts, catalogs, etc. on a separate page to include in your media kit (and quote the best blurbs on your cover letter.
4 WEEKS BEFORE PUBLICATION DATE
P Finalize book-signing dates.
P Send media kits to TV, radio, and newspapers, especially locations where a book signing is scheduled. Mail books with media kits to local, regional media, and selected media. All others on request. Make mention of date of any book signings in the area.
P Mail media kits to secondary media.
P Continue promoting book to feature editors, columnists, niche publications, reviewers, and radio stations. Do radio, TV, and press interviews. Make copies of all media hype, reviews, etc. and enclose with updated press releases that note appearances to date. Notify the publisher of any upcoming interviews, reviews, book-signing dates, etc. of which they may be unaware.
A Go on author tour.
A Position yourself as an expert and give speeches and seminars.
A Continue to schedule yourself for signings, speeches, and seminars. On a periodic basis, mail excerpts from your book to newspapers (if appropriate) for continued exposure.
© 2010 June Cotner, publishing consultant and author of the bestselling Graces and Dog Blessings and 24 other books. PO Box 2765, Poulsbo, WA 98370 firstname.lastname@example.org
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