A public relations timeline to secure more media for your book
In a recent TAA webinar, “How to Secure More Media for Your Book and Brand”, Brian Feinblum shared his experience and expertise in public relations, especially as it relates to authors, their books, and their personal brand.
In addition to useful tips for how to approach and get media coverage (and some common mistakes authors make in trying to do so), Feinblum shared a timeline for successful execution of a publicity plan. The plan outlined below begins six months in advance of publication and continues 90-120 days after release.
6 months out
Feinblum says that six months prior to the official release date of your book, you should have certain things done. Specifically, he says that a website promoting your book should be ready at this time rather than waiting until the book is released.
He also says that at this point, you should be brainstorming ideas with others and crafting a book marketing plan that includes:
- Publicity, such as reaching out to the media
- Distribution and how you are going to sell your book
- Speaking engagements and advertising
- Social media and networking
5 months out
Five months prior to release, Feinblum suggests that you begin developing a press kit and media pitches. He notes that these may “change or be edited as time goes by, especially as new things pop up in the media or new ideas occur to you”.
At this time, you should also “pull together your Advance Review Copy (ARC) media list”. The ARC is a printed copy of the book, but not the version to be sold in stores. The media list should include those people you want to have advanced notice of the book and those from whom you may want to receive testimonials.
4 months out
Four months out, you will send the ARCs to the media list prepared in the previous month. Feinblum also suggests that at this point you begin scheduling book signings and appearances with independent book stores, retailers, libraries, etc.
Now is also the time to put together your list of connections – colleagues, family, and friends – who will be able to help you market the book and secure pre-launch book sales.
3 months out
Now that the recipients have hopefully had time to review your ARC, this is the time to follow up on ARC media mailings and to continue querying book stores and speaking opportunities.
2 months out
Two months out, your audience focus will shift from book reviewers to non-book reviewer media, such as columnists, freelance writers, business editors, and radio talk show hosts. This is also a good time to reach out to bloggers and online reviewers who may have interest in an advance copy of your book. Finally, reach out to the media in cities where you have scheduled tour dates.
1 month out
In the final month prior to official release, Feinblum suggests scheduling radio and non-morning show TV interviews, finishing the ARC follow-up, contacting more online reviewers and bloggers, and hitting daily newspapers, newswires, and weekly publications for additional promotion.
90-120 days after publication
For the first 90-120 days post-release, run the interviews and stories so that media and bookstores will see the book as “new”. This is also the time to contact all short-term media to promote the availability of the book.
Finally, Feinblum cautions to “stick to your timeline and don’t deviate” noting that “it’s a marathon, not a sprint”.
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