Author Publicity & Marketing Timeline

Publicity timeline for a book

I am always surprised when someone comes to me wanting to begin marketing their book just weeks before publication day. If that is the case for you, many good things can still be done for your book and its marketing, but unfortunately, when you wait so long there are a lot of missed opportunities.

When is the best time to begin marketing and planning for your book’s release? The very best time is when you’re actually writing the book, but the next best time is about 6-12 months out from pub date. Why? It takes a lot of planning and strategizing to be ready to launch.

The reason you want to start marketing and publicizing your book early in the process is to build anticipation, engage potential readers, and alert those in the media who will want to cover you.

Regarding the media, here is what to do:

Begin Developing a Strong Press Kit: Start with a book press release, bio, cover and author photos, a synopsis of the book, and any advance praise you receive. These will be used for any long-lead media, industry trades, and other media that require a considerable amount of time prior to pub date. Then you can create an interview topics sheet, interview questions, and any other pieces that will help to convey what your book is about and what you can provide in an interview.

Secure Book Reviews: Reach out to the industry trades, magazine reviewers, book bloggers, and influencers who cater to your genre. Offer them a galley (also known as an ARC (Advanced Review Copies) so they can review your book before its release. Positive early reviews can significantly boost your book’s credibility.

Arrange Interviews and Podcast Appearances: Research podcasts and publications that might align with the theme of your book or your personal story as an author. Pitch personalized proposals to them for interviews, which can help you reach broader audiences. Start this early. Some podcasts and other outlets book well into the future.

Engage with Local Bookstores and Libraries: Start conversations with local bookstores and libraries about carrying your book, hosting a reading, or including you in local author events. This grassroots approach can help build local support and word-of-mouth.

Utilize Content Marketing: Write articles or blog posts that relate to the themes of your book and can interest your target audience. Publish these on your website, Medium, or submit them as guest posts to larger platforms. Just remember: in this day of AI, all your content should be fresh and original. You don’t want to place the same article in multiple places because Google will decide which one to index and that means it will go with the place with the higher visibility, e.g., a post on LinkedIn will get the attention rather than your own blog (unless your numbers are greater than LinkedIn, in which case you will get the attention).

For your own media channels:

Pre-writing Phase: As soon as you have a solid idea or outline for your book, you can begin to talk about it on social media, your blog, or your website. Consider sharing your writing process, research adventures, and inspirations. This helps to start building a community around your work and it will be fun for you.

As You are Writing: Keep sharing updates as you progress with the writing. Snippets, interesting facts, tips and tricks you come across can keep potential readers engaged and curious.

Do a Cover Reveal: Organize an event or a special post to unveil your book cover. Be creative. I have seen many different types of cover reveals so do a little research, see what you like, and consider what would work for you.

Build a Mailing List: By now you must know the importance of an email list. It’s the way to stay directly in touch with your readers. The best part is they have opted in to hear from you. If you haven’t already, start a mailing list now.

Galley or ARC Distribution: Start sending out galleys to reviewers, book bloggers, podcasters, and influencers to generate interest.

3-6 Months Before Release:

Pre-order Campaign: Set up pre-orders and consider incentives to encourage people to order early. This is helpful for many reasons. It can improve sales ranking, provide early revenue, and gauge reader interest. It also encourages reviews and feedback since those who pre-order are excited about receiving the book when it releases.

1-2 Months Before Release:

Launch Event Planning: Plan a book launch event, either virtual or in person.

Social Media Ads: Consider running targeted ads on social media platforms to increase visibility.

Finalize Media Appearances: Confirm your schedule for interviews, blog tours, and guest posts.

Release Day:

Launch Event: Host your launch event.

Engage with Readers: Be active on social media, respond to comments, and engage with your community.

Thank You Notes: Send out thank you notes to collaborators, helpers, and early reviewers. Not many people do this anymore, so it’s a wonderful touch if you do.


Keep the Momentum Going: Continue marketing efforts with readings, signings, and participating in book fairs.

Continue Booking Media Interviews: There are a lot of media outlets that do not have a long lead time, go to them now.

Gather Feedback: Collect and showcase positive reviews and testimonials. Use any constructive feedback for future marketing or writing endeavors.

And remember to have fun!

There is a lot to do when deciding to publish and launch a book but it can be very rewarding. Having a timeline is important, but knowing what to write in your materials and how to hook the media is also critical. I’m doing another Publicity Master Class through the Nonfiction Author Association and I’d love to have you join me. It’s live one hour a week for six weeks, but it’s also being recorded so you can listen whenever it works for your schedule. Would love to have you join me. You can check it out here.

To your success!


P.S. You must be my Lucky Star!






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