Book Promotion Schedule

7-12 Months Prior to Publication Date

  1. Get a PO Box for a private business address.
  2. Ask publisher for a list of reviewers or search for reviewers yourself via the Internet.
  3. Research local events and book fairs to happen around the time of your book release.
  4. Learn what your publisher will do for marketing purposes.
  5. Find out where your publisher will send the book for reviews.
  6. Create a website or update it.

6 Months Prior to Publication

  1. Finalize the overall marketing/promotional plan: release date, website launch, promotion deadlines, book review deadlines, blogging schedules, book signings, speaking engagements.
  2. Send announcements to newspapers, trade magazines, etc. that have “up-coming publications” columns.
  3. Prepare a press release to send with galleys.
  4. Request extra covers from publisher, for store displays and for publicity use.
  5. Send manuscripts out for endorsement quotes.
  6. Have a professional photo taken for publicity use; head shots in both black and white and color.
  7. Finalize cover endorsements, text, and author information.
  8. Set up Google Alerts for your name and your book title, separately.

5 Months Prior to Publication

  1. Get bookmarks and flyers designed and printed.
  2. Get stationary and business cards designed and printed.
  3. If the book is self-published (“indie” published) or print-on-demand published, order a supply of books for publicity purposes.
  4. Make sure the publisher sends out galleys for reviews, send them yourself.
  5. Map out the book tour: physical or virtual.

4 Months Prior to Publication

  1. Write a postcard or send a flyer to wholesalers, distributors, booksellers and sales reps to become personally acquainted with as many as possible.
  2. If you travel during this time, leave bookmarks, flyers, and business cards at booksellers in the cities you travel through.
  3. Send flyers and bookmarks to independent bookstores.
  4. Send announcements to regional, local, and alumni newsletters.
  5. Write an author profile for advertising your book.
  6. Gather any press clippings for book tour pitches to media.
  7. Write 10-15 sample questions or tips for interviews and press kits.
  8. Write press release.
  9. Update your media database.
  10. Set up book signing events and start planning the book tour, if you plan to do one.
  11. If possible, arrange speaking/autographing sessions at Barnes & Noble bookstores.

3 Months Prior to Publication

  1. Reserve ad space in publications advertising your book.
  2. Assemble press kits and mail to media.
  3. Write pitch letters to media.
  4. Send bio, photo and book cover to publications advertising your book.
  5. Prepare questions for hosts to ask during interviews for publicity and book tours.
  6. Check with retailers in book tour cities regarding stocking your books.
  7. If your book is self- or POD published, make arrangements for independent bookstores to carry your book on commission basis or other arrangement.
  8. Create and launch a book trailer.
  9. Schedule your book launch party, physical and online.

2 Months Prior to Publication

  1. Send autographed copies of your book and a pitch letter to local newspapers, radio and television talk shows to secure interviews.
  2. Start follow-up calls to media and bookstores in each city on your book tour.
  3. Update schedule for book tour and book travel and hotel reservations.

1 Month Prior to Publication

  1. Mail additional bookmarks to bookstores.
  2. Mail postcards, bookmarks, and/or newsletter announcements to fans from previous published works.
  3. Send media kits to television, radio, and newspapers in the locations where a book signing is scheduled.
  4. Set up time to arrange displays in local bookstores for your speaking session.
  5. Write a small blurb regarding your talk and book for the Community Relations Coordinator to include in the Barnes & Noble newsletters.
  6. Prepare and practice presentation for any speaking session planned.
  7. Send any special requests for the book signing/speaking session to the bookstore two weeks in advance.

1 Week Prior to Publication

  1. Confirm book signings one week before event.
  2. Try to speak with store manager to generate excitement over speaking session and book signing.
  3. Offer a book to be raffled off to booksellers the day of the event.
  4. Update your website with book information, excerpt, and links.
  5. Announce the publication date with all social media.

Publication Date

  1. Continue promoting to all local media. Do radio, TV, and press interviews.
  2. Update all online options: website, social media, links to where book can be purchased.
  3. Update your email signature with a buy link.
  4. Go on book tour.

Day of the Event

  1. If a PA system is involved, check the system 15 minutes before speaking.
  2. Check to see if refreshments are available, if being provided. Make sure you have a glass of water before speaking.
  3. Check your chair placement to be sure the audience can see and hear you clearly.
  4. Arrange staging area where you will speak with your books.
  5. Bring pens and autograph stickers.
  6. Ask store manager to make an in-store announcement 15 minutes and 5 minutes before you are scheduled to begin speaking.
  7. Check to see that the music in the store is either turned off or turned down before you begin speaking.
  8. Personally thank as many of the store employees as you can when you have finished speaking and autographing.
  9. Assist in cleaning up the event.

When You Get Home

  • Send thank you notes to everyone involved in the speaking/book signing event.


  1. Continue to schedule book signings, speeches, and seminars.
  2. Periodically mail excerpts to newspapers for continued exposure.
  3. Visit your loops and message boards to participate in conversations and support other authors.
  4. Host a contest on your site to draw traffic, advertise it on your social networks.
  5. Review conferences to attend with an eye on promoting your book.

© 2011 Starla Kaye

The Smarts Button

This website is the work of Starla Criser, an author who has published more than 50 stories, both traditionally and through self-publishing routes.