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Timeline

6 months prior to publication:

At this point, you should already be brainstorming ideas for your marketing campaign. Do you have any useful contacts in the media? Whom might you feel comfortable approaching to ask for a cover quote? What are you willing to personally invest to make your book a success?

Discuss your marketing plan with your editor. Editors present upcoming titles to their promotions/sales staff up to nine months prior to your book’s publication, and it is at this point that your editor should be able to relay what you have planned and what you’re willing to do to promote your title. This way, you will know how to complement their efforts and can plan accordingly.

Any sizable promotion, book signings and advertising should be discussed.

In addition, your editor should be fully aware of those plans so that the sales staff has the tools necessary to present your book to their accounts.

Ask your publisher which booksellers are getting advance galleys. Also, do they need additional selling material – like audio of you reading the first chapter or a video trailer?

Create a list of post-publication reviewers. This might include book reviewers for magazines, newsletters and websites on the topic of your book, plus less specialized book reviewers.

List those to whom you wish to send complimentary copies.

Research relevant websites and bloggers.

3-4 months prior to publication:

Have the publisher send bound galleys to reviewers. Please note that industry publications such as Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Booklist etc. strongly prefer advance copies from the publisher. The package should include a copy of the galley plus a cover flat and a short letter.

1-2 months prior to publication:

Finalize plans for guest blogging and online contests, and follow up with booksellers regarding signings. Get contact information for any local publications and pitch/send info to your publicist to pitch your book for an article timed to run at release.

Your web presence should be up and running around the time you’re starting to submit.  Make sure you include awards, any quotes, interesting highlights from your bio, previous publications, that kind of thing.

Create your viral video and get it to relevant sites.

Start your social networking.