Book Launch Timeline

I notice patterns when talking to authors about their book marketing plans. Most dread the idea of having to promote their work, “I just want to write!” What they don’t realize is they had been promoting their work throughout our conversation they just didn’t see it that way. Anytime you are sharing information about your book (book promotion), asking me about my work (networking), posting on social media (platform), and so on, you are marketing. To me, the bigger issue isn’t that authors aren’t uncomfortable with promotion; it’s that it’s overwhelming.

Let’s face it, once you get a book published, you’re officially a rock star because that’s very difficult to do. So, really, you can do anything, but you can’t do everything. Here’s the second pattern I see. It’s not the actual marketing that gives authors anxiety, it’s that they waited too long to start and are overwhelmed by what to do and when. Below are some timeline suggestions to help you get organized. In the Authors Posse Marketing group we go into depth on the topics that are musts for every author (websites or building email lists for example). After you’ve covered your “musts”, do what you can with the rest, and after that, relax. You are working on marketing simply by reading this post (marketing research). Go you!



1 to 2 Years Out From Publication

  • Launch a website
  • Start a newsletter
  • Order business cards
  • Start your street team (anyone you can think of that would be willing to share your news with their networks)
  • Get active on social media
  • Promote fellow authors
  • Write reviews for fellow authors (post on Amazon, Goodreads, B&N)
  • Join relevant associations and be active (SCBWI or Authors Guild)

1 Year Out

  • Set a budget
  • Make a monthly marketing calendar
  • Make lists of opportunities for reviews, awards, lists, and bloggers
  • Make lists for book festivals and guest speaking opportunities
  • What will your publisher be doing – start the dialogue now
  • Develop an educator’s/reading guide or downloadable activity kit
  • Join a debut group (if this is your first book)
  • Plan your cover reveal
  • Solicit endorsements
  • Create a book trailer
  • Hire an intern
  • Bookmark Authors’ Posse

6 Months From Release

  • Create a press kit (includes: hi-res photo(s), bio, cover photo, book blurb, any praise to date)
  • Make a SWAG plan
  • Design SWAG once you have your cover
  • Interview book publicists
  • Create a press kit (includes: hi-res photo(s), bio, cover photo, book blurb, any praise to date)
  • Make a SWAG plan
  • cont…

… ok this is me building my newsletter list. Ya! If you’d like the rest of the book launch timeline and you’d like to support a fellow author, email me: NanetteHeffernan (at) gmail (dot com). I’ll send you the full book launch timeline AND add you to my newsletter list. 

  • Design SWAG once you have your cover
  • Interview book publicists
  • Release your cover
  • Create Author Visit flyer PDF for schools, libraries, & bookstores
  • Develop an ARC release strategy
  • Plot out your book release tour
  • Set up author pages on Amazon, Goodreads & Library Thing
  • Promote preorders
  • Contact local press
  • Guest-post on blogs
  • Set up media interviews
  • Begin networking with local bookstores, libraries & schools

3 Months From Release

  • Send out ARC copies (bloggers, launch team, ect)
  • Plan your launch party
  • Confirm author appearances
  • Develop a contest and giveaway strategy
  • Keep your eyes open for reviews of your book
  • Finish writing all your guest blog posts
  • Post any good news (reviews, ect.) everywhere (website, SM)
  • Consider a new list of places to pitch for paid author visits (museums, nonprofits, community organizations), and pitch them!

1 Month From Release

  • Reconfirm author appearances
  • Finalize launch party plans
  • Work with your launch team

Book Launch Week/Day

  • Launch contests and giveaways (Social Media, Goodreads, Library Thing)
  • Toast your success at a launch party
  • Designate a friend as photographer
  • Share everything on Social Media
  • Enjoy!

3 Months to 1 Year Post Release

  • Send thank you notes to everyone!
  • In-person and online school visits
  • Library author visits
  • Bookstore author visits
  • Continue to guest blog and set up speaking opportunities
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