The Marketing Timeline

March 2004
by David Cole

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Once you’ve decided to publish a book, the clock starts ticking, not just for the editorial and production people who must work with the manuscript, but also for the marketing staff, who can–and usually should–begin their work on the book a full year before its publication. The checklist below is designed to help you get everything done without being overwhelmed.

Six to twelve months before publication

• Offer sale of first serial rights to periodicals–send selected chapters, excerpts, or manuscript with table of contents and cover letter.

Seven months before publication

• Begin cover design.

Six months before publication

• Submit Advance Book Information (ABI) to R. R. Bowker for inclusion in Books in Print (forms available from

Four to six months before publication

• Produce cover art (printed covers or color photos of mockup for sales conference).

• Write editorial fact sheet, back cover copy, and trade catalog copy.

• Submit to book clubs.

Four months before publication

• Write press release/create press kit (photo, author bio, backgrounder, sample questions, clippings, all as appropriate).

• Send galleys with press release to prepublication reviewers: Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Booklist, Kirkus, and newalueers with pullout review sections. (You should…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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