The Publicity Schedule: What You Need to Know About Lead Times If You Want Your Best Shot at Coverage

February 2004
by Kate Bandos

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In real estate they say the three most important considerations are location, location, and location. In book publicity, the three most important considerations are timing, timing, and timing.

Publishers and authors should create a publicity timeline for each book when it is still in the editing stages. Unfortunately, too many wait until the book has gone to the printer, or even until finished books are in their hands, to begin thinking about tackling the PR, and by then it is too late to realize a lot of potential for exposure.

Which Media When?

Your first steps should involve figuring out how much time to allow for the preparation of promotional materials. How quickly can you get galleys? How long will it take you to research who needs what, when? How long will it take to do individualized cover letters? If you plan to include a media release or other material with galleys, how quickly can you write and produce it or them? True to Murphy’s Law, if something can go wrong, it will–so always allow much more time than you think you’ll need.

Of these steps, the most critical is researching who needs what when. Since different media have different lead times, it is necessary to find the specifics for your book and topic.

Start by identifying the people you want to approach. We suggest that publishers ask themselves, Who is going to buy this book, and what do they read, watch, and listen to? The answer to that set of que…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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