Book Marketing Timeline


Often when we are writing with publishing as the intended outcome, we forget about the important business side of that equation. We complete our work and want to get it into the hands of readers immediately. Unfortunately, without time to market the book, build a following and a sense of family with your readers, few books sell.

However, with good planning, we as authors can change the fate of our books and our careers.

People inherently want to support others they feel a relationship with, products they are loyal to or feel they’ve had some sort of connection to. Building that rapport takes months, possibly years, so the sooner you begin, the better.

There are many great timelines to help authors available online and research should be done to find the one that fits you and your personality.  We have found one we like very much and recommend to our authors at

We have included here for you:

6-12 months before release

  • Create a website, author page, or blog and at least one social media account.
  • Begin engaging with your audience via your website, blog, or social media about your upcoming book.
  • Find out what your publisher plans to do as far as book marketing, so that you don’t duplicate each other’s efforts.
  • Determine your strengths. Are you comfortable doing interviews, book signings, and speaking engagements? Build upon your strengths by knowing your book. Being able to “sell” your book is crucial to your book’s success.
  • Research your target market. What websites would readers of your book visit? What groups do they belong to on Facebook? What magazines do they read?
  • Do research on book clubs, blogs, websites, and book review sites that could potentially feature you and your book.

4-6 months before release

  • Begin building your email list and communicating with your subscribers.
  • Contact relevant book clubs and provide copies of your book for review. Determine when your book reviews will be published and add those dates to your marketing calendar.
  • Research whether there are any upcoming book festivals or events relevant to your book’s topic. If there are, find out how you can get involved either by purchasing a vending table or by being a featured speaker.
  • Create a media list that includes potential radio/TV outlets and magazine/newspapers that would feature you and your book.
  • Create your book’s press release and media kit.
  • Set up Google alerts for your name. You will later use these alerts to further add positive press to your media kit.
  • Map out a promotional schedule for blogs you can write for, schools or businesses you can visit, and conferences you can attend that will further help you to market your book.
  • Create a marketing calendar. Your marketing calendar will include a day-to-day accounting of when and where your book will be featured  (i.e., websites, radio interviews, contest giveaways, etc.)
  • Plan book tours, events and signings (both physical and virtual).

1-3 months before release

  • Contact TV, newspaper and radio from your media list. Send media kits and review copies to interested media. Determine when your book will be featured and add it to your marketing calendar.
  • Contact blogs and websites that are going to feature your book. Send press release kits and review copies and determine when your book will be featured and add it to your marketing calendar.
  • Create and launch a book trailer.
  • Schedule your book launch event party.
  • Create a 30 second elevator pitch of your book.

At book release

  • Update social media accounts, websites, etc. about your book’s release and provide a link where the book can be purchased.
  • Send out a newsletter announcing your book’s release to your audience.
  • Run contests on various sites (including your own) giving away copies of your book.

After book release

  • Continue to use Google alerts to further add press to your media kit.
  • Continue to engage with your audience and encourage them to leave book reviews and share details of your book with their friends.
  • Be active on social media, making sure to thank anyone who has supported you.
  • Repeat any of the above steps as necessary.


Make Sure Readers Can Find You

social-media-and-marketingAt least six months prior (preferably a year) to publishing your first book, you need to start creating places where readers can find you, start getting to know you and can keep up with all of your updates. This is all part of your Author Brand.

An Author Brand is how you are perceived by your readers, what emotions they feel when they read your site or interact with you.  It allows people to get a sense of who you are, what they can expect from your books and builds a connection between you and them.

Four important ways to start :

  • Create a website- Authors can find free or inexpensive sites;,, and to start setting their brand. Make sure to research other authors in your genre to get ideas on how to style your site.
  • Blog- Start engaging with your readers on your site blog . Let them get to know who you are, what you are up to; book related or personal life and share news on where your book is in the publishing process.
  • Create an author facebook page, invite your family and friends and ask them to share it as well. Then the real work begins. Make sure you interact with your “fans”, share personal stories and photos, and create a community.
  • Create author Instagram and twitter pages and share on them regularly.

Don’t stop here! Do all of the above for the title of your book as well!

As the book progresses your fan base will grown. The larger your author community is, the more people will know and be able to look for your book.

TIP– A great way to get more followers on the social media platforms is to buy a small promotion through their site. You can pay as little as $5 for 1 day of promotions. Make sure you Target people who would be interested in your type of books. For instance, if you write children’s books, make sure you target parents, grandparents and people who have Interests: Motherhood, Fatherhood, PBS Kids, Parent or Nickelodeon, Parents: Parents with preschoolers (03-05 years) Parents  (06-09 years)


What?! I Need To Market Myself?!

marketing-plan-bannerLet’s face it…Most writers hate to market themselves and think that once they have an agent or are published by a publishing company their hard work is done until they decide to write the next book. Unfortunately, nothing can be farther from the truth.

With Amazon and other online stores being so readily available and the book manufacturing industry and technology steaming ahead, the book market has been diluted with hundreds of thousands of books and authors, making it much more difficult to get your books and name known by the public.  Even being published by one of the BIG 5 Publishing Companies today, requires leg work on the part of the author, using advances to pay for publicists and promotions.

With the help of the internet, Social Media, your local community and a little bit of your time each week, you can create an Author Brand that will sell books and help your writing career blossom into the one you want.

Marketing can be tiresome, overwhelming and frustrating, especially if you don’t know what you are doing. Don’t worry! We have decided to dedicate the blog page on our  Willow Moon Publishing site to Author Marketing 101 to help you out!

Click Subscribe and learn all about how to help your career of being an author.