Four ways to start a publicity campaign for your book

Journalist and agency author Helen Croydon passes on some of her tips for publicizing your book.

If you’re an author writing probably comes naturally. But what about pushing for publicity? That’s usually a daunting task for us creatives.

Today, book PR is an integral part of being a writer. Even if you have a publisher behind you, PR budgets are often limited and most publishers now recommend, or expect, authors to cultivate book publicity alongside them.

As an author and journalist, I supplemented my publishers’ PR campaigns by approaching editors, journalists and producers myself with story ideas around my books.

I run courses and private coaching for authors on how to pitch book-related stories to the media. Here are four ways you can kick start a publicity plan.

Create a Target List

The good news is that there are now more online magazines, blogs, podcasts than ever and many covering niche topics, so there are more options for you to pitch stories, interviews or comments. Research as much as you can all the websites, blogs, Youtube channels, podcasts, online forums etc that cover the themes of your book.

Strike at the right time

The bad news is that once your book has been out a week or so, it’s no longer news in the eyes of journalists so you should start researching your ‘target list’ weeks in advance and pitch your book in advance publication.

Different types of media have vastly different planning schedules. A monthly magazine, for example, will plan its editions around 5 months ahead. A weekly magazine would be around 1-2 weeks ahead. But an interview on a talk-based radio show could be planned the day before.

Widen your themes

Don’t just pitch an article about your book. Think what topics of the zeitgeist that your book touches on. My latest book is a memoir about how I swapped a glamorous lifestyle for outdoor sport. That’s relevant to the current conversation surrounding women and sport. By widening my story to a wider debate I secured an interview on Sky News about the barriers faced by women taking up sport.

Widen your target

Don’t just think of the mainstream press and broadcasters. In today’s digital age you can leverage visiability through social media, host book giveaways and utilise your own networks to spread the word.

Helen Croydon’s Ultimate Book PR Training run in accordance with Nine Media takes place on 14th June. She can be contacted at Helen@helencroydon.com.

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Helen Croydon

Helen Croydon is an author, journalist and broadcaster.  Her  books include the dating memoir Sugar Daddy Diaries: When a Fantasy Became an Obsession and Screw the Fairytale: A Modern Guide to Sex and Love, which is a witty polemic asking whether full-time, committed relationships...More about Helen Croydon