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Book Publicity Basics from Your Publisher

What Publicity Efforts to Expect from Your Book Publishing House

By

photo of an advance reader's copy

Galley and ARC mailings are expensive, but sometimes warranted for long-lead publicity

The Dial Press / Random House
One of the advantages of being published by a traditional publisher is that you'll have the support of the publisher's in-house publicity department. How much publicity support depends on many factors, but here are the basic elements of a book publicity campaign that an in-house publicity department will likely provide.

Book Press Materials
Your publicist (or other member of the department) will develop and write a press kit, which generally consists of a press release and (with input likely drawn from your author questionnaire) a bio page, and perhaps some supporting materials such as an "Author Q&A" or sample questions for the press. You will likely be asked to provide the author photo.

Pre-Publication Book Galley or ARC Mailing
Where long-lead magazines are important to publicity, your publisher may print galleys (or their fancier, more expensive cousins, ARCs) and your publicist will mail them out to the media, along with printed copies of your press material. This is so the magazine can review the book in time for publication. Note that galleys are expensive to produce and publishers sometimes forego them.

Electronic Media "Blast" Email
Near publication date, the book's publicist will email the electronic version of the press kits to a large number of applicable editors and producers to garner interest in the book. (Sometimes bloggers are a part of this list; in some publishing houses, the book marketing department handles the bloggers separately, but in similar fashion.)

Read more about promoting your book through social media and raising your author profile with Twitter.
Finished Book Mailing
Your publicist may mail your finished books, accompanied by press materials.

Book Media Follow-Up Phonecalls
The book publicist will follow up with any media outlet that responds to the mailings or emailings, will mail additional copies of the finished book, and will make additional calls or emails to other outlets to remind them the book is in their in-box.

Book Publicity Appearance and Event Transportation
Your publisher should provide transportation to support for any outlets or events where they have booked you, whether an airplane ticket (coach!) and town car to get you to "The Today Show," or reimbursed bus fare for an appearance at a trade show.

Book Sales Support
If a public appearance that your publicity department has arranged includes a book signing, the publicity department generally coordinates with the other publisher departments to ensure the presence of your books to be sold and signed.

Read more about author readings and book signings.

Additional Publicity Mailings
Your publicity department should respond to your occasional requests to send your book to specific reporters or media outlets where you have a good contact or an "in."

Even the publicity campaigns for the most prominent authors and books contain these basic publicity elements--they generally vary in breadth and scope and degree of follow up. For more publicity insights, read:

These articles, covering all the elements of effective book publicity

About the duties of the book marketing department

The interview with expert Rick Frishman.

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