There is a rhythm to generating publicity based on the natural ebb and flow of the seasons. An approach based on the four seasons of author publicity can help you score more press throughout the year and let you springboard your book forward into the spotlight.
A yearlong approach consists of:
- Timing your pitches to fit media news cycles.
- Crafting NEW stories to take advantage of holidays, seasonal events.
It is important to consider your lead times for different media targeted. For example, TV and radio news is lightning fast where mere seconds can make a difference, yet weekly shows or news magazines (ex: 60 Minutes or 20/20 ) have longer lead times – anywhere from a day to months. Magazines have the longest lead times. Check with the advertising or editorial departments for specific deadlines.
Jan – Mar: The media is looking ahead. A great time to pitch trends, predictions, something provocative or controversial about your book!
Apr – Jun: An open market. Time to pitch your light, fun, spring fever type stories. Journalists are human! They are glad winter is over, too. It is reflected in the stories they cover. Summer vacation pieces. Does your book take place at the ocean? Does it involve your character drowning? Is one of your characters a war vet? (Memorial Day) Think. How does your story line tie into this season?
Jul – Sept: The dog days of summer are when smart publicity seekers make hay. Most journalists are on vacation and marketing resources are being conserved for the holidays. Reporters are wide open for suggestions. Bring them creative and light and entertaining pitches. They will get deluged again in September so use this window of opportunity well. (“It’s the most wonderful time – of the year!”)
Oct – Dec: The busiest time of the media calendar. Got a business book? This is your season. Lifestyle or holiday themed book? Pitch it now. Cook books, gift books, travel related story lines? Go for it.
Always make a strong case why your book is different/unusual or essential. Start thinking like a journalist!
Lynda Bouchard is founder and Chief Inspiration Officer at BookingAuthorsInk, a boutique publicity firm dedicated to authors. She is also to be an esteemed faculty member at PubSmart 2014, discussing creative marketing and PR opportunities for authors.