Your Book Publicity Campaign: Content Relevance and Media Lead Times

A major component of a successful campaign is content relevance. What is content relevance? It’s matching your book with what is happening in the world. Here are some examples:

• Is any part of your novel set during a holiday?

• Are there any themes in your memoir that can be tied into an awareness month (i.e.:  October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month)?

• Is your book ideal for college grads, or Mother’s Day/Father’s Day gifts or themes?

When considering a start date for your campaign, think ahead – sometimes months ahead – to any holidays, causes, awareness months or memorial days that provide a strong news tie for your book. You or your publicist will be able to promote the book in conjunction with the event, giving you a stronger platform upon which to build publicity.

Here is a website to help you locate awareness months/weeks:

Second, you must consider the media lead times for publications:

• If you wrote a memoir about your battle with breast cancer, placement in women’s interest magazines during National Breast Cancer Awareness in October would be ideal. Magazine editors and writers work rough three to six months ahead of each issue, thus to maximize your chance for women’s interest magazine placements, you or your publicist must begin pitching the story idea in May or June!

• Newspapers have a shorter lead-time, meaning you can pitch to editors roughly three weeks ahead of when you’re interested in having your book or article included. For major holidays and events it is best to start pitching six to eight weeks ahead of your desired run date.

• Broadcast media (television and radio) work roughly three to four weeks ahead of schedule. If you’re trying to tie your message and/or book in with a specific event or holiday, it is best to start pitching the story idea six to eight weeks ahead of schedule.

• Online media can be immediate, which is why we love it! You can pitch an article to online media outlets and see it posted the very same day. However, if you’re seeking a specific review, interview or media written article, provide the editor with several weeks to consider your story idea and execute the work.

Bottom line: when you or your publicist has a strong, developed news angle to ground your message and book’s content, it increases the chances of securing media placements. Think ahead to all relevant events, social movements, holidays and memorials and be sure to plan out when you’ll start pitching to the media in order to secure placements on and around specific dates.

Corinne Liccketto is the Sales & Marketing Manager at Smith Publicity, Inc. Beginning in 1997, Smith Publicity is one of the world’s leading promotional firms, specializing in book publicity. Fueled by a passion for making good things happen for clients, the company has worked with over 900 individuals and companies–from authors and entrepreneurs to publicly-held companies and businesses representing a wide range of industries. The Smith Publicity reach is international with offices in New Jersey, New York City, Los Angeles, and London. For more information about Smith Publicity, Inc., please visit