While advance planning is an important component of book PR, the reality is that publishers and authors often find themselves with great projects and little lead time to do the advance work. Whether your book is close to — or even past — its publication date, do not despair.
There are countless ways to promote a book even after its publication date. Here are some ideas:
Think beyond reviews
Many media outlets prefer to review books either in advance of, or near, a publication date. If your book is past its publication date, you will need to formulate a plan that focuses less on reviews and more on alternative ways of coverage. Look beyond the book — what other types of coverage might be appropriate? Make a list of as many story ideas as you can that relate to your book.
Be in the know
Keep an eye on news stories, trends and events. Do you have an interesting perspective on a news item? Is there something in your book that could shed some light on a trend? Use this as your guide to find new and newsworthy angles.
Promote your expertise first, your book second
What is your area of expertise? Journalists are grateful for good sources who can shed insight on news items. How can you help?
Be mindful of timely subjects
Think of topics that often garner coverage throughout the year. For instance, many newspapers, as well as other media, address issues pertinent to New Year’s (parties, new year’s resolutions), holiday gift giving ideas, Valentine’s day, wedding season, tax day, back-to-school, summer vacation, Halloween, Thanksgiving and others. Is there something in your book that might tie into one — or more — of these?
Offer excerpts or tips from your book
Can the information in your book help a reader, viewer, or listener in some way? Offer these up to journalists to use in a stand alone article, an excerpt, or insights to supplement a feature.
Write it yourself
Offer to contribute articles to journals, magazines and papers. Address an issue that is pertinent to the publication’s readership. Resist the urge to promote your book in the body of the article. Write an article that addresses the issue and, in exchange for the contribution, ask to have information about your book, service, website and any other information included at the end of the article.
Research editorial calendars
You do not have to be an oracle to know what magazines are planning to cover in future issues. Most magazines publish editorial calendars that detail specific features, articles, or themes of upcoming issues. Many magazines publish editorial calendars on their websites. Research these and pitch accordingly.
Promoting a backlist of post-publication date book really hinges on thinking outside the book. Remember — you are limited only by your creativity and willingness to try.