My internal promotional plan for each release is organized by timetable because that’s the only way I can get it all done and stay on schedule. For a late September release (Secrets to Die For), it looks like this (which includes some things my publisher will do).

1. Plan blog tour (make list of blogs to visit, map out content)
2. Send ARCs to:


  • Send out e-mails for blog tour and set up schedule.
  • Start writing blog tour posts (one a week, minimum)
  • Print more bookmarks/send as giveaways to conferences everywhere
  • Create and print promotional flyers for libraries, bookstores, distributors
  • Add to library database
  • Update bookstore database
  • Pass out bookmarks at Art & the Vineyard and Lane County Fair


  • Send out promotional flyers to
    • bookstores
    • libraries
    • book clubs
  • Send press releases (and ARCs) to local newspapers
  • Set up book signings/book talks at bookstores in major towns in Oregon (Eugene, Portland, Salem, Medford, Ashland)
  • Set up book talk at libraries
  • Keep writing blog posts (one a week, minimum)
  • Set up e-mail/newsletter announcement with Vertical Response
  • Get video trailer made (if money allows)


  • Send publicity material to organizations: Willamette Writers, Backspace, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime
  • Send publicity information to related organizations (gay/lesbian rights groups)
  • Blog tour begins (drink lots of coffee and make no other plans)
  • Send out e-mail/newsletter to 400+ friends and readers the day the book is released
  • Buy ads in mystery magazines and popular crime blogs


  • Blog tour continues
  • Book giveaway contests on blog and website
  • Send out second round of promotional flyers or postcards (cheaper!) with new blurbs from reviewers
  • Attend Bouchercon (hand out bookmarks, flyers, network)
  • Post book trailer on as many sites as possible
  • Attend Southern Oregon Book & Author  Fair

Holy cow, am I going to be busy! I’m sure I’ve missed something. How do you stay organized during a book release?
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  1. Very well thought out timetable, LJ. Anyone should be able to follow your example. Thanks, and good luck with your September release!


  2. Great tips agin, L.J. Thanks so much!!

  3. Great timeline! I’ve got a September release, too (“Shades of Grey”) and obviously I’ve got to get cracking!

  4. Thanks, LJ!

    Those are some great tips. Good luck with the launch!

  5. Thanks for al this information on marketing. I’m new at all of this and don’t understand the term ARC. Attempted to find a definition elsewhere, but had to bite the bullet and just ask. So, what is it? Thanks in advance.

  6. An ARC is an advanced review copy, essentially a printed version of your book that isn’t final but allows reviewers to read/review before it’s published.

  7. Oh, I get it now. Thanks.

  8. Really great info here… I found your site via Google and I will bookmark it and come back again!

  9. I usually don’t post on Blogs but ya forced me to, great info.. excellent! … I’ll add a backlink and bookmark your site.

    I’m Out! 🙂

  10. Have you ever considered creating an e-book or guest authoring on other blogs? I have a blog based upon on the same ideas you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my viewers would value your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e-mail.

  11. I agree, Maria. For me, a magazine oerffs a tactile satisfaction that the internet will never be able to deliver (I don’t think!). A magazine is a thing to play with, hold, and create an experience with by tabbing pages, rolling it up, ripping out coupons, gazing at amazing photos and turning them into collages, etc. The Internet oerffs more satisfaction to my busy mind through instant connection with the creative, answers to research questions, boatloads of amazing information and ever-expanding networks. End game: I love both, too.

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