Debate: how long have you got to promo your book?

A current debate running on the Marketing for Authors email list is how long a shelf-life one’s book has got. Is it:

  • 2-3 months, while it’s in the shops
  • 6 months: who cares about the shops, there is Amazon
  • 1 year, if you can keep interest up
  • until you’ve a new book out

However, what also needs to be considered is how long you should be promoting pre-publication:

  • don’t be daft, no point promoting until it’s available
  • 2-3 months before, to get reviews and the launch party organised
  • 6-9 months before: need to get the website up and search optimised, MySpace, get blog up and running, video promo, adverts and media, booktrade PR, arrange book tour, try and secure speaking slots and major events
  • 1 year before: you can never start too early
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