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PR for Authors: How to get publicity for your new book

By Easy Media List staff
Updated June 4, 2021

As a book author doing your own publicity, getting media interviews and book reviews is the name of the game. Here are some tips and ideas to help you get media attention and coverage for your new book.

Prepare Stories and Press Releases about Your Book

You wrote a book because you have stories to tell. Now you need to prepare stories specifically for the news media who will write and talk about your book.

You will need different stories for editors at different types of media outlets. For you local newspaper, a story focusing on people in the community might work best. For a national magazine you will probably tell a very different story -- one that might appeal to people across the country or around the world.

We recommend against sending copies of your book to every editor you can find, and we don't suggest sending a generic press release to the effect of "author writes book." In most cases, you should send your book only to people who show an interest in writing about you and your work.

With your story ideas in mind, it's time to write press releases. Editors expect press releases to follow a number of content and formatting guidelines. Learn more about how to write effective press releases.

Which Publications and Stations to Contact?

Now that you have your stories ready to go in the form of press releases, you can decide exactly which media outlets to contact.

So which media should you contact? Should you focus on local or national media? General interest or specialized publications? Consumer or trade magazines? Newspapers or TV stations?

Plan to start small, approaching local media in your city or town. They have an interest in your work because you are a member of the community, and your book may relate to the community in a number of ways.

Once you have a few stories and book reviews from local newspapers and magazines, you can go to the next level. You might try a trade publication or a big city newspaper. Just keep in mind that it is a process, and editors do pay attention to what other editors choose to publish or broadcast.

Prepare Your List of Media Contacts

At this point, you have a strategy for getting the media to notice and learn about your new book. Now you need to know the names of editors and how to get in touch with them. This is your media contact list.

The "must-haves" for your media contact list include the editor's name and his or her email address. With few exceptions, email is the best way to contact editors today. Learn more about how to send press releases via email.

At Easy Media List we provide media contact information, but you can also gather this information yourself if you have the time and patience.

If you decide to go it alone, we recommend that you use our sister service Mondo Times, the worldwide news media guide to track down media contact information. Mondo Times includes website links and editor names, free of charge. Start with local news media in the USA or American newspapers.

Here's more information about using our services to prepare your media contacts.

Contact the Local News Media

Close to home is the best place to start your publicity campaign for your book, and we cover all American local news media. A local author is much more likely to be written about in a community newspaper or regional magazine than someone from far away. Community publications pride themselves on covering truly local news about local people. Also consider local newspapers and college newspapers where you may have begun your writing career.

We also have media contacts for every major American city. For an example, see the Dallas, Texas media contact list.

Contact the Top 100 Newspaper Book Editors

The staffs of the biggest American newspapers keep getting smaller, and some no longer have a book editor writing in-house book reviews. Some leading newspapers have dropped their book section altogether or merged it into the entertainment section.

But book reviews in the major American newspapers are widely read, and there are many book editors who still review books and interview authors. We provide a list of the book section editors at the top 100 American newspapers.

The downloadable list includes each book editor's name and their preferred email for submitting a press release. The list also includes the telephone number and mailing address of the editorial department.

Contact Consumer and Business Magazines

Almost all magazines are highly "targeted," meaning they are produced for a specific demographic or interest group, from newlyweds to crochet lovers to heavy metal fans. You can get great media coverage by matching your book themes to magazines which cover similar topics.

For example, if you have a book about yoga you could target fitness publications or women's lifestyle media. If you have written about religious devotion then you might contact the many Christian magazines and newspapers in the USA. See all of the national media contact lists by topic.

We hope you found this brief guide helpful. You can also take a look at the important details of how to send a press release via email.

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