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Author Promotions Toolkit



When should I start promoting my book?

As your book moves into production, consider adding a line about it to your online profiles, especially if you’re actively engaging with the media or participating in events or activities relevant to your book. This helps get the word out early, even if you don’t yet have many details to share. Some authors also choose to post on social media once their cover image is finalized—an exciting milestone!

Typically, we recommend actively beginning book promotions once your book is listed on our website and available for pre-ordering (about six months prior to publication). This is the perfect time to add the link to your book everywhere you’re active, including your email signature, social media accounts, website or faculty page, etc. You might also consider sharing an early book announcement over email and posting on social.

Is there a discount code I can share?

With the exception of Luminos titles, we include a 30% discount code on all promotional book flyers (available via the “create a flier for this title” link on your book page). This discount code is valid when ordering directly through our website. Please note that international customers will need to place their order and share the discount code through the appropriate distributor. Click here to find the right distributor by region.

Do I need to be active on social media?

Generally, an active social media presence is more important for authors of trade and academic trade books that are positioned for a public audience, though it can also be helpful for scholars if others in their network are engaged on social. However, active is the key word — social media is only effective if you’re willing to consistently engage in conversations relevant to your field, and not simply post about your book. The goal is to build your platform as an expert in your area, and connect with potential readers of your work. For more information on how to get started on social media, click here.

How should I promote my book on social media?

We recommend posting about your book at key milestones, such as cover reveal, pre-ordering available, blurbs or reviews in, advance copy received, events, awards, and more. Use these moments as opportunities to celebrate, to thank others who may have supported your book, and to spread the word to potential readers. Always keep in mind that you’ll need to balance promotions with other types of meaningful posts on social media.

To find more suggestions for promoting your book on social, click here.

Do I need to build a personal website?

A personal website gives you complete control over crafting your narrative bio and your expertise, in addition to increasing your online visibility. This is especially helpful if you’re a trade book author, or are a scholar interested in building your public profile. However, it’s not necessary to promoting your book, especially if you already have a faculty webpage or are active on social media. For more information on building a personal website, click here.

Should I build a dedicated website for my book?

If you’re going to invest the time and energy into building a personal website, we recommend creating a site that includes all of your work. This will better support you in building your author platform over the long-term. Additionally, all of your book information will already be accessible on the UC Press website.

In cases where you have access to funds to build this, and/or where there are special resources related to the book that you’d like to host online, this may be worth considering.

Will UC Press display my book at academic conferences?

UC Press will display your book at the major academic conferences we attend that are related to your discipline. If you will be traveling to an exhibit that is not on our list of regularly attended meetings, we recommend distributing your promotional book flyer.

How should I promote my book at academic conferences?

If you are participating in a conference session, make sure your bio or presentation references your book, and includes the UC Press link if possible. If UC Press is exhibiting, share our 40% discount code with other attendees to encourage them to order your book. If we’re not exhibiting, you can instead share your promotional book flyer and standard 30% discount code. Additionally, if you’re active on social media, we encourage you to share the details of your session and your book using the conference hashtag and @ucpress on Twitter & Facebook and @uc_press on Instagram.

I am speaking at a conference. Will you host an event for me at the booth?

Unfortunately, we are unable to host book events at academic conferences where we exhibit. We recommend partnering with another colleague if you’d like to host a launch party. We would be happy to help you promote this on our social channels.

Will UC Press promote my book for course adoption?

Each season, we conduct comprehensive adoption campaigns to faculty for books with significant adoption potential. Instructors can always request an exam copy by visiting your book page on our website.

Will UC Press submit my book for awards that are relevant to my book?

UC Press is known for publishing groundbreaking scholarship, and our books and authors win hundreds of awards each year. Based on the list of awards you submitted to us, our Exhibits & Awards Manager will coordinate all submissions and reach out to you if we need anything.

How can I get additional copies of my book?

You can always order additional copies of your book with your 40% author discount. Click here to access our author ordering instructions.

What kinds of promotional pieces will UC Press produce?

We will feature your book in UC Press’s seasonal catalog and we will provide you with a promotional book flyer for your own outreach.

I’ve created additional resources to be used with my book, such as syllabi, study questions, infographic, or book club reading guides. How can I make these available for readers?

We are able to host a range of additional resources on your book page within the Instructor Resources, Downloads, Learn More, and Media sections. Please contact our Author Marketing Communications Manager to coordinate adding these to our website.

I’m interested in submitting to the UC Press blog. How does that work?

We have an active UC Press blog and are always happy to work with authors on guest posts, Q&As, and other features. All blog posts will appear on your UC Press book page, ensuring that anyone interested in your book can easily find this additional material. We promote these posts on our social channels, and may also repromote themt at relevant times, such as during academic conferences.

If you have been working on a piece for another outlet that has not been picked up, you always have the option to submit it to the UC Press blog. Additionally, if you’ve published a piece for an educational or open outlet, such as The Conversation, we are able to repost on our site to expand your audience.

Click here to see our blog guidelines. If you’re interested in submitting to the UC Press blog, please contact our Author Marketing Communications Manager.



Will you send my book out for review?

Yes! Each book published by UC Press is assigned a publicist and receives strategic promotional outreach. We offer pdfs, e-copies, and physical copies to reviewers and editors and send material in response to requests and editor or outlet preferences.

How is a review list created?

In preparing a review list, the publicist considers author suggestions (from your Author Promotional Questionnaire), culls names from an extensive reviewer database, and honors specific requests from book reviewers, editors and media contacts. We also pay attention to bylines and social media engagement to identify important contacts and trending conversations. Each season, we introduce our new titles to trade and scholarly outlets and journals via e-catalogs. We also meet with editors at major outlets.

When are copies sent to reviewers?

For trade and academic trade books: We work with e-galleys and physical galleys for our early outreach to pre-publication trade outlets and longer-lead (national, popular) media outlets, beginning this effort about six months prior to the publication date. Over the course of the campaign, from galley stage through the months following publication, we will continue to curate and do outreach to media contacts, offering e-copies and finished books for review, feature, interview, and content consideration.

For scholarly books: We do our media outreach via email to select media contacts and journals, offering pdfs/e-copies or physical review copies to coincide with the publication date. We do not make galleys for our scholarly books but we can offer pdfs of pages in response to early requests.

Why the shift to email outreach and digital review copies?

Most of our outreach is done via email because editors have not returned to editorial offices since the early days of the pandemic. With few exceptions, we have been asked to refrain from sending books unsolicited.

We carefully curate our outreach, sending strategic pitches or individual notes to communicate with editors, producers, radio/podcast hosts, and journalists. They will direct us to send material to their homes or to their editorial offices, depending on their preferences. The added benefit is that we are also able to track the open-rate on email to see if an editor has clicked on, or engaged with, a given pitch. This intel helps guide future outreach efforts.

I have a scholarly book, but I think that the topic might appeal to this (trade) outlet. Will you pitch this for me?

For scholarly titles, we put our resources into announcing your book to the academy through journal reviews. Your publicist understands the media landscape and will assess the value of engaging in additional outreach for your book. If your research aligns with topical or newsworthy developments that expand the reach outside of the academy, we may ask you to develop assets for us—such as topical talking points—that can be included in an email book announcement to select media. We will also encourage you to consider placing an article or op-ed as an option for reaching a broader audience.

When should I expect to see review or media coverage of my book? Will I be sent copies of the reviews?

We subscribe to a media monitoring service and also receive links directly from outlets and journals. Your publicist will alert you to any media coverage and may amplify select coverage via our UC Press social channels. Additionally, we upload pull quotes to your book page and affiliated retail sites like Amazon.

Please alert your publicist to any notice of coverage that you receive. If you announce on social channels, please tag us (@ucpress) for retweeting.

For trade and academic trade books, we expect the bulk of coverage to begin around the publication date and continue for many months after. Outlets are less focused on running reviews and features to coincide with the pub date, specifically. They are also more lenient with university publishing houses. Unlike the trade houses’ rush to land on bestseller lists and compete for exclusivity in coverage, our books have longer shelf lives with the media.

For scholarly titles, we hope that journals will review your book within a year of publication, but we often receive review clips years after publication.

I haven’t seen any reviews for my book yet. What’s going on?

We hope that reviews will run in appropriate outlets, but there are fewer pages dedicated to book reviews, specifically, and there is fierce competition for the pages that remain. Beyond this, reviews seem to run on a fairly flexible schedule these days.

All publishers have pivoted to partnering with authors to promote books. If you are a trade or academic trade author, we hope to amplify your work through content placement (articles, adapted excerpts), interviews, and off-the-book page features. If you are a scholarly author, we will continue to announce your book to appropriate subject-specific outlets and journals. Please keep in mind that reviews in scholarly journals often take many months or even years to appear.

Should I contact media directly? Would you give me your list of contacts so I can be in touch?

We are happy to share the list of media outlets to whom we have pitched your book, but we are unable to share journalists' contact information without their permission/approval.

Please understand that this is industry standard. We have established relationships over many years with these contacts, and we pay close attention to the integrity of these relationships, which is based on our vetting of what we bring to them. Unless it's an op-ed or article submission, our media contacts truly prefer when the pitch comes from one of us. Editors don’t want to be bombarded by individual pitches from authors.

That said, if you write for an outlet, or if you have a personal connection with a specific editor or journalist, you are welcome to reach out to that contact in your professional capacity or ask that we do so on your behalf. Please inform us when you have this network and intend to have these conversations.


Should I do events to promote my book?

This depends on the audience for your book. Please click here to view our guidelines for events.

As a trade author, shouldn't I do events? And what about a book tour?

Your publicist may present you with a plan for scheduling events with select venues or in specific markets, but only if this is part of the campaign plan. Candidly, the ROI for in-person book events is fairly low, especially when there are so many avenues for engaging with authors, including virtual events and podcast and radio interviews. We consider these factors when allocating resources and especially before we ask you to dedicate your time and energy.

We want your book to reach its intended audience, and we will focus our marketing and publicity efforts accordingly. Perhaps we focus on supporting op-ed placement, or getting your book to journal editors, or into the classroom for course adoption. There are many ways to amplify your research and promote your book. Events may not be the most efficient tool.

If you are really keen on having a book launch, you are welcome to reach out to your local bookstore to suggest an event that may be attended by friends, colleagues, and family. You may want to think about a book party at a private venue. You may also want to leverage your professional network to secure invitations to speak at conferences or on campus, or at venues where your research is salient (organizations or think tanks).

If you do want to do an event, keep it simple and get the most benefit out of it. One big event that can be shared with friends and family, or posted to social channels, is better than many small events that may be attended by few and require a lot of overhead.

If I do have an event for my book, what’s the earliest date it can be held?

We cushion our publication dates to allow time for books to land in our warehouse and ship to retailers. Please do not schedule any events before your pub date. Ideally, schedule your first events at least three weeks after the pub date. Speak with your publicist before you put anything on the calendar, just to be safe.

Please note that the international pub date for your book is usually scheduled for one month after the domestic pub date to allow for the delivery of stock to our UK-based warehouse. Please consult your publicist if you are planning to do any events outside of the U.S.

How far in advance do you have to pitch for events?

It depends on the venue. Popular lecture venues may need to be approached 6-8 months in advance of pub date to secure an in-person date on a competitive calendar. Typically, we approach popular indie bookstores about 4-5 months in advance. Some bookstores or smaller venues can get authors on the schedule with a month’s notice but expect that few will have openings that close to the publication date. And finally, with many calendars moving to hybrid or virtual programming, lead times have been a moving target. We’ve seen authors with newsworthy books pop into programming within a matter of days. Typically, if a bookstore has not responded to a pitch, or has declined an event, it is unlikely that they will host an author after the book has published

If programs have moved virtual, doesn’t that mean I have a better chance of getting onto the events calendar?

Again, it depends. Virtual programming has been a gift in the sense that authors no longer have to travel to engage directly with audiences; this has ameliorated the costs and logistical challenges of travel. On the other hand, anyone can be invited by a bookstore or venue to be on the calendar of events, which means that there is greater competition and limited availability. Bestselling and celebrity authors are being pitched alongside authors of newly released books.

Why don't you pitch for events on campus?

It’s very difficult for us to navigate the bureaucracy of department structures. Also, we don’t arrange for payment of honorarium when books are being promoted, and you may have this option if you are being invited to a talk. Plus, these are your relationships, and you are more likely to secure an invitation without our intervention.

I've been invited to give a reading at my local independent bookstore. How do I structure the talk?

We advise that you attend some events (virtual or in-person) before you give your talk. This will give you a sense of pacing. See what works and what doesn’t. Practice what you are going to say/read before your event.

On the day of your event, arrive at the bookstore about 15-20 minutes early. Introduce yourself to the staff and see where you go.

Allow about 45 minutes for the entire event. Start by introducing yourself and your book. Talk about why you wrote it or how you went about your research, about why it’s important or what you learned from it. Provide interesting anecdotes, if appropriate. (Allow about 15 minutes for this.) Then read, but not for too long. Choose a section that can stand alone and that will pique interest for future reading. Aim for 10 minutes, max. (You can even read 2-3 sections that add up to that time.) Then open it up for questions. You may want to consider a conversation partner, even, or someone to interview you. Always thank the bookstore—the folks on the floor will be handselling your book.

How do I get books to my bookstore events?

Most lecture venues and bookstores have processes in place to order books for resale, either through a wholesaler or via our national and international sales team, and will do so once the event is scheduled. Tell your publicist about the event just in case there are any delays in production that may inform stock availability.

How will you help promote and support my in-person or virtual bookstore events?

We can support your event promotion via our UC Press social media channels. In some cases, we may pitch regional media to coincide, or we may work with event coordinators at the local bookstores to promote the event via their media lists. Bookstores and public venues usually list their events on calendars in regional media outlets.


How can I pitch an excerpt from my book? What about op-eds?

When we approach editors with a book pitch, it is understood that they are reviewing material for review, feature, and excerpt consideration. We will be in touch if any editors request complete or adapted excerpts. That said, there are many opportunities to place pieces aligned with the news cycle or with an outlet's topical focus. In this competitive landscape, we urge authors to read through the submission guidelines on an outlet's website to get a sense of word-count parameters and best practices. Please click here to review our op-ed guidelines.

Should I submit a complete op-ed or article?

Most outlets welcome fully-crafted pieces that they will edit or ask you to edit, but you may also think about pitching a brief list of topics. This spec pitch will help you ascertain which angles are most appealing to editors and thus where to focus your efforts. (You may want to run these ideas by your publicist for feedback or to incorporate into a media kit.)

What you will need to provide: A few bullet points or brief sentences on how you'd approach different topics related to your research. Always include why your research/book/experience makes you uniquely positioned to write about these topics.

I have multiple articles in mind. What should I do?

We recommend starting with a topic that will appeal to the broadest possible audience, and/or one that is especially time-sensitive regarding news items and current events. Placing a high-profile, general-interest article can set you up to place additional pieces for different audiences and may generate future invitations for interview or comment.

How should I time my op-eds and articles?

It depends. Ideally, articles and op-eds will run to coincide with book availability. There will, however, be circumstances when the news cycle invites a contribution prior to publication. When this happens, it makes strategic sense to amplify your voice and research well before the book is available, setting the stage for future engagement. Op-eds and articles are wonderful tools for building and supporting platforms and establishing authors as public-facing experts. The timing is less important than the effort as these pieces offer rewards that extend well beyond the parameters of a publishing window.

I’ve shopped my article around, and it’s not been picked up. Now what?

Let us know! We would love to publish your piece on our UC Press Blog, and we will also promote it through our social channels.

Should I hire a freelance publicist?

This depends on your goals and the scope of your work. Freelancers can be expensive; a campaign can run anywhere from 7K for select short-lead efforts to 40K for comprehensive efforts. We have a trusted network of freelance publicists that we would be happy to recommend, and we are always happy to partner with them to promote our titles. We would be happy to discuss the pros/cons of hiring someone to supplement our efforts if this is an option for you.

Sales & Distribution

Where in the United States and Canada can readers find my book?

Today, the vast majority of books are sold online. Every book we publish has a dedicated page at The data and information listed on this page feed to all major online retailers. Our domestic and international sales reps present our new books to independent bookstores and retailers such as Barnes and Noble. Bookstores make careful selections about what they choose to keep in stock, and we cannot control what is available at your local bookstores. The best way to encourage placement of your book is to ask for it at your neighborhood bookstore and to encourage others to do so as well.

Will my book be available internationally?

Unless we have restricted rights per your publication agreement, we will distribute your book for sales into international markets via distribution partners and sales reps in the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia/New Zealand.

Books are generally available internationally about one month after the official publication date. This allows enough time for the books to reach international retailers.

Will my book be available digitally?

We will publish a digital edition of your book if your contract grants us electronic rights. Ebooks are distributed through third-party vendors, such as Amazon, Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Ebooks at JSTOR, Google Ebooks, Kobo, VitalSource, Netlibrary/Ebooks at Ebsco, and more.

Will my book be available at university bookstores?

Your book will become available for purchase at university bookstores when and if other scholars adopt your book for classroom use. Encourage your colleagues to adopt your book!

How can I find out how many books have sold, and when will I receive royalties?

Because of the dynamic nature of book sales data, and the fact that individual vendor sales data is proprietary information, we rely on royalty statements to report the most accurate sales data to you. Royalty statements are sent out once a year in August.