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Author Promotions Toolkit

Engaging Your Networks

Engaging your network is one of the most important ways to spread the word about your book. Make a list of all the different groups that comprise your network, including:

  • Academic and professional associations
  • Your university, department, and any relevant research institutes
  • Academic listservs
  • Colleagues and mentors
  • Friends and family
  • Social media groups
  • Media contacts and journalists
  • Influencers or big-name folks who follow you on social media
  • Alumni associations
  • Relevant social groups (like writing groups)

As you create this list, think through which will be most relevant and useful in promoting your book and what role they’ll play. Are they part of the audience for the book (academic societies and listservs), or are they behind-the-scenes supporters (family, writing groups)? Are your colleagues very active on social media and willing to post about your book? Vary your outreach depending on their role.

Announcing to Associations and Listservs

Many academic societies and organizations maintain their own listservs and offer a good opportunity to reach your core audience. Research and join any relevant listservs so that you can share a book announcement once it’s available to order.

Getting Support From Your University

If you are at a university or other institution, find out what marketing resources they offer. Many universities and academic departments have communications or media relations staff and can conduct a written or video interview, send out a press release, or promote on social media. Ask if they have local media contacts they can reach out to. Your department may also be able to host a virtual or in-person book launch event for you.

Additionally, don’t forget to reach out to your past institutions. Alumni networks often have ways to feature new authors.

Leveraging Influencers and Personal Contacts

If you have media contacts, know a colleague who is involved with a relevant academic journal, or are friends with someone who is very well-known in their field, note them on your APQ form. These contacts may be helpful in providing blurbs for the book, publishing reviews, setting up interviews, or getting the word out to their social media following. Include them in your book announcements and ask for their help in getting the word out.

Assembling Your “Launch Group”

Most helpful for trade books, a launch group is made up of colleagues and friends who you can ask to purchase your book, write Amazon reviews, share your book on social media, and support you at any public events. While they might not all have connections within your field, they can help you increase the reach of your announcements and improve visibility on channels like Amazon.


Subject: New book — [book title]

I’m excited to let you know that my new book, [book title], is now available! Published by the University of California Press, it covers [shortened book description from UCP website].

The University of California Press will extend a 30% discount to you when you purchase a copy on their site using code [book discount code included on your book flier]. If you like the book and are willing to help me spread the word, please consider sharing with your networks, posting on social media, writing a review, or inviting me for a book talk.

Thanks for all your support, and I hope you enjoy the book.

[Your name]