Things Writers Should Keep Track Of: Part 2

Rachel Kent

Blogger: Rachel Kent

Location: Books & Such Main Office, Santa Rosa,ย  Calif.

After Publication: Promotion

Once a book has released, the author is thrown into a world of promotion. The author is bombarded with blog tours, radio interviews, book reviewers and influencer lists. He or she isย  invited to bookstores and libraries to make author appearances and to sign copies of the book.(Often thanks to the publisher’s publicist.) The entire experience becomes a happy blur as the author moves forward with acquiring sales for the newly printed baby.

But then, let’s say the author went to a new publisher for his second book. Now that publisher would like a list of contacts from the previous book’s publicity. The author panics and must spend an entire day in bed before he or she can find the courage and energy to seek out the contact information for each appearance, interview or review. The author will, of course, miss some very important blogs, reviewers and interviewers because memory just isn’t good enough.

The moral of this story is to keep track of ALL of your publicity. Make a list of radio stations and be sure to include the program you appeared on, the name of the interviewer, and the phone number of the station’s contact person. Keep a list of bloggers who reviewed your book. Keep track of people on,,, and other book review sites who really seemed to “get” your writing, and put those email addresses into your publicity file. Some reviewers don’t post contact information, but many of them do.

If a local newspaper did an article on you when your first book released, keep that journalist’s name and contact information.

You probably also turned in anย  influencer list for Book 1; file it so all you need to do for Book 2 is update it. This will save you a big chunk of time.

Make note of all author appearances you make and keep track of book clubs you’ve been in contact with. See if you can arrange to do for Book 2 what you did for Book 1–plus additional publicity.

And maintain a list of possibilities for promotion. If you’re interested in a certain radio station or library, keep those in a list and contact them to try to expand your promotion as your book list grows. The more you grow your promotion list, the more books you’ll sell! ๐Ÿ™‚

10 Responses

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  1. Rachel,

    These are excellent suggestions. I think for most writers getting started they wouldn’t think of this and it’s critical.

    I would add even one more suggestion. Don’t just record your activity. Make the contacts yours.

    Just don’t “do” a radio interview or “attend” a book signing. Go out of your way to build relationships with the radio host, bookstore owner, station receptionist, etc. Connect with them on social media and keep in contact. Ask how you can help THEM.

    These relationships will make the job much easier the second time around (and you’ll build some great friendships).

  2. I have lists of query and manuscript submissions, but I don’t think I’ve thought about keeping lists of blog interviews, etc.

    This also encourages me to write down my book promotion ideas. I have lots of them because I like the whole marketing process. I just haven’t written them down because I figure I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. Good thing I bought a new notebook today! I know exactly how I’ll use it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Sarah Sundin says:

    Another list I’ve found vital is for blog interviews. I keep a table with the interviewer and blog address, date the questions were received, date due, date sent, date of the post, if a book is being given away – and the date I mailed it. This keeps me from being overwhelmed by filling out gobs of interviews at the last minute and reminds me to drop by to respond to comments.

    I also have a file where I cut and paste reviews with the reviewer’s name, date, and the link.

    I need a similar system for my contacts :)It’s kind of scattered right now.

  4. Lindsay Franklin says:

    Oh, how I long to make such spreadsheets and lists… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Ah, Spreadsheets how I love thee. Great post!

  6. Being on the unpublished side of the fence, I never thought of keeping a list of promotions before. I will definitely keep that in mind now. Thanks Rachel!

  7. Rachel,

    Great detailed advice, I will create the templates while in with waiting period. You are preparing your readers and authors for future success. Thanks.

  8. Lynn Dean says:

    What Michael said about building relationships reminded me of another thing to keep track of from the start: folks who helped along the way. The lady who gave me a personal tour through the historical museum when I was doing research. The nice couple who lived in the area and shared their knowledge. The field area expert (with a hundred contacts in his field) who read the manuscript for authenticity. Not only can these people help spread the word when the book is published, but I want to remember to thank them properly and not leave anyone out!

  9. You’ve given us many suggestions for keeping track of vital information. Thanks for a great post.

  10. Rachel Kent says:

    Thanks for the input! I love what each of you has added.

    I know that creating lists and files and spreadsheets isn’t fun, but it does pay off.