Guide to Celebrity Book Clubs

Looking for a new book club to join? Lucky for you, these celebs have you covered!

Celebrities choose their favorite books to share with fans, usually by working directly with major publishing houses and selecting a frontlist title that speaks to them. Occasionally, celebs will pick a backlist title from their personal library.

Oprah Winfrey

The queen of the celebrity book club, Oprah started her now-iconic club back in 1996. Fans of classic literature by Toni Morrison, William Faulkner, Leo Tolstoy and Gabriel García Márquez should be sure to check out Oprah’s picks. She features the best of books, old and new!

Jenna Bush Hager

The TODAY book club, #ReadWithJenna, features fan-favorite backlist titles like Donna Tartt’s “The Secret History” released in 1992, as well as hit debut titles like Jessamine Chan’s “The School for Good Mothers” released in 2022. Jenna has only been selecting books since 2019, but we already love her taste, which ranges from historical fiction to mystery, memoir, and beyond!

Reese Witherspoon

Reese’s Book Club has quickly become a favorite among readers, and we can see why! Picks like “Where the Crawdads Sing,” “Little Fires Everywhere,” and “Daisy Jones and the Six” have been major crowd pleasers. She even has a few YA picks for both young and young-at-heart readers.

Emma Roberts

Emma Roberts and her best friend, Karah Preiss, run the book club Belletrist. Picks often feature protagonists in their 20s and 30s and explore questions related to womanhood, identity, queerness, race and coming-of-age. Notable picks include “Sex and Rage” by Eve Babitz, “Her Body and Other Parties” by Carmen Maria Machado, and “An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones.

Gwyneth Paltrow

The Goopiest celebrity on this list, Gwyneth Paltrow has been on a book club hiatus since June 2022, but you can still check out backlist picks like “The Secret Lives of Church Ladies” by Deesha Philyaw on the Goop website.


Musician Noname has a phenomenal book club with chapters across the country, so you can check if there’s one in your area! There are also Zoom sessions available to all. The club’s one major rule is don’t buy from Amazon, and support a Black-owned bookstore if you can. If you can’t, the library is always a great option. Author picks include the legendary Toni Morrison, bell hooks, Yaa Gyasi, James Baldwin, Angela Davis and Alice Wong, to name a few.

Kaia Gerber

Supermodel Kaia Gerber runs a casual book club through her Instagram page, often featuring memorable conversations with other celebrities such as fellow supermodel Emily Ratajkowski, actress Laura Dern and author Carmen Maria Machado. 

Emma Corrin

Emma runs a semi-secret book club on Instagram under the handle @someb00kswotiread. They don’t have a strict monthly format, so this is a great fit for anyone who wants to read more but gets stressed out by scheduling. A few of their notable picks: “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” by Gabrielle Zevin, “Swimming in the Dark” by Tomasz Jedrowski and “The Mermaid of Black Conch” by Monique Roffey.

Dua Lipa

Dua is the newest book club girlie on the scene, and we love that for her! Her book club, called Service95, started in June. Her first two picks are “Shuggie Bain” and “Pachinko.” Join this club if you feel like starting something new!

Florence Welch

Musician Florence Welch, of Florence and the Machine, runs a book club called Between Two Books. Recent picks include “If I Had Your Face,” “The Haunting of Hill House” and “Priestdaddy.” If you gravitate toward genre-bending titles or horror books, you should definitely check this one out!

Andrew Luck

If you think book clubs are just for the girls, think again! Former quarterback Andrew Luck is also an avid reader and book club founder. Although his club has been on hiatus since August 2020, the backlist picks are worth checking out. Take a look on Instagram at @albookclub.

Emma Watson

Watson ran a popular book club from 2016-2019 called Our Shared Shelf. The club began as a way for readers to engage with intersectional feminism. Be sure to check out Watson’s backlist picks, including “Pachinko,” “Beloved,” “Sister Outsider,” “All About Love,” “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “The Color Purple.”

Isabella Boylston

The principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre, Isabella Boylston, is also the host of the Ballerina Book Club. A sci-fi and fantasy lover, Boylston recommends top genre picks such as “The City We Became” by N.K. Jemisin.

Shonda Rhimes, Jimmy Fallon, Sarah Jessica Parker

Still not satisfied with these celebrity book clubs? Try digging up reading recs from other literary stars like Shonda Rhimes, Jimmy Fallon and Sarah Jessica Parker. 

Or maybe your favorite author is a celeb whose book club you’d like to join! You can check out Fable to choose from thousands of book clubs, including ones moderated by your favorite authors.

Best of luck on your bookish journey! 

Organizing events around your release date

Organizing events around your release date

If you’re the type of person who loves to socialize and meet with readers, you’re probably wondering what steps you should take to arrange a bookstore event surrounding your publication day. Here’s the rundown:

Selecting Bookstores

You’ll want to start reaching out to bookstores at least four months before your release date. The earlier you can contact bookstores, the better, especially if you’re looking at stores in major cities like New York or Los Angeles. For a small town bookstore, though, three months’ notice may suffice. 

Before contacting a bookstore, it’s important to find out whether or not they host events because not every bookstore does. Peruse their website and see if they have an event calendar. If they do, dig a little deeper and see if they offer the type of event you’re looking for (in-person, online, storytime, book signing, etc).

Approaching the Bookstore

Before approaching the store to request an author event, make sure you have everything in order. You’ll need a press release that contains your book data (such as ISBN and release date) and any pertinent ordering information such as discounts.

You’ll also need to let the bookseller know how many people you can draw to the event. Bookstores often have to pay employees overtime to work events, and having an approximate audience size helps them estimate book sales, which in turn gives them an idea of the kind of profit they’re looking at. Do NOT tell the store you can draw 100 guests to your event if that’s not realistic. You don’t want to ruin your relationship with the store, so always be as honest as possible about attendance size.

Booksellers will also want to know how your book appeals to their own customer demographic. Give them your best elevator pitch and explain why their customers would resonate with your book. 

Remember that event coordinators are extremely busy, so be respectful in your communication with them. Try to call ahead or email them instead of dropping in unannounced, as many booksellers won’t have time to meet with authors in the middle of a hectic sales day.

Preparing for the Event

The bookstore agreed to host you–woohoo! Now what?

Make sure you tell the store about any accommodations you may need, such as elevator access, a podium, a PowerPoint set-up, etc.

Prepare your presentation and select the excerpts you’d like to read. Usually the store will give you an idea of how long they’d like you to read for, so be sure to time yourself during your practice reads.

Consider your book signing, if you’re planning one. Decide if you want to sign books ahead of time or during the event, and think about how exactly you’ll personalize the books–do you want to use a catchphrase, add a doodle or share a meaningful remark?

You should also add a buy link to the store’s pre-order page on your website to show them you’re serious about driving sales to their store.

Spreading the News

You want people to show up, so don’t keep your event a secret!

First, tell your publisher and/or publicist about your event plans. This will help them best support you. Your publicity team may contact local media outlets to try to get coverage in advance of the event.

Next, tell everyone you know. Seriously! Add the event information to your author website, send out an email newsletter, and post about it on social media.

Wrapping It Up

After your event, you’ll want to thank everyone at the store who made it possible. You can show your appreciation in a few ways (the more the merrier!) Try:

  • Sending a handwritten thank you card to the store
  • Purchasing someone else’s book the day of the event
  • Sharing photos from the event on social media, tagging the store and singing their praises

If you can, stay in touch with the store and continue to shop there. If you’re a local author, they may invite you back for a book club session or to be a panelist or moderator for future events. Building a strong connection with a store now can benefit you as an author for years to come!

Tips for Authors Preparing for an Interview

We know that radio and TV interviews can be nerve-wracking, especially for debut authors. You’re ready to share your book with the world, but you’re worried about your ability to respond to questions with polished, engaging responses. Radio and podcasts can be great tools for marketing, and just like anything else, it’s easier to be prepared if you have a strong game plan in place.

It’s completely normal to be feeling nervous, and we hope the following tips will help guide you through the stress and into a more confident place!

Step One: Pre-Interview

There are several tasks you should complete in advance of your interview. 

Familiarize yourself with the program you’ll be a guest on.

Listen to a few episodes so you can get a feel for how the hosts typically chat with guests. Each show has a unique “flow.” Take note if the conversation seems to be casual, funny, upbeat, serious or news-focused. 

Know what’s expected of you. 

You should have the date and time (and time zone!) of your interview written down, along with the details for how to connect (Zoom link, call-in number, etc). Additionally, you’ll want to know how long the interview will be, and whether it will be live or pre-recorded.

Select an excerpt from your book to read. 

Choose a 1-3 minute excerpt from your book to read on air. The host will usually let you know in advance if they plan on having you read from the book. Be sure to follow their cues, and don’t start reading until prompted.

Identify 3-5 main points you want to get across in the interview. 

It’s much easier to steer a ship when you have a destination in mind! If you know in advance what you want listeners to take away from your interview, it will be easier for you to guide the conversation. If you’ll be in a longer interview (think 60 minutes or more) you may want to prepare closer to 10 talking points.

Prepare soundbites based on each of your main points.

You won’t want to sound like you’re reading from cue cards throughout your interview, but you will want to have “checkpoint” phrases or sentences prepared in advance. You don’t have to use all of your prepared soundbites, but they’ll be there for you if you need them. Like using a compass, if you start feeling lost during your interview, reorient yourself with a few of your key phrases. 

Boost your confidence.

Remember that the host invited you on the show because they are interested in your book, and they think listeners will find you engaging and entertaining. The host won’t be trying to stump you or embarrass you! On the contrary, they feel confident in your ability to shine for their audience. So, you should too!

Step Two: The Interview

Now, it’s time for the main event!

Choose a quiet space to chat.

Find a quiet area with little to no distractions to complete your interview. Try to remain seated during the conversation to reduce background noise. If you’ll be on video chat, choose a well-lit area, and wear something that makes you feel like the best version of yourself.

Test your microphone and camera.

If needed, be sure to test your computer’s microphone and camera before the interview to make sure everything is working properly. If you’ll be using headphones, check those as well.

Pretend you’re on TV, even if you aren’t.

Whether you’ll be on Zoom or doing an audio-only interview, it always helps to pretend you’re in front of a live audience. If you smile and stay upbeat, the audience will be able to hear the enthusiasm in your tone of voice.

Remember to state your book’s title.

If you can, be sure to mention the title of your book multiple times throughout your interview. This will help listeners to remember it, making it easier for them to look you up or buy a copy later on. This is also important for live interviews, as you’ll help listeners who are just tuning in to discern who you are and what you’re talking about.

If you need to correct the host, do it kindly.

Sometimes the host will get it wrong. They may mispronounce your name, or make an error in reference to your book, such as stating an incorrect publication day. If this happens, take the opportunity to share the correct information with the audience, but be generous and kind when doing so.

Keep your answers personable and succinct.

Try to respond with short, focused answers, aiming for roughly 30 seconds per response. If you talk for minutes on end, it may be hard for listeners to maintain their focus. Aim for clarity, and arrive at your main point quickly.

Avoid jargon and filler words.

There’s a time and place for everything. Technical programs may warrant more technical language, and casual programs may warrant more uses of “like” or “um” in your speech. But for the most part, try to avoid these faux pas.

Use the “bridging” technique.

This will help you transition from the host’s question into an answer that you feel comfortable providing. A few sample “bridges” are:

  • I’m really glad you asked that because…
  • Now that you mention it, this relates to something I’ve been thinking about…
  • It’s funny you should say that because…
  • Thinking of that from a more broad perspective…
  • Along the same lines…
  • I’m not sure I can answer that precise question, but I did want to mention…

Wrap up on a positive note.

While you’re still on air, be sure to thank the host for their time and mention that you enjoyed the conversation.

Step Three: Post-Interview

Don’t neglect these last few tasks!

Follow up with the producer/host via email.

Send a personal note thanking the team off-the-air. When you’re ready to promote your next book, you’ll be glad you did, as you may have another invitation to come back on the show!

Ask if/when the interview will be posted online.

Keep an eye out for the link and share it on your social media. Be sure to tag the show as well.

Playback the interview and make notes for improvement. 

No one will have a perfect interview on the first try. But if you choose to learn from your mistakes, you’ll make your next interview that much better!

If you implement these interview tips, let us know how it goes. We can’t wait to see you succeed!

What are the benefits of different types of media coverage?

Yes, book reviews are great, but they aren’t the only type of media coverage that can be used to promote your book! As an author, it’s best to be open to other unique media opportunities. If you extend your sights beyond the traditional book review, you’ll find various effective promotional tools you can use to get your name in front of readers.

Guest articles

Articles you write, whether they’re being published in a newspaper or online, are an excellent tool for author branding because they allow you to position yourself as an expert. In an article, you will get to emphasize your viewpoint, sharing what you’re passionate and knowledgeable about in your own words. Here are some tips for writing guest articles.

Local and regional media

Some authors get their strongest support from local and regional media; people love to see members of their community succeeding and doing positive things with their lives. And as a bonus, this local coverage helps show independent bookstores in your area that there’s interest in your book within the community.

Promotional giveaways

Giveaways put your book directly in the hands of avid readers, which will help drum up support for your work over time, as these readers leave reviews for your book online, or spread word about it to their friends and family. You can try setting up a giveaway on your social media or, Goodreads offers authors access to their giveaway program for a fee.

Radio shows and podcasts

Audio interviews allow you to express yourself. Hearing an author’s enthusiasm about a book is infectious — you may be surprised to discover that you can pull in potential readers with little more than your personality! Check out more here about how radio and podcasts can be valuable marketing tools.

Book blogger spotlights

Features with book bloggers can be easy to arrange, and are great for SEO! When a blogger is swamped with review requests and can’t possibly add another book to their TBR, ask them if they’d be willing to share a spotlight for your book instead. All you’ll need to do is share the book blurb, your bio, cover image and headshot, and *tada* you get exposure.

Cover reveals

One way to take advantage of a beautiful cover is through a cover reveal. These scheduled unveilings help build excitement for upcoming releases and may help increase pre-orders as well! Learn more here about setting up a cover reveal.

Excerpt placements

Excerpts give potential readers a sneak peek at your book. If you highlight the right excerpt, you’ll have your reader hooked, and they may buy a copy of the book simply because they’re dying to know what happens next!

Bookstagrammers, TikTokers and other Influencers

Think about the advertising rule of 7: A potential reader must see a book at least 7 times before they’ll be enticed to buy it. This is especially true for debut authors or those who don’t have a fan base built up already. Ideally, readers will need to see your name and the cover of your book various times on social media. Before long, they’ll begin to wonder, “what’s this book everyone’s been raving about?” and they’ll grab a copy of their own to find out. Influencer support is very powerful!

It’s true that not all media opportunities will work for every author, but we encourage you to try as many of the above as possible. Having a diverse array of coverage for you and your book will help you to reach new audiences all while solidifying your position as an author-expert!

For more information about these different types of media coverage, be sure to click the hyperlinks above and check out our other articles.


How to write back cover copy

A book’s front cover should be eye-catching and inviting enough to compel a reader to pick up your book. But, that’s only half the battle! Without enticing back cover copy, your book — with its beautifully designed front cover — may go right back on the bookseller shelves. 

The back cover, though less glamorous than the front cover, does most of the work when it comes to convincing readers to pull out their wallet. So, it’s important to give it the attention it deserves. In this article, we’ll share a few tips for nailing your back cover copy.

Research what other authors in your genre have done.

After seeing what’s been working for your competition, you’ll have a better idea of the structure and style you should use in your own copy. This will vary depending on your genre. For example, fantasy and romance authors may rely more heavily on taglines to get their message across, whereas nonfiction writers may use bullet points for the same purpose.

Remember that researching does not mean copying. Even if you find inspiration from what other authors have done, you have to put your own spin on things!

Consider your target audience. 

What are your readers looking for? What keywords will draw them in — and which ones will push them away? 

For nonfiction authors, readers are typically looking to learn something new. Often, they are searching for an answer to a problem. Your copy should acknowledge the problem/question they have, and then promise to provide an answer. Tell your reader exactly what they will take away from the book.

For fiction authors, especially genre fiction, your copy might take inspiration from a movie trailer. You’ll want to showcase the suspense, drama, excitement and romance contained in your book’s pages. Readers should get a feeling for the emotional content of the book in addition to a basic understanding of the plot.

Start drafting.

As you begin drafting options for your copy, try to fit everything into one or two paragraphs and aim for 200-250 words. If you go over this limit, your potential buyer may feel overwhelmed.

Include a tagline.

A tagline is an optional way to hook your reader before diving into the full description. A tagline can be a short descriptive sentence or a memorable quote or phrase from the book. Here are a few examples:

From Sarah Winman’s “Tin Man”:

This is almost a love story.

But it’s not as simple as that.

From Ta-Nehesi Coates’ “The Water Dancer”:

A magical gift. A devastating loss.

An underground war for freedom.

Fom Lois Lowry’s “The Giver”:

“I have a great honor,” The Giver said. “So will you. But you will find that it is not the same as power.”

From Min Jin Lee’s “Pachinko”:

“There could only be a few winners, and a lot of losers. And yet we played on, because we had hope that we might be the lucky ones.”

All of these taglines are short and snappy, capturing the reader’s attention, and encouraging them to read on.

Include a review quote.

Either instead of, or in addition to, a tagline, you might include a review quote or testimonial from a respected source. This may come from a well-known author in your genre, from an expert in your field, or from a trusted industry source like Publishers Weekly or Kirkus.

Consider your author bio and headshot.

If you have room, you might feature a short bio along with your professional headshot on your back cover.

An author bio is most important for nonfiction authors, as this will give you the opportunity to establish your credibility and expertise. Be sure to state clearly what experience you have and why you are a good fit for writing on this topic. Space will be limited, so aim for 1-2 sentences or roughly 25 words.

Get feedback from your network.

At long last, you have a draft (or two or three!) complete. Consider sending it to your writing group or network of trusted friends for their feedback. Authors learn best from each other, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there!

Tips for scheduling school visits

A good option for YA and children’s authors, school visits are a perfect way for you to reach your audience directly, while meeting the influential teachers and librarians who purchase books for classrooms. 


We’ll be honest, scheduling these visits can be tricky. Schools are often hesitant (at best!) to allow self-published or indie authors to conduct visits. However, the more resources and information you can provide to the school, the more likely they’ll be to hear you out.

Before you reach out to schools, you’ll want to consider what type of event you’re interested in – an assembly, workshop, presentation, classroom visit, or some combination thereof.

Next, think about how you can communicate your expertise in public speaking or in working with kids. Do you have relevant career or volunteer experience that the school should know about? Do you have sample presentations you can share with them, or references from past events where you had a speaking role?

Now, consider what materials you can provide. Schools love when authors come prepared with educational materials like lesson plans, discussion questions, activities and worksheets for students. We recommend partnering with professionals like Rm 228 to develop these materials, as they will help ensure that your educational plans follow current curriculum guidelines.

Lastly, you’ll want to consider your speaking fee. Debut authors often waive their fee, with the understanding that the school will purchase a certain number of copies for their library. A “pay-what-you-can” fee is also a great way for debut authors to visit schools regardless of budgetary limitations.

Make the connection

Now that you’ve determined the type of event you want to offer, you’ll need to find the contact information of the school’s librarian. If you aren’t able to find any, search for the contact info of the principal, school administrator, or specific teacher in the subject and grade level that makes the most sense for you and your book.

When reaching out to them, be sure to share all of the information you prepared in an organized way. State clearly what type of event you’re hoping for, list your expertise, share relevant materials (PowerPoints, lesson plans, worksheets), and state your fee (if applicable). You should also link to your press release, and include the synopsis for the book you’re promoting. If you can, state briefly how the book connects to relevant lessons in history, geography, STEM, etc.

If you’re having trouble connecting with schools directly, you can also contact local bookstores to enlist their help in setting up school visits for you. Many stores have programs in place to do this, but in these instances, you will not be able to charge a speaking fee.


After the event, you should thank everyone for their time. Consider asking the teacher for notes on areas where the event could be improved. You can also ask the teacher/librarian if they’d be willing to act as a reference for you when booking visits at other schools.

Update your website

Once you’ve successfully booked an event or two, consider adding an “appearances” tab to your website to showcase the schools you’ve visited. Here’s a lovely example from author Kate Messner.

You can also add a “request a school visit” tab, where you include a contact form for teachers to fill out, as author J. Elle has done.


Booking school visits can take quite a bit of time and effort, but by being prepared and anticipating the school’s needs, you’ll be in a great position to build your network and increase sales, all while having a lot of fun!

What does it mean to be a NYT bestselling author?

For many authors, writing a book that becomes a bestseller is their dream goal. But what does it really take to become a bestselling author?

In the most broad strokes, you’ll want to sell at least 5,000-10,000 books in a single week in order to be considered by any of the major bestseller lists. Unfortunately, there’s no magic number of sales that will guarantee you a spot on a list.

And when you focus on the New York Times bestseller list in particular — which is perhaps the most well-known and considered by many to be the most prestigious — things get even more hazy. 

The NYT bestseller list isn’t representative of pure sales data alone. After all, recording every sale of every book within the U.S. in a single week is an impossible task. So, there’s some wiggle room as far as accuracy goes. But, there are also other factors that appear to work for or against certain books.

Right away in the against category, we have certain genres that are excluded from the list. At the time of writing this article, NYT states that “the categories not actively tracked at this time are: perennial sellers, required classroom reading, textbooks, reference and test preparation guides, e-books available exclusively from a single vendor, journals, workbooks, calorie counters, shopping guides, periodicals and crossword puzzles.”

If not all genres are created equal in the eyes of The New York Times, the same can be said about retailers. 

NYT has said it receives sales reports from some, but not all, independent bookstores, along with (we assume) major retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Since not all stores report to The New York Times, some sales may go unrecorded.

It’s also been rumored that diversity in sales will work in a book’s favor. The idea is that if sales are coming in from retailers in different regions across the country, and if the retailers vary from indie stores to big-box chains, this will increase an author’s chance of hitting the list.

This approach has caused some authors who sell the majority of their books on Amazon, and who appear to have met sales quotas, to question why they’ve not been featured in the NYT’s list. It’s possible that NYT favors sales from indie bookstores and that these carry more weight than sales via Amazon. This could be for legitimacy reasons, as NYT tends to be suspicious of authors or publishers who try to game the system.

As far as we know, a list of all indie stores that report to The Times is not publically available. That said, many authors will try to identify stores they believe report to NYT, and then they will arrange events with those stores, hoping to boost their rankings. 

There’s nothing inherently wrong with this strategy. It’s always a good idea to connect with indie bookstores, and if they happen to report your sales, even better! But, some authors have taken to more aggressive sales-boosting strategies that NYT frowns upon.

For example, some authors have admitted to purchasing bulk orders of their book from NYT-reporting stores with the intention of hands-selling them later on. But, if a book’s sales appear to be artificially inflated by bulk orders, The Times may not count those sales at all. Or, if they do, they’ll place a dagger next to the book’s title to denote that the sales numbers may have been given an unfair boost.

We get why authors are keen on making the NYT bestseller list. It usually results in increased sales and it’s excellent for branding. It’s an honor that you can carry with you throughout your career. Any book you publish in the future can have the words “NYT bestselling author” on it!

However, there are no shortcuts to making the list. Many authors who appear to have done everything “right” by getting the 5,000-10,000 sales they hoped for are left disappointed when they don’t make the list. 

Instead of making bestseller status your primary goal, try setting your sights on the stepping stones that may lead you there, such as building strong, lasting relationships with indie booksellers, or growing your fanbase and running a successful pre-order campaign. 

You may surprise yourself by all you can accomplish, and after each milestone achievement, you may even find yourself an unexpected bestseller. 

Do I need a press release for my book?

If you plan on reaching out to booksellers, librarians or media contacts, then you might benefit from creating a press release for your book! A professional press kit is the perfect way to organize your exciting news, author profile, and book information in a clear, concise, and eye-catching format that will tell media professionals and event organizers everything they need to know about you and your work at a glance.

In this article, you’ll learn the key elements that make a successful press release and why they are valuable.

The anatomy of a press release:

  1. Logo
  2. Headline
  3. Subheadline
  4. Dateline
  5. Introduction
  6. Body (1-2 paragraphs)
  7. Book specs (ISBN, pub date, etc)
  8. Author bio 
  9. Talking points
  10. Sample interview
  11. Contact details
  12. Media (images, videos)


Take a peek at this press kit to see how these elements are formatted


Insert your publisher’s logo or your brand logo at the top of the page. Even if you’re publishing independently, adding a logo to your press kit is a great way to make everything look sleek and professional.


Your headline should convey the most essential, eye-catching information about your news. Much like the headlines in the news or features sections of a newspaper, your headline should be catchy, specific and to-the-point. If you can tie your book release to current events, be sure to do so for added “relevancy” points.


Use this space to briefly share any key info that didn’t fit in the headline. This is a great spot to show off a powerful blurb, some notable statistics, or impressive award wins.

Note how the example press release uses this spot to convey a statistic: How a mother of six turned $5 into 5 million+ cupcakes sold


Here’s where you’ll include the city and state where you’re located. If you’ll be sharing your press release internationally, feel free to include your country as well. 


Your first paragraph should include the main gist of your news. It should grab the reader with why this book release is important. Ask yourself, What new ground am I breaking here? In what ways does this book contribute to a relevant conversation happening in the news? Be sure to include your book title, publisher, and release date somewhere in here! 


The main body of your press release will consist of 1-2 paragraphs. Use this space to elaborate upon your introduction, possibly including more in-depth details about the book’s plot. You can also use this space to:

  • elaborate on who your target audience is and why they’ll enjoy the book
  • share a powerful quote from you (the author) or from the book itself
  • share a unique review blurb (one that doesn’t reiterate what’s already been said so far in the press release)

Book Information

Here’s where you’ll share your book title, author name, publication date, publisher/imprint, ISBN, format (hardcover, paperback etc), price, and genre. Booksellers in particular will need to quickly access your ISBN and other book data, so be sure to format this so that it stands out on the page and is easy to find.

Author Bio

Drop in some more information about your accolades, publications, education, and personal life. Be sure to include a link to your website and social media pages if you have them!

For more tips, check out this article on writing an author bio that stands out.

Talking Points

This bulleted list is a quick, easy way for you to communicate the topics you would like to be interviewed about. Write 5-7 topics pertaining to your work, your book, and/or your field of expertise that you can elaborate on in an interview.

Sample Interview

The sample interview section helps media professionals pull quotes from you that they can use in an article. It’s also helpful for event coordinators to get a feel for what a Q&A during an event might look like.

Choose 5-10 questions and topics that reveal more about who you are and why you wrote your book. Answer those questions in a short paragraph (3-7 sentences).

Contact Details

Include your phone number, email address and website in the footer (and/or header) of your press release. If your publisher is going to help field media interest for you, feel free to include their contact information as well.


Studies have shown that media professionals are more likely to engage with press kits when they feature multiple images (and/or videos). At a minimum, you should incorporate your book cover image and author headshot into your press release. If you have other images or videos (TikToks, book trailers) to include, be sure to add a link or embed them into the release!

Your press release is the perfect tool to use in your outreach to media and events contacts. If you plan on reaching out to any media professionals via email, be sure to link to your press release. Or, if you’re stopping by a bookstore or a library near you, print out a copy of the press release to bring with you. 

As your career progresses, you’ll likely obtain more accolades, blurbs and media links. Be sure to go back and edit the release with this new information so it stays current!


The value of book bloggers, influencers and niche media

Authors, especially those who are new to publicity, often wonder: What is the value of coverage from book bloggers, influencers and other niche media? 

A fair question! 

The value in traditional media coverage (think: New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle) is obvious. These sources have wide-reaching readerships, and positive coverage from them will meet a lot of eyes and ears. Yet, they represent only a fraction of the bookish community and the media they consume. There are plenty of benefits to working with more niche media outlets, and oftentimes, these benefits fill in the gaps where traditional media falls short.

The numbers problem

A thought experiment: If media Outlet A has an audience of 1,000 and media Outlet B has an audience of 500, will a book review in Outlet A always lead to more sales? Though it may be tempting to work this out mathematically (if the likelihood of a purchase is 10%, I can expect 100 sales from Outlet A compared with 50 sales from Outlet B…) book sales never follow such solvable patterns. If Outlet A has more followers, but they are on the whole less engaged with Outlet A’s content, they’ll be less likely to make a purchase. By the same token, if Outlet B has a smaller – but more dedicated – following, coverage with them may leave a more meaningful impact on a larger number of readers. 

Consider an author who has written a book about fishing. A review in a niche hunting and fishing magazine may lead to equal or greater engagement than a review in a general interest publication with a larger audience because only a fraction of those readers like to fish.

Furthermore, a sale is a sale no matter how small! Even if a media link inspires only one person to buy a copy of the book, that’s one more reader than you had yesterday. Every new reader is a potential long-term fan, and every one counts!

General benefits

One of the goals of a publicity campaign is to build up online buzz by securing multiple media links for a book. That way, when someone hears about it and they search around, they can easily find plenty of positive reviews, mentions, and coverage. Most readers won’t check to see how many followers certain websites have; instead, they’ll be more interested in the content (“Wow, they really loved this book!”) and the number of links out there (“It seems like everyone’s reading this book!”).

Having all these links is also good for your SEO, as these sites often link back to you and instigate more google searches for your name and/or book title.

Bloggers often cross-post their reviews to Amazon and Goodreads as well, which is great for your brand, too!


Many authors who’ve been interviewed on national media in the past feel this should give them a one-up on the competition. Surely they’ll be a priority for future coverage right? Sometimes this is true, but unfortunately, a wide variety of factors can (and often will) stand in your way. 

If your previous interview was about a nonbookish topic, it’s unlikelythis will give you an advantage for a book-related interview. If you interviewed about a past book, but have since switched publishers or changed genres, that can be enough for producers to pass on future coverage.

Ultimately, this comes down to loyalty. No one can blame these media giants for being picky with their coverage. But what many authors seek are loyal supporters who want to cover all their work and follow them throughout their author journey.

This is why we love working with book bloggers and influencers – they are the most fervent supporters of authors! If they become a fan of your work, they often remain a fan for life. We’ve heard from some bloggers that they’d be willing to read outside of their preferred genre if the book is written by an author they trust, which we think is the ultimate sign of loyalty.

Additionally, influencers and bloggers will often follow you on social media, helping you grow your accounts, and they’ll spread the word about your work through online and in-person brag-sessions. There’s no better feeling than knowing that someone is out there championing you!

Don’t forget about the little guys

National media will always be on our bucket list, but we never want to forget about the bloggers and influencers who work so hard to keep the book community fresh, fun and full of joy. They do so much for authors, often for free and without thanks. So, be sure to show your support for these folks who promote new books everyday, simply for the love of reading!

Tips for connecting with booksellers and librarians

If you value the booksellers and librarians in your community (and you should!) you’ve probably wondered how to earn their support. 

A meet and greet is an opportunity for you to make a positive personal connection with booksellers and librarians who have the ability to promote your book to customers and patrons long after you meet them.

After connecting personally with these industry “tastemakers,” they will often consider your book for events, official staff recommendations, and special displays (like a local author’s table). They may even nominate your book for awards in the future!

The first step for connecting with a bookseller or librarian is to call ahead. Be respectful of their time, and ask to arrange a brief 10-15 minute meeting.

You should bring:

  • a copy of your book
  • a printed copy of your press kit or one sheet (your ISBN should be displayed here for quick reference)
  • (optional) swag, bookmarks or treats to help you stand out

A meet and greet is all about creating a personal relationship with the bookseller or librarian. You can’t show up once and expect the world. As an author, you have to be willing to put in the time and effort, especially if you want their help in return!

A few tips for your meeting:

  • Emphasize that you just want to introduce yourself and not take up a lot of their time.
  • Thank the staff for all they do to support the literary community in your area.
  • Give them a copy of your book and press kit.
  • Share a quick summary of the book and explain why you wrote it (this is your elevator pitch!)
  • Mention that you hope they’ll consider ordering a few copies, or ask about the possibility of scheduling an event/stock signing.
  • If planning an event, be sure to mention what you expect to see in the way of attendance and/or book sales.
  • Be considerate and flexible. If you’d be open to a dual-author or panel event, let them know! Mention that you’re open to their ideas, and you want to collaborate with them to make sure their financial needs are being met.
  • Thank them for their time and for keeping your book in mind.
  • Show support and make a purchase while you’re there.
  • If they don’t decide to order copies on the spot, that’s okay. Continue supporting them by shopping locally and attending other author events. Show them you’re serious about mutual support in the industry.

If you want to reach booksellers and librarians outside of your local community, or if a meet and greet isn’t feasible, you can still make a good first impression. Here are a few strategies: 

  • Attend an event or take out an ad with your regional bookseller association. Not sure what that is? Check out my article here for more information!
  • Take out an ad in an industry publication that reaches booksellers and librarians directly, such as Library Journal/School Library Journal, Kirkus, and Foreword.
  • Create a postcard that highlights all of your essential book information and positive blurbs and mail it to the libraries you want to reach.
  • Make phone calls asking if you can send a copy of your book to the store/library and set up mailings for those that are interested.

Reaching librarians and booksellers can be a lot of work, but once you’ve opened the door to a new relationship, they will be far more likely to support you in your next book release! Building these personal connections early on in your career is a powerful investment for any author.

Remember that relationships are always a two-way street, so try not to ask too much of your new contacts, and support them as much as possible to ensure a healthy, lasting partnership!