Here at PR by the Book, one of our all-time favorite examples of a successful publicity campaign is for Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

There’s so much to unpack from this campaign that we just couldn’t fit it into one post. So, we’ll be doing a four-part series on how to execute an interactive and rewarding book PR campaign. 

Let’s get started with part one below.

Part 1 – Create a book announcement that gets people talking: 

The release date of an author’s book is an exciting time, but book publicity starts months ahead of time. Up to a year before your book is set to release, you should be enlisting a publicist and brainstorming marketing and publicity efforts to get your audience excited about the book before it comes out. 

Elizabeth Gilbert’s newest release Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear showed just how much creativity and thought can generate excitement about a book’s release months before the big day.

Here are four tips on creating a successful book announcement from the Big Magic campaign.

1. Announce early

Elizabeth Gilbert announced Big Magic a whopping nine months before its release. She posted on her Facebook page on January 12, 2015 to announce the release of the book the following September. 

Those nine months gave her immediate audience plenty of time to talk about the book with their friends both on and offline. If each member of her audience talked about it at least once with one other person in the course of that nine months (a very likely occurrence), the awareness of her new book had already doubled. 

2. Make it meaningful

As an author releasing a new book, it’s tempting to tell your audience small snippets of information each step of the way: One post about the title, one post about the release date, one post about the cover, one post when the book is ready for pre-order. 

By anticipating the questions of her audience and combining all of these elements into one big post, Gilbert provided real meaning to her announcement. She even included a pre-order link, so her super fans could order a copy of the book right away. There was so much information in her announcement, her fans couldn’t help but start talking about it.

3. Provide content

Gilbert did not just announce the book’s name and release date, she also revealed the cover of her new book and a video about how the cover was made (all linked in her original Facebook post). According to The Social Media Examiner, photos have an 87 percent engagement rate on Facebook and boost retweets on Twitter by 35 percent. 

Giving your audience content to engage with not only makes your announcement more interesting, it also makes the announcement more appealing to share across social media platforms. 

4. Label the conversation

Finally, take charge of the conversation from day one by labelling your book’s news with a hashtag. Gilbert included the book’s hashtag (#BigMagic) in her announcement, letting her fans know how to become a part of the conversation.