The Role of Long-Lead Media in Book Publicity
Most print brands (magazines) are now blended media, meaning they operate companion websites, blogs, and social media channels along with their hard-copy issues. But because of their heritage as printed publications, they continue to work as long-lead media. Therefore, print magazines produce their content—articles, interviews with experts, topics to cover, books to feature, etc.— several months in advance. For example, when book publicists plan for Valentine’s Day tie-ins for a promotional campaign, they need to pitch long-lead media four or even six months before February.
Another tip for working with long-lead media is to check out their editorial calendars. They give you the general topics to be covered each month (for monthly publications) or week (for weekly magazines). To research, visit the brand’s website, and often at the bottom, there is an editorial calendar link. If not, check out the advertising link—this usually details future topics.
As an example, here is the 2020 editorial calendar for Entrepreneur: https://assets.entrepreneur.com/static/20191203112215-2020-Entrepreneur-MediaKit-Edit-Cal.pdf If you have expertise on women in business, it is a topic they will be covering in October/November of 2020; start pitching them in late spring to begin a conversation.
Here are links to editorial calendars for some popular publications:
The Oprah Magazine (scroll down) http://www.omediakit.com/r5/home.asp#edit
Long-Lead Media Have Loyal and Interested Readers
Reaching audiences that are deeply engaged in content is vital for book publicity success, and long-lead media often connect intimately with their readers. It takes more planning and a disciplined approach to be ready for pitches four to six months in advance, but the benefits of articles and interviews can be significant. Also, because most share content on multiple platforms, including carefully read print issues, the coverage can branch out and end up quite substantial. Most well-planned publicity campaigns will include long-lead media as part of the strategic mix.
Because most magazine brands are developed to reach specific audiences, they can be counted on to deliver readers who are interested in your topic. Matching your book with a magazine’s readership or editorial point-of-view can increase the likelihood of a well-crafted pitch resulting in coverage for you which helps with marketing your book. Articles of significance can not only help the book but also help build your author brand. With wen content now remaining in cyberspace for unlimited amounts of time, there can be residual publicity benefits for years to come.