News for Authors

Updated Author Portal Resource: Your Publishing Timeline

August, 2021

For first-time authors and seasoned pros alike, the overall publishing timeline for your book can sometimes be challenging to wrap your head around. In this guide, we start nine months before the publication of your new book to go over what’s happening at Penguin Random House and how you can help build your audience.


More than 9 months before publication

A lot will have happened by the time the 9-month mark rolls around: The work you and your editor do on the manuscript should be mostly wrapped up. Marketing, publicity, and sales teams have been briefed on your title. The publication date and list price are being set and marketing and sales strategies worked out. You’ll receive an Author Questionnaire to fill out, which helps your Penguin Random House team plan the strategy for your book.

It is never too early to develop your online presence and engagement. If you already have an active online following, talking about your new book at this point can help drive preorders. Creating a list of your email contacts is a good idea: Let them know when your title is available for preorder.

9 months before publication

About this time, title information (metadata) is fed to booksellers for all formats. Online retailers start to offer preorders of physical and digital formats. Jacket/cover design should be finalized 6 to 9 months before the on-sale date to optimize the effectiveness of the metadata.

Share new content with your followers—on social media, in an email newsletter, or through other relevant channels—to build momentum and increase engagement with your audience.

4-6 months before publication

The Penguin Random House sales team introduces your book to the brick-and-mortar accounts. The team works with accounts on an ongoing basis to estimate initial purchase quantities and discuss store placement opportunities, which are finalized about 1 month before publication. The publicity team starts sending bound galleys to reviewers and media.

If you are thinking about creating bonus content for marketing and online use, now is the time to discuss this with your editor or marketing contact.

2-4 months before publication

Printing orders are being finalized and logistics coordinated for your title to arrive just in time before publication.

Coordinate with your editor, publicist, or marketing or publicity contact on any questions or ideas for specific promotional activities or potential reviewers. Work with your publicist to coordinate appearances, and be sure to mention on your social pages, website, and blog.

Use your email list, blog/website, and any social media platforms you have developed to let people know that your book is available for preorder. Include purchase links to your title on your website, blog, and social media pages. Talk to your editor or marketing contact if you need help with this.

4 weeks before publication

The publicity team begins to collect and circulate early reviews of your book, which will be shared by your editor.

Finished copies of your book start to arrive at the warehouse. The final book and press releases will be mailed to publicity contacts.

“Browse inside” functionality starts to appear on (and for Canadian titles) and on retail sites (Google, B&N, Amazon, Indigo).

Circulate positive reviews through your social media channels. If there is an opportunity, engage constructively with reviewers on social platforms. Make sure to download our Facebook app on your fan page, allowing fans to view and preorder your book.

2-4 weeks before publication

Around this time you should receive copies of the physical book.

Bookstore orders are picked and shipped to retailers so they arrive at least 1 day before the publication date.

Sales reps discuss merchandizing options for electronic and physical editions with online accounts.

Seeing your book in print for the first time is an exciting moment.

If you haven’t already, be sure to connect with all relevant Penguin Random House social media platforms and share any relevant content.

1 to 2 weeks before publication

The ebook file is distributed to our ebook retail partners.

Make sure to be active online this week; it is important to drive buzz and build momentum for the weeks ahead.

Publication date

Congratulations! The moment you’ve been waiting for is finally here; Your book is available for instant purchase online and in physical stores.

You will start to see sales data for your book on the Author Portal Homepage and Sales and Title Data pages.

Share the publication news with friends, family, and fans. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to include links to a range of online booksellers where people can buy the book on your website, blog, and social media. Contact your editor if you have questions.

After publication

We monitor each book carefully and consider promotional opportunities throughout its life. We have built great tools for backlist marketing campaigns that allow us to surface your book to interested readers online.

We are continually tracking the inventory of our retail partners to make sure your title stays in stock. Our sophisticated IT systems and state-of-the-art warehouses ensure that store shelves are replenished as quickly as possible.

Make sure your public schedules are up to date online, and bring an extra pen wherever you go to be ready to sign your books!

Order additional copies for family and friends.

Make sure we know about interesting developments related to your title that we can use in our marketing. Keep your publicist informed of any events you schedule yourself during the 6- to 12-month period post-launch.