Promote your book with a roundup article

I’ll bet you’ve seen several articles this summer touting a list of the “best summer beach reads.”

Is your book on any of those lists?

Maybe it isn’t, but it probably belongs in some other editorial “roundup” article about books, whether it’s now or another time of the year.

What’s a “roundup” article?

So what, exactly, is a roundup article?

For book publicity purposes, a roundup usually gathers up the best, worst, most, least, newest, top, funniest, etc. products related to a specific category or theme.

Examples of roundups specific to books include:

  • Top InstantPot/slow cooker/air fryer cookbooks
  • Most popular romance novels this year
  • Best new gardening books
  • 7 home improvement books you can’t live without
  • Great books for newlyweds
  • Treasured all-occasion gift books

There are also topic roundups that include other products besides books. Here are a few ideas:

  • Best gifts for new college grads
  • 10 must-have tools for every home kitchen
  • 15 things parents say they can’t live without
  • Favorite stress management resources
  • Top home office products

You get the point, right? Roundups are easy to spot once you’re aware of them. You’ll find them in online media sites, magazines, newspapers, and blogs.

Your book’s roundup topic

Your book can be part of a roundup article that appears in the press, too. To make that happen, first determine the roundup topic.

Start with your category. If it’s fiction, is it science fiction, historical romance, chick lit, hen lit, mystery, young adult, or children’s? If it’s nonfiction, is it a self-help, health, memoir, biography, business, or how-to book? There are more, of course. The point is, get specific.

Next, move from category to sub-category. For example, my recently updated book, Get Your Book in the News: How to Write a Press Release That Announces Your Book, is a business book. That’s the category. The book teaches authors how to write a press release that announces a book, so the sub-category could be “authors.”

Use the category and sub-category to brainstorm topic ideas. For example, knowing that my book is for authors with a new book, the roundup topic for it might be, “Best books for new authors” or “Top resources for authors launching books.”

Written a mystery set in New York’s Adirondack Mountains? Get regional publicity with a roundup on “10 books that showcase the Adirondacks.” Need some attention for your book on how to care for a dog? “20 books all dog owners should own.” Got a young adult novel coming out? “18 teen gift ideas.”

How to use your roundup idea

There are a couple of ways to turn your roundup idea into something that generates results.

You can pitch the idea to the press (more on how to do that in “How to pitch a round-up article“) or you can create a press release that helps do the job for them. 

To write the press release, simply do the research to build the list of options for your roundup topic, and include your book in the mix. If it’s a “books only” roundup, you probably know what other books to include because they’re your top competition.

If your roundup idea includes non-book products, you know your topic and audience so well that you already know what should be on your list.

For example, if your topic is “top home office products” and your book is related to remote work (something a lot of employees are familiar with right now) or solopreneurship, you might also recommend a stand-up desk and ergonomic office chair, among other products.

Download this roundup press release template

I’ve created this downloadable fill-in-the-blanks press release you can use to do that. Click here to view, then download it:

Build Book Buzz roundup press release template

For information on how to distribute it to the press and bloggers, read “How to build a killer book publicity media list.” If you don’t use my preferred press release distribution service mentioned in that article, be sure to read “How to email a press release to journalists” before hitting the send button.

Actual roundup examples

Here are a few published roundups to give you an idea of your end goal, whether you’re pitching the idea or writing and distributing a press release.

Remember, you can also use the list as a blog post or newsletter article. I do this every year with holiday gifts for authors and writers. I don’t pitch the idea to writer’s publications or newsletters, and I don’t send a press release, but I hope I help my readers and the people who shop for them at the holidays.

Spend some time thinking about what type of list your book should be a part of, then take action. It’s a fun way to support your book and those of others.

What roundup article should your book appear in? Share your book’s topic and the roundup title in a comment.

(Editor’s note: This article was first published in July 2013. It has been updated and expanded.)

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  1. This is my first visit to your blog, but it won’t be the last! You have some of the most useful ideas and information I’ve seen for book promotion. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I’m so glad it gave you something to think about, Grace! No worries about not being selected for someone’s list — you can create your own!

      : )


    1. Patricia, I’m not sure I understand what you’re asking, but if you’re referring to “list” as it’s used in this sentence above: [Whether the problem is what to read on summer vacation or what to buy for Father’s Day, you can solve it with a list. ]… you do that by writing the list based on your roundup topic and distributing it as a press release or a pitch letter.


        1. It depends, Terri, but you can send it to the media outlets that reach your target audience. There’s instructions on how to do that under the press release template.


  2. Awesome read, Sandy. Thank you! Just in time for my upcoming book launch! Can’t wait to try it. Writing a roundup article also gives you an opportunity to reach out to potential collaborators for a win-win situation.

    My first book has made it to a few lists organically, but I’ve also found it helpful to collaborate with other authors who recommend my book to reporters seeking book suggestions through HARO.

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