The rollout for “The Truths We Hold: An American Journey” — which is accompanied by a picture book for children — comes early in a six- to eight-week window in which many candidates are expected to unveil their 2020 campaigns. Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro launched his exploratory committee in mid-December. Warren announced hers Dec. 31 and followed with a campaign video and a swing through Iowa last weekend.

The timing of the book tour and media blitz gives Harris — a first-term Democrat who still lacks the name recognition of some of her would-be competitors despite cutting a high-profile during the Supreme Court nomination hearings of Brett Kavanaugh — the opportunity to get a toehold in the news cycle while preserving some intrigue for a formal campaign launch in the near future.

“I think a mishandled announcement can hurt more than a well-handled announcement helps,” said the Democratic strategist and pollster Joel Benenson, a veteran of former President Barack Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns. “A good announcement is important only because a bad announcement will create some press narrative that will slow you down in the beginning.”