Do you have a new book coming out, either with a traditional publisher or a self-publishing company? You might want to consider writing (and distributing) a press release to drum up a little extra promotion and publicity.
The goal of a press release is to alert the media that your new book is available. That way, reporters and book bloggers can either publish your press release as is or use it as the foundation (and inspiration) for their own story. The more newsworthy your book, the more likely a press release will benefit your author platform.
How long is a press release?
A typical press release is between 300 and 800 words.
What style should I use to write my press release?
Write your release as if you’re a reporter at a magazine or newspaper, as opposed to simply writing it as the author of the book. You don’t necessarily want to editorialize (e.g. this is the best novel since the invention of the printing press!). Instead, take the measured approach of an objective reporter and let your quotes, topics, and factual information fuel your readers’ enthusiasm.
If possible, use the AP Style Book to determine how to format numbers, proper nouns, etc. At the very least, be sure you proofread carefully.
What should your book marketing press release contain?
Your press release is primarily a vehicle for promoting your book. You’ll want to include:
- A great title with SEO keywords
- A teaser about the book’s plot or unique angle
- Your bio
- Author quotes that offer interesting insight into the creation of the book
- Any “blurbs” or quotes from famous reviewers
- Web links, when you’re submitting to websites
- Any other salient information
- A Web-friendly image, if possible, when you’re submitting to websites
- A print-friendly image, if possible, when you’re submitting to print media
At the bottom of your press release, include contact information for the media, but be aware that this information will become public knowledge. You may want to maintain a PO box and public email address to protect your privacy.
What’s the “hook” of your press release?
So many people write books these days, so it may take a little something extra to make your press release stand out from the pack.
If your book might capture the attention of people in a particular region, then focus on that topic (and focus the distribution of your press release to that area). If your book taps into a current issue or trend, be sure to place that front and center.
I have a press release; now what?
Once you’ve written your release, there are a few different means of getting it to the right people. First, you can submit it to a PR distribution company. These companies often charge a fee for their services (and they can get quite pricey), but they’ll distribute your press release across the country (or globe) depending on how much money you want to dedicate to the purpose.
Second, you can submit your press release on your own to targeted newspapers, magazines, and even blogs. This will take a bit more legwork and time, but you can focus your efforts on the exact media outlets you want to target, and you can rest assured that they were delivered.
What do I do after I’ve distributed my press release?
At this point, most of your time will be spent waiting to see if your press release generates any bites from the media. But even if it doesn’t, there’s still a huge payoff: If you distributed your press release online, it’s likely that you’ll benefit when other websites link to yours. Learn More: How To Be More Googleable.
QUESTION: Have you ever written a press release? Want to add some tips?