Many authors tout the importance of sending out press releases to announce your latest release or the writing award you just received. So far, I have yet to do this with any of my e-books.
I don’t do this mainly because I have been on the other side. I was the features editor of my college newspaper. I was inundated with press releases and freebies. Barely 1 to 2 percent of what came in would make it into our weekly publication.
There are just so many authors out there. Hundreds of new books are published daily. Editors of magazines and newspapers receive thousands of press releases. And here is the thing – they DO NOT read them. They scan them. If there isn’t anything that catches their attention in less a few seconds, they discard the press release.
Another reason I have not considered sending a press release to my local paper is that they have never published anything from independent authors and certainly nothing that is only available in e-book format. That isn’t to say that if you live in a smaller city that your newspaper will not cover your release or award but I live the seventh largest city in the United States. I am sure the editors are overwhelmed with notices from authors.
I guess instead of worrying about our main daily paper, I could always try a few of the smaller community weekly papers. And in fact, I may just give press releases a try when my next novel is released in a few months.
So for those of you wanting to send out a press release….
Tips for writing a press release
- Keep it brief – no longer than one page
- No flowery writing – simple is better
- Keep it professional
- Write in the third person
- Target your recipient’s readers/viewers (If sending to local paper, might focus on the community/local angle)
- Keep it to one page!
- End the press release with ###
Example structure of a Press Release
(I was going to write an example but ran out of time to do it justice so here is the breakdown of what to include.)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (or enter date)
Contact: Name, email & phone number
Short, catchy headline
Your city & State – Opening paragraph should only be 1-2 sentence and cover the who, what, where, when of your press release. Include your name, book title and why it is relevant to target readers.
Second, third and fourth paragraphs are where you add more detail about the plot, yourself or both. You can consider including a quote from the author. Remember you are writing in the third person and should refer only to your last name after your name is mention in first paragraph. Example – “This is an amazing adventure,” Noble said.
About the Author
A short author bio featuring your writing credentials. (This is only a few sentences!)
Be sure to include a high-resolution author photo and a copy of your book cover.
Where to submit a press release
- Local newspapers – try to send it to the relevant reporter/editor or department. If you are emailing it, pitch the story in your email message and not as an attachment.
- PRLog.org – this is a free website that can distribute your press release. They do offer paid services with more features.
- Your own website – Make sure to post it on your own site as a blog entry or its own page so it might be catch some search engine traffic.
- Magazines or ezines that fit the subject or genre of your book
- 50 other press release sites – This is an older list but still might direct you to some sites where you can publish your press release
And of course, make sure you follow up with the press releases that you do send out.