A book launch, a book award received, the sale of more than 100,000 copies, a new version of an existing book into digital format or audio book and even a holiday that fits to the books content, are reasons to send out a press releases.
A successful press release campaign needs to be well planned:
- research of recipients
- research of key words
- research of benefits for readers
- creating a compelling headline
- get stunning photos
- write first paragraph
- write a catchy text
- editing, editing, editing
- set up the format
- contact the recipient
- prepare for the interview
- create more buzz
Put together a file of contact people at newspapers, radio stations, TV stations and other organizations that would be a good fit. Make sure you email the right person. Before sending a release, do as much research as you can about the people you’re sending it to, and find out their name and their phone number for follow-up. A focused and tailored mailing list will garner more results.
Write your release in a way that helps searchers find you online. Compile a list of the keywords and phrases that are most relevant to your book, and then cross-check these terms using Google’s keyword tool to assess search volume and competition for your core keywords in your headline and body text, and to find suggestions for other related keywords.
To include images to your press release can make a huge difference in coverage. 80% of journalists and bloggers admitted to likely cover news that includes an image. Photographs also help your search strategy if you optimize the images for search by naming and tagging them with keywords. If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is a video worth? Adding a video along with a photo doubles the engagement rate. One more reason to create a marvelous book trailer.
Write “tweetable” press release headlines. Data shows press releases that are shared via social media bring an average of six people back to the news distribution site to view the release.
Journalists don’t read Press Releases!
They only “scan” them and if they don’t catch their interest in less than 5 seconds… they will delete it. In this fast-paced world, no one reads the entire press release – if the start of the article doesn’t garner interest. What can you do to get journalists reading? Deal with actual facts––events, people, plans, projects. A simple method for writing an effective press release is to make a list of following points: Who, what, when, where, why, and how.
The content of the press release,
beginning with the date and city of origin, should be typed in a clear, basic font (Times New Roman, Arial, etc.) and double-spaced. Keep your Press Release short, one page is enough. Start with the date and city in which the press release originates.
It should be brief, clear and to the point: an ultra-compact version of the press release’s key point. Headlines written in bold! A bold headline also typically uses a larger font size than the body copy.
First word capitalized. As are all proper nouns.
The first paragraph
(not more than three sentences) should sum up the press release, and the additional content must elaborate it.
The lead, or first sentence,
should grab the reader and tell concisely what is happening. For example, if the headline is “Norton Publishing releases new legal thriller,” the first sentence might be something like, “Norton Publishing, Ltd., today released their first legal thriller by celebrated writer Cindy Smith.” It expands the headline enough to fill in some of the details, and brings the reader further into the story. The next one to two sentences should then expand upon the lead.
The press release body:
copy should be compact. Avoid using very long sentences and paragraphs. Avoid repetition and overuse of fancy language and jargon. Strive for simplicity, and no wasted words.
The last paragraph
can summarize your news and be followed up with further information on your company, a paragraph known as the “boilerplate” which lists relevant information about your publishing company and includes the website for more information.
Follow up quickly
Don’t send out your news release and forget about it. Call within a day or two to make sure the announcement was received. However, don’t call an editor or reporter when they are on a deadline. When calling, verify that they have time to talk. Be available when a reporter calls and have an “elevator pitch” ready: why your release is important to their readers and viewers.
Post the news on your web site
The more back-links point to your content, the more value search engines will assign to it … so you should consider executing a mini social media blitz right after your news hits the wire:
- Do not only send out a Press Release, tweet the news with a link to the announcement on your web site (and have friends and family tweet it too)
- Post your news with a link to the announcement on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ (very important for SEO)
- Create and post a video on YouTube, talking about the announcement and link back to the article
- Embed the YouTube video into a blog post and link back to the announcement pages on other social networks such as Reddit, Digg and StumbleUpon.
The combined effect of all of this promotion, as soon as the announcement is made, will be a four to five times increase in traffic – thanks to the improved search engine rankings of the news.
Find sample Press Releases here:
As with everything you learn now as author-publisher-entrepreneur: When you do it the first time, it is a bit of en effort, but from the second Press Release on the learning curve is very steep, you have already a prototype, you have your checklist, you have a number of journalists, reporter and blogger coordinates in your files and now you just need to craft the article, which should be a breeze. After all you are a writer, right?
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And don’t forget to spread the word on other social networking sites of your choice for other writers who might also enjoy this blog and find it useful. Thanks, Doris
January 29, 2013 at 9:47 pm
Reblogged this on The Linden Chronicles and commented:
Savvy Writers &e-Books online gives a nice synopsis of how you can write a press release. Doris has over 600 posts with valuable suggestions for the author!
John A. Hoda
January 31, 2013 at 4:54 pm
Excellent checklists. Thanks again
February 7, 2013 at 7:35 pm
This is immensely helpful, but the press release sample links do not work. Can you post a new one?
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June 20, 2013 at 10:12 pm
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Allen Johnson Jr. (@BlackwaterNovel)
August 16, 2013 at 10:39 am
Excellent list of best practices. Thank you for sharing. Paid distribution is also an important factor to consider. Gets your press release syndicated on dozens of sites, provides better SEO results with authority, links, etc.
October 7, 2013 at 12:12 pm
Thanks, very helpful!
February 9, 2014 at 11:34 pm
I’m currently waiting for a yes/no from KDP but is it insanely over zealous to write a press release for a kindle single? Any opinions or advice are much appreciated.
February 10, 2014 at 8:38 am
not sure, it depends how many books you have already written. And if it is a topic that is timely or has another exiting angle.
I mean, writing the PR and finding editors is always good, but I would not rely on it. Use your press release text to announce your single on Google+, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, etc.
Kwarts Publishers, South aFrica
February 27, 2014 at 5:09 am
Thank you for a very helpful article.