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How to find Book Review Editors

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Book-Reviews

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In the last blog post you could read how useless and expensive (measured to results) it is, to send out mass press releases, in the hope someone will pick up your book, review it and to write about it in a major newspaper or magazine. However, most likely it doesn’t work this way.
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You learned how important it is, to customize your press release and send it to a targeted audience. But how do you find editors and journalists, who could write about your book – if it is hardcover and in the certain genres they review. More about this later.
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So, how can you find these Editors/Journalists?
Nothing easier, just google “Newspaper Book Review Editors”. On one of the top ranking places you will find John Kremer’s generous and helpful, free listing of editors of leading newspapers in the USA. Authors from other parts of the world just add the name of their country into the search function. This doesn’t mean that editors wouldn’t write about English books from abroad, but the likelihood is higher when the author comes from the same country.
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Use an Excel List and more tips
John Kremer also shows how a professional list of editors could be compiled in the Window’s Excel program. His lists are a free service and not updated constantly. As editors often change or might retire, it is anyway necessary to call ahead before you send out your news release. John Kremer also cautions: “Note that most newspaper book reviewers are only interested in major fiction, major social issue books, biographies of famous people, and some regional books.
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Important: good timing
Most newspapers only review new books. So, they need to have a book (galley copies or ARC, the advanced review copies) three to six months before the publication date of the book. The most likely reason for no response is that your message was received and considered spam because it was not directed to the name of the editor/journalist, or a need those recipients have, or if it isn’t clear what the email is about.
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What about memoirs, non-fiction or children’s book authors?
You could start out with local newspapers or radio stations and try to get and interview, if there is anything in your book that you can hook to local points or to an upcoming holiday. So plan well ahead, at least three – six months ahead of your book launch.
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Another way to find names of media professionals who could introduce your book to a wider audience can be found when reading reviews in magazines and newspapers, online and print or listening to radio interviews. Note the name of the editor, journalist, reporter or interviewer.  Google the mail or email contact of the editor. Sometimes names can also be found on new books back cover blurbs.
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What Press Release companies will NOT tell you:
Usually book editors will not review a book that is not published in hardback, and still often self-published books.  A trade paperback, is also a huge strike against the chances of the book getting reviewed (but not absolutely impossible) even first-time author genre books are seldom reviewed, unless they are local. Non-fiction books seem a little easier to get reviews from them. However the self-published rule applies to all books.
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Before you send out your news release, make sure to get the editors submission guidelines – and that there is a slight chance for a review – things that press release companies don’t bother to do!
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What does all this mean for first-time, self-published e-book authors?
Direct your energy into getting in contact with book bloggers and book reviewers on Social Media sites, Goodreads and other literary websites and follow / friend these “power” readers, and ask them – after they got you to know – to read your book, and hopefully they will review and write about it.

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IF you really want to send out a press release that might or might not be read by an editor, or just for the sake of being found on the internet (SEO), you can publish it through one of the following sites. Most of them will charge and your press release certainly has to be perfectly written (see above). As mentioned before, there is no guarantee that it might work and that your press release will be picked up by a media outlet:
http://www.prweb.com/
http://www.i-newswire.com/
http://www.pr.com/
http://www.sbwire.com/
http://www.free-press-release-center.info/

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How to Write a Press Release for Your Book

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Eisplatten

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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
  • proof-reading
  • set up the format
  • contact the recipient
  • prepare for the interview
  • create more buzz

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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.

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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.
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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.
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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.

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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.
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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.

The headline:
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.
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The first paragraph
(not more than three sentences) should sum up the press release, and the additional content must elaborate it.
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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.

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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.
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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.
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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.

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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:

  1. 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)
  2. Post your news with a link to the announcement on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ (very important for SEO)
  3. Create and post a video on YouTube, talking about the announcement and link back to the article
  4. 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.
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Find sample Press Releases here:

http://www.publicityinsider.com/release.asp

http://www.lunareclipse.net/book-press-release-example.htm

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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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If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are 670 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Follow on Twitter: @111publishing

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

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