Wednesday is the day I share what I have learned on my journey to publication, marketing and publishing again. If you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them. If you have any tips please share them with us…
Public Relations/ Press Releases
Just when you thought writing the book was the hard part you were told you had to write a synopsis, then an outline, a proposal and the hardest of all a query letter. You finish all of those and breathe a big sigh of release only to find out you need to write marketing, advertising and PR plans and those include writing press releases and media pitches.
If you have the budget to hire a professional to write and submit your press releases for you, they are well worth the money. If a professional isn’t in your budget here are some tips on writing and submitting press releases.
The fact that you wrote and published a book is not ‘newsworthy’ to most media outlets. They are looking for news that is of interest to their entire audience. The main thing you have to remember when writing a press release is you are informing the audience of something important to them, you are not promoting your book (that would be considered advertising.) What expertise or insight have you gained from writing your book? If you wrote a book about your transition from the corporate world to owning a bakery perhaps your angle could be ‘the pros and cons of opening a small business in (name of town,) or tips on how to have a memorable celebration. The possibilities are endless but you should choose 2 or 3 and stick with them. The second thing to remember is to be concise and professional. The third thing is to send it to the right place. Do the research. My suggestion is to start small, think close to home. Your small hometown paper, magazine or newsletter is a great place to start. On most media websites you can find a place to submit press releases. Does your alma mater have a paper, your church? Once you have submitted to these local publications submit to 3 or 4 city papers closest to home. You can expand from there.
It isn’t a good idea to pay someone who promises to distribute your press release. It is time consuming but you are better off looking up the publications and submitting to them yourself.
Make sure the publication is right for ‘your news.’ If it isn’t something their readers would be interested in, you are wasting your time and theirs.
Use simple words.
Do not submit press releases more than once a month unless the news is really big.
Tips on format:
Your headline has to be fabulous and should be no more than 8 words. You only have about 15 words to grab an editor’s attention so the headline counts big-time.
Next you want to put your first choice for the date you want the release to be published. Most people put, For Immediate Release.
Next you want to write an introductory paragraph. Press releases are written in third person. If you are announcing a book event, mention that and the host and any other authors involved. Think hooking the reader here.
Next you want to go more into ‘the news of your release,’ answering the what, why, when and where questions. Remember you cannot ‘sell’ in a press release so don’t mention where your book can be purchased. You want the ‘news’ of the release to be so good that the reader will go look for your book.
A short bio comes next and then you want to list your contact information. Let the editor know what contact information you want published and what information you don’t want published. I usually list only an e-mail publicly. If it is for a book event you can list the phone number of the book store or wherever the event is being held.
When a publication does publish your press release, thank them, promote them and share on social media.
What unique angle or area of expertise can you use to make your book, WIP or your blog newsworthy?
*** Before the angel of success arrives in your life, you should devote yourself to preparing your welcome for her. Polish your craft and strengthen your body to be fit so that you can do your job and enjoy success when it comes. Sharpen your mind and spirit so they are ready to face the challenges that accompany a visit from the angel of success.
If you are not ready when the angel knocks, she will flee. And who knows when she will make it back around to your door again. Unknown ***