Press Releases: Everything You Should Know

press release

As an author, a great way to generate interest in your new book is through a press release. If you are unaware of what press releases are, why they are important, what goes into them, or are unsure of the best possible way to approach them, spend a few moments here learning about their function.

What is a press release?

A press release is a great way to appeal to a broad audience through media outlets. It’s a message written with the intention of getting information circulating about your book. As an author, a press release is a great way to gain attention and interest in your newly published book.

What information goes into a press release?

Things included in press releases are the title and subtitle of your book, date of publication, ISBN of your book and e-book, biographical information about you as the author, and a brief summary or synopsis of what you have written. Press releases can also include key quotes from the book and are always written with the intention of generating interest–this usually include your book’s purpose and timeliness! Why is your message important for the world to read right now? What is that message? These are factors that grab audiences’ attention.

Do’s and Don'ts

You probably won’t write the press release for your book; that’s what my job is for! However, here a few do’s and don'ts in case you are ever given the opportunity to answer a questionnaire or are contacted by your publisher for information for a press release.

Do:

  • Give biographical information! Where did you work or go to school, and what did you study? Do you have any degrees or experiences that make you an expert on the topic of your book? Have you written a book before? This is all helpful information because it builds your ethos, or credibility, as the author!
  • Answer the questions thoroughly. No one knows your book like you do–you have carefully planned, crafted, and revised, and now it’s out of your hands. Good news, though! You have this opportunity for one more pitch. Take the time to write a few sentences about the book’s message or purpose, and then a few more about why that message is important! Even if everything you say doesn’t end up in the press release, chances are you’ve captured the spirit of it and your passion for your book can be similarly captured by one or two quotes from what you’ve written.
  • Give up-to-date contact information. This goes at the top of each press release, specifically so that local media can contact you for more information. This means making sure you have a phone number and email where you can be reached, and if you have a website or blog, it doesn’t hurt to include those! They allow you to present the public with a sort of catalog of your work.

Don’t:

  • Answer “yes” or “no” when you are asked any questions about your book or yourself. It makes for a stiff press release if there is no charisma or personality about the particular details of your book!
  • Expect your readers to know what you know about your book. If you were to speak with a stranger about the book you’ve just written, you would probably not expect them to know everything that you do about the topic. Similarly, don’t expect the media or the broad audience of readers to be experts! Tell them what they are going to learn or experience if they choose to endorse or buy your book.
  • Ignore correspondence from your publisher. There may be clarifying or follow-up questions, so make sure you respond in as timely of a manner as possible (this is also where up-to-date contact information comes into play). If you are impossible to contact, your press release may go out without critical information to the media!

Wrapping up

You’ve got this! Maybe you’re in the process of writing or maybe you’ve completed your book already. Regardless, your hard work is going to pay off because your editors and publishers believe in you. Press releases are just little tools to grab the media’s attention so that news about your new book can disseminate to as many people as possible. Spend the extra 20 minutes giving information you want to appear in your press release; it will be worth it.

 

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