What is a Press Release?
A press release is a professional appeal to media outlets to inform them of the publication of your book and explain why it would make a good news feature.
A press release should provide as many of the following as possible: an initial “hook”; a tie in to recent events, famous people or places; a link to science or statistics; a brief synopsis of the work, and a final 'action plan', telling the reader where they can get a copy.
When writing your press release...
- Write in the third person.
- Keep the grammar professional and polished (read a few newspaper articles for a sense of the media tone).
- Include information on where the reader can purchase your book.
- Write the content in three sections: News hook, Information, Action.
- Write the content so that the sections work as stand-alones. Some news services will use only part of the press release; ensure that each section makes sense independently just in case this occurs.
- Include the best method of contact – email, phone number, and/or website, if applicable – so that the media can easily contact you for a follow-up interview.
- Keep the press release one page long.
- Be overly wordy. Articles should be clear and concise.
- Be sensationalist. Your headlines and hook should always be factual and accurate.
- Go into extensive detail about how and why the book was written, unless it pertains to the subject matter (i.e. travelogue/memoir)
- Tell the whole plot. You want the reader to be intrigued to read more.
- Misquote or misconstrue reviews. This can get you into legal trouble.
- Use a hook that has no connection to your book.
- Use your press release as a sales pitch. The press release should be “newsy”, not read like an advertisement.
Once your press release is ready, have it available on your website in case someone stumbles across your work. Be sure to send it out to your local media outlets to coincide with your launch. Consider television stations, radio programs, newspapers, magazines, even major online blogs. Lastly, remember to update your press releases with new hooks when previous issues become passé.
Written by Astra Crompton, FriesenPress Author Account Manager
Edited by Kate Juniper, FriesenPress FriesenPress Editorial & Illustrations Coordinator
Image c/o Shutterstock