The press release for your book is one of the most powerful marketing tools that is at your disposal. What tends to become problematic for the press release, especially when it is self-written, is that it becomes a self-centered rambling text that is confusing at best and ruins your reputation as an author at worst.
Knowing how to write a press release for a book means taking off your author’s hat and putting on a reporter’s hat. What you’re doing is creating a polished pitch for your book, but in a way that a media source can just print your press release without much effort. They get interesting content, you get some free press, and everyone wins when you get it right.
When you get it wrong, the best case scenario is that you don’t receive a response.
The best press releases for a book have certain elements which should be included within the structure of the content. If you can get these elements right, then the rest of the press release will generally fall right into their correct place.
#1. Have a Great Headline
Most people pick and choose which articles to read in a newspaper or magazine based on the title of the content. Without a great title, your press release is likely to be ignored. This means you need to have a headline about your book that will grab the reader’s attention and make them want to print what you have to say.
Shorter headlines are better. Be as descriptive as possible about your book and yourself. You won’t win everyone over, but you’ll be more likely to get people reading your first paragraph.
#2. Remember to Include Contact Information
Many press releases don’t get printed, even when they are perfect, simply because there is no contact information included. This will help the media source be able to contact you if they wish to review your book, schedule an interview, or follow-up in some other way.
If you have self-published your book, you may wish to include someone you trust as a representative for media contacts. Using the author name for press release details can sometimes reduce the chances of the press release being printed.
#3. Offer Release Information
Most press releases say that they are “For Immediate Release.” This is because many press releases are dealing with information that is happening in real time. If you do not want your press release to be printed by a media source until a later date, then this must be specifically specified within your content.
#4. Restrict the Length of Your Pitch
Most press releases can get the message they need to get across in 300 words. If you’re going past 500 words with your release, then there’s a good chance that you can trim something out of it. Remember: you’re wearing a reporter’s hat here. Report on just the facts.
Within this content, you’ll need to include a summary of your book. That should be about 50% of the content that you put into the press release. Including a short bio is also a good idea, which should equate to another 30% of the press release. The rest of the content is up to you. You can focus on providing several different types of content for the remainder of the fill.
- Keywords you wish to focus upon.
- Links that might be helpful for online publishing.
- Awards you may have won for past publications.
- People who may have helped you write this book.
Keep driving the narrative forward, just like you did with your book, and the press release will give readers the right impression.
#5. Make Sure It Has a Clear Ending
In the past, when documents were always written with typewriters, it became important to notate an exact ending to press release. This is how the three hashmark ending came about.
# # #
This lets the reviewer of the press release understand that there isn’t more content that they need to find. Without some sort of ending, a reviewer may think there are additional pages to your press release that are missing and then never print your materials because they feel it is incomplete.
Even if you keep your press release to one page, there must be some sort of clear ending at the bottom of the page. Even saying something like, “This is the end of the press release,” is better than nothing.
Knowing how to write a press release for a book will give you the opportunity to contact thousands of media resources, bloggers, and other forms of publication so that everyone can get to know you and your new book.