The book press release is as an excellent marketing piece for your newly published fiction story to get your word out that you have written and published (or will soon publish) your first (or another) novel. This is your initial marketing push that gets your name and your book's title on the streets.
A press or media release is your special announcement to the world that there is a new author out there with a hot new fiction book on the shelves, ready for eager readers to dive into. It is not a sales piece or a sales letter; it is simply a marketing tool to help people find you and your book for future book sales.
The biggest asset you have as a writer is you network of friends, family, and everyone else. Your network is comprised of everyone you know, whether they will purchase your book or not. Once you run out of people in your network to tell about your book, you must extend beyond that to find new customers and to build your network even larger. This is done using various forms of marketing which all starts with a book press release.
When you draft a press release, it should be no more than 2 pages in length. The shorter it is, the better, but not too short. Your goal is not to exaggerate or sell your book. You want to write it as if you are a journalist telling people about the story and the author.
A good book press release should be written in a way that it can go straight to publication (such as in a newspaper or online). It should be a general overview of your book and you as an author. Don't use fancy words and avoid adjectives at all costs.
There are some key fundamentals you should understand and use during the creation of your fiction press release. These elements make your release news worthy.
You want to create a buzz about your fiction by creating an interest gathering headline, a little bit about you, and a little bit about your book. You may also want to tell a little story about how you came up with the idea for your story.
One thing I do before actually starting my releases is to go through a larger newspaper and check out articles about authors and books. You'll get a good idea of what the media is looking for as far as what to write.
A news release is neither a direct advertising piece nor should it ever be considered as a direct form of "selling" for your work. If anything it is pre-selling. It's an announcement or a media tool you can use to get your information in front of the right people in order to get them curious and to let people know your book is ready, or almost ready, so they can keep an eye out for it. It is your way of creating a buzz for your work.
Your book press release is also a great way of building your network or database of prospective buyers. You can do this by leaving your contact information at the bottom of the release with your biography in order for people to contact you regarding your new book.
The best way to do this is to have an author website or place to send people for more information about you and your book. The main purpose of this indirect marketing piece is to get people interested in your book without trying to outright sell it.
The following information for a book press release is derived in whole or in part from Lulu.com.
When writing a news release, you want to start with an angle or a hook. Why is the fact that you published a book newsworthy? Why is your book interesting or why would people want to read it?
What is it that they [the readers] will find interesting? "Jane Smith Writes A Book!" is not interesting. "Jane Smith Finds Great-Grandparents' Civil War Letters and Writes A Book" is more interesting. Editors don't care about your book, they care about news, and what will be of interest to their readers. The role of the press release is to lead them into writing a story about you, your book, or your topic (calling on you as the expert [in that area of fiction]). It is not to appear to give you free publicity. The release should be professional and dispassionate.
Next, you want to make sure you have a good headline. Don't exaggerate or make unrealistic claims with your press release. Think of your release in the traditional inverted pyramid of journalism. You want the most, the meatiest, stuff at the top - your bottom line per se. Let it trickle down into more and more detail. An editor should get the gist of your book and why it's interesting by reading the headline and the first sentence.
Your first sentence of your book press release, then, should be where you build upon your angle based on your headline. Make your claims - why was writing and publishing your book a great accomplishment for you? The fact that you have a book may not be newsworthy, but the fact that it took you 60 days to write a 250 page novel from scratch to publication could be.
It's a lot more difficult to write a fiction press release than a non-fiction one. Non-fiction is usually spurred from something dramatic that happened in one's life and fiction is made up. So finding a great angle can be rather difficult. Going to a local newspaper and talking with a professional journalists may be a good idea to help come up with a great angle. Also, leading off with an exciting sentence or two about the plot or a scene in your book may entice a reader's curiosity.
In the body of your media release, you are substantiating your claims, backing up the story with details, with quotes, and with authority. The bottom of the release should contain important details, like your availability and the availability of your book.
A book press release must be as creative as your fiction book. You must keep in mind that you are an author of fiction and it will be a lot more difficult to write your press release based on facts since your story is based on fabricated stories. This is where your creative imagination really comes into play.
When you come close to publishing you new fiction story, you need to create a buzz throughout the world so people will know its out there. Up until now, most, if not all people don't know you exist let alone that you are authoring a work of fiction.
A book press release is your way of making that big announcement to the world that you do exist and you are an author of a book they may like to read.
You must make your press release newsworthy. Just telling people what your book is about isn't always going to cut it. You have to add in a twist or a good angle that leads into your story.
This can be done by telling people how you got started as a fiction author. What inspired you as a writer? Why do you like to write about your subject of fiction? How you came up with the idea for your story?
A fiction press release is like any other news release out there; you just have to spend more time making it newsworthy so people will take interest in your announcement. There are several ways to add pizzazz to your work so people will review it.
1. The Headline.
2. The Approach or Angle.
3. The Bottom Line or Summarizing Lead-In to your Press Release.
4. All About You as an Author of Fiction and What Makes You a Credible Source for the Story.
5. All About Your Fiction Story.
6. Your Biography and Contact Information.
With these six key elements properly organized throughout your book press release, you will create a media buzz about you and your fiction story in no time. This will in turn jump start your marketing efforts for your books.
Here are some tips for a press release that will help you construct the best fiction media release and gain more interest from readers for your finished novel than without. A dated press release is not only great for post-publishing announcements, it's also perfect for pre-publishing and gaining interest in your upcoming publications.
If you follow the sample format below, your media press release will be very effective and create an exciting buzz for your fiction as it is released to the public!
1. Create an excitement building headline. (Make people want to read your release when they see your headline. Just think of a National Enquirer story. The headlines reach out and grab your interest.)
2. Date it (either "For Immediate Release" or with an actual date). This lets people know how recent the information is.
3. Use a summarized lead-in sentence for your first sentence. This is your bottom line. Use no more than twenty five words for the first sentence – don't forget! Use who, what, where, when and why answers in your sentence. (Most readers only browse and only make it through the first paragraph before deciding to continue reading or not.)
4. Be accurate – make sure all names are spelled correctly, dates are correct, and doesn't mislead people in the wrong direction. (You don't want to send people to the wrong location or have them looking for the wrong name on or off line.
5. Write in the active third-person voice, even if you are talking about yourself as the author. (Most authors write their own press releases, but as tips for a press release, I'd have to say write it as though you are a journalist writing the release for another author.)
6. Use common language; avoid jargon, complex terms, or slang. (Keep your release as simple but informative as possible. Use common words that everyone will understand.)
7. Give specific examples within your release, real quotes or excerpts from your story, etc... (This adds real voice to your article that can peak a reader's interest.)
8. Quote authorities or reviews you've received for your book. Don't over do it. Just use two or three good ones. (This adds credibility to your work. It's not just you talking, it's other people.)
9. Don't advocate, be informative, and don't use a lot of (if any) adjectives. (Keep your release short and sweet. Just the facts.)
10. Spell out "more" at the bottom of a page if there's more on a second page.
11. Write –30– or # # # at the end of your press release. This is the official ending for the news release.
12. Use short, punchy sentences. Don't bore the reader with lengthy or wordy ones. (Again, keep it simple.)
13. Include your contact name and information after the end of your press release, otherwise known as your Biography. If you have a website, you should add it there as well, though some press release sites don't allow links.
With a book press release, keep in mind that you are an author of fiction and it will be a lot more difficult to write your press release based on matter of facts. This is where your creative imagination really comes into play.
You must make your release newsworthy right out of the gate starting with your headline. It may not even be centered around your book. As one of my last tips for a press release, consider writing your release centered on you and how you came up with the story, or you as an author, and lead into your newly published work. Your opener can be an interest gathering excerpt from your story.
Download a sample copy of a book press release to see how one really looks.
You can find media outlets willing to publish your press release all over the place, but I'd start with your local news sources first. After that, go online and submit your release to online news sources which can help you reach out to the nation very quickly.