The Do’s and Don’ts of Writing a Book Press Release

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Authors may yearn to be the next JK Rowling or Stephen King, but the stark facts of book writing paint a different picture. In a typical year, between 500,000 and 1,000,000 books are launched onto the market. Many of those will remain unknown.

So, how can you buck the trend and get your book noticed? One of the most effective tactics is through a book press release. Here are some dos and don’ts to help you master this strategy.

Do Craft a Strong Headline

The headline is the most crucial element of any book press release. If it’s not exciting or attention-grabbing, the reader will scroll past without taking another second to look at what you have to say.

You’ve got to provide intrigue, sparking enough curiosity that it stands out among hundreds of other press releases.

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Be concise and clear when you write a press release. Ensure the headline explains the book’s theme well.

Alternatively, rather than hinting at the theme, you could use the heading to talk about the one takeaway people will get after they have read your book.

Remember that the headline also sets the tone for everything that follows. So keep it on-brand.

Don’t Make It Too Wordy

Long and wordy press releases are overwhelming to the reader. You are likelier to end up with an unsuccessful press release because the information is too much for a busy journalist or potential reader.

Instead, focus on brevity. The point of a press release isn’t to explain every minute detail. It’s there to convey a central message.

When you read your first draft, ask yourself whether you have successfully made that message stand out or whether your release has too much detail. It’s worth asking a friend to check, too.

Aim for no more than one page.

You may find some places that give you word limits, too. To reduce the word count, highlight every unique selling point. If you have mentioned something that isn’t among the best selling points, remove it.

Do Check You’ve Included All Vital Information

There is specific information that all types of press releases must contain. So before finalizing it, check that you have covered everything.

Missing something important could stop your audience from finding your book, and you’ll lose out on precious sales and the chance to create a bestseller. In your press release, you must include the following:

  • The book title
  • The author’s name
  • The publication house
  • The publication date
  • Where the reader can buy the book

Readers will also expect to see information about the genre and whether the book is fiction or non-fiction.

Remember that although press releases are marketing material, they are also information sources. So tick these items off your list and proofread for spelling errors.

Don’t Use Jargon

You’ll likely have complex language if you publish a specialist or technical book.

However, don’t allow this complexity to make its way into your press release. Industry-specific words and phrases should be kept to a minimum. Use simple and accessible language to help your press release reach a wider audience.

It means your core message will be more accessible for people to grasp, and that will help your press release become more successful.

Clear language will help your book press release appeal to journalists and online news publishers. Plus, it’s more shareable. Thus, you can get the message out there on social media.

If you are targeting industry specialists, they will still be able to connect with the more complex themes in your book later on a book description page if you are selling online.

Do Create a Helpful Summary

Use the first paragraph of your book press release to create a summary. It helps for two reasons.

First, it captures attention and encourages the reader to continue with the rest of the press release. Second, it’s valuable information for busy people who don’t have time to read the full release.

In this introductory paragraph, add highlights that emphasize the core message you want to convey.

Make sure it comes across as newsworthy, meaning it needs to be relevant, unique, and exciting. Explain the significance of your book in a broader context, as that will help the reader understand why it warrants wider distribution.

Use impactful language, and fine-tune your writing style until it’s punchy enough to make it stand out.

Don’t Add Vague Information

It might feel tempting to hint at things in your press release in the hope that it encourages people to find out more. This method is often a clever marketing tactic, but it’s easy to get this wrong with a press release.

The information could be vague, confusing people about your book. If that happens, you could face an unsuccessful press release that gets little attention and doesn’t bring you the book sales you had anticipated.

Readers should come away from your press release with an excellent understanding of your genre, key message, and what your book is about so that it entices them to buy.

So avoid generalizations or subtle hints in your press release and go for maximum impact instead.

Do Add Quotes From Early Reviews

Testimonials are always one of the weightiest additions to any sale, and that’s no different for a book press release.

People want to know more than what your book is about. They like to hear from authoritative sources that your book is worth reading.

If you have early book reviews, include some of the best quotes in your press release. Use the best one early in the press release – ideally in the first paragraph.

If you have a foreword from someone well-known in your genre, add a quote from them, too.

Don’t forget to include their full name. Getting a famous figure’s name into your press release will help your target audience find it on search engines.

Don’t Forget About the Importance of a Strong Call-to-Action

A call to action is a statement or instruction you add to a press release to get people to take the next step rather than closing the browser and forgetting they read your piece.

It should be clear what you are asking them to do and enticing enough that they will do it.

Don’t confuse readers with multiple options; give them a signpost to one path instead. That might be directing them to a website. Or you might tell them about a launch event you have coming up.

If it’s the latter, include the date, time, venue, and how they can attend.

If you aren’t sure how to write a compelling call to action, read other book press releases for inspiration.

Do Consider Your Targeting Strategy

Targeting everyone with your press release might seem like an excellent way to get reach. Still, when it comes to targeting, quality is more important than quantity. So, choose your targeting carefully.

Getting a great reception from relevant journalists and websites is the best way to create the right impact with your book.

That way, you have more chance of reaching out to an audience with a high chance of buying your book instead of your press release getting lost in a sea of other corporate news.

Always do your research before approaching outlets with your press release.

Don’t Forget About the Importance of Your Format

Press releases follow a standard format. Adhering to this is more likely to get your press release noticed.

It also shows your professionalism, vital for establishing an excellent long-term reputation. Plus, following the correct format makes it easier for journalists to scan it.

The format of a press release stipulates that you should add the press release date to the top and make it clear to the recipient. A press release should have a headline and a well-structured body which is logically organized.

Put the most critical information at the top and the least important toward the end. But always add a call to action at the bottom.

Do Remember to Add Your Contact Details

Always remember to include your contact details before you send your press release. If you have a public relations representative, you may prefer to use their contact details.

Make sure you include more than one method of contact. It’s vital if the journalist wants to contact you with follow-up questions; it also looks more professional.

If you have a website and social media account to promote your book, feel free to include this, too, so that people can learn more about you and your book.

You may be open to interviews, so mentioning this in your contact details is a good idea. Always advise the best method of contacting you with those types of requests.

Helping Your Book Press Release to Become a Success

With a book press release, you have a one-time chance of reaching the masses. If you get it right, it can have a transformational effect on your book sales. So, use this guide to help you.

eReleases has one of the best press release services on offer. We can provide you with a vast and exclusive database of journalists. Talk to one of our editors now about our PR distribution service.

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