Simple answer – yes, writing and distributing a press release for a book is a great way to start the process of getting media attention. Doing so oftentimes results in stories being published about you and your book, and additional media opportunities.
A book press release is a simple document, written in a certain style and format, that tells the media about a book, its author, and its message.
But, the process of writing and distributing a press release for a book is not simple. You need to find something newsworthy to base the press release on, write it appropriately, using the standard template and format the media expects, and you need to distribute it to the right people in the right way to get their attention.
Contrary to popular belief, the purpose of a press release for a book or any other story is not to get your press release printed as is. While it’s not a bad thing to get your message in your own words out to the world, a press release run as-is represents a huge uncapitalized-upon opportunity.
The goal of a book press release is to get members of the media to write their own stories about your book, you as an author, and your message to the world.
Those types of stories are usually longer and more detailed and are tailored to that media’s audience, giving that story significantly more weight than just a published press release.
Writing a press release is not an exercise in creative writing. Journalists have grown accustomed to receiving press releases formatted in a certain way to give them at a glance the information they need to decide whether to cover that story.
So, you need to write your book press release accordingly.
Let’s start by giving you a free template to use to write your press release.
And here’s a press release template in Google Docs format.
(no email or signup required).
That template is designed to be used for any type of press release on any subject. Of course, when you write a press release for a book, you’ll want to:
Unfortunately, the fact that your book got published isn’t newsworthy. Thousands of books are published every week (two million a year) and even the book-specific publications don’t announce most of them.
Also, keep in mind that the media is not in the business of helping you sell more books. They’re in the business of reporting news.
So, your most important job in writing a press release for your book is to find something newsworthy about it that will draw the attention of the media and their audience.
By the way, you should know that book press releases don’t have to only be sent upon publication. If something happens in the news that applies to your book, even months/years after publication, you can still take that opportunity to send out a press release making that connection.
Examples of newsworthy story angles include:
How does your book tie to stories that are already in the news? Get in the habit of asking yourself the question, every time you are exposed to a news story, “how could my book apply to that story?”
And remember, those stories don’t have to just be “news.” They can be entertainment, sports, weather, or political stories.
Does your book give more information the world should know? Does it show the potential ramifications of that story? Does it talk about the history of the event or maybe one of the people involved in this story? Does it show a local application of that story? All of these areas can make it newsworthy.
Is something trending on social media that connects to your book? Capitalize on it! Let’s say your book discusses the challenges of teen anxiety – that’s a topic that’s ripe with memes, fads, and other social media topics that pop up regularly.
Some authors, such as celebrities, politicians, or people who worked closely with them who have insider information, have built-in newsworthy qualities.
“[Person], Chief of Staff to the President of the United States from X to X” will probably get picked up by the press when they write a book, especially if they include some juicy revelations in their press release.
Likewise, if the author has dealt with huge challenges or accomplished amazing things, that can also be newsworthy enough for a feature story.
If you can get someone famous to endorse your book, that endorsement can add news value to your press release. For example, President Reagan’s mention that he had been reading Tom Clancy’s The Hunt For Red October, turned that book into an instant bestseller, and set up his career.
If the content of your book has turned around companies, caused people to lose 50 pounds, or was reports on the work behind a Nobel Prize, that can be newsworthy.
There are certain elements that should be in every press release. You can find a detailed list of elements that should be in a properly formatted press release here.
In addition to those standard press release elements, you may want to consider adding elements to your book press release like:
This should appear in the headline and initial paragraph of your press release, showing why this press release’s announcement should be considered for publication.
The book description should show why the reader should care about your book. This should ideally be tied to the newsworthy aspect of your press release discussed above.
Many times the description will show a problem in the reader’s life, and how the book helps to resolve that problem. The book, then becomes the hero, the source of the solution to the problem.
Be careful, though, that this does not become a synopsis of your book. This is telling them why they should read it, not what is in it.
This section gives a brief description of the author and why they wrote this book. If the author is part of the news story, this should be earlier in the press release. If not, it should come at the end.
The call to action tells the reader what they should do next. In most cases, it will give them information on how to get a copy of the book, including a website URL. If the press release is announcing a book tour, it should give them the information they need to be a guest at tour events.
This section contains the contact information necessary for members of the media to get more information for their story. The person listed can be from the publisher, public relations firm, or could be the author.
We know that it’s always easier to write a great press release when you’ve got something to model it on.
Below you’ll find two examples of book press releases, plus I’ve provided links to a bunch more to give you examples of many different kinds of press releases that an author, publisher, or publicist could create.
Example Book Press Release – New Book Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New Book for IT Professionals Features 20 Alternative Careers Highly Insulated From Offshore Outsourcing
WESTPORT, Conn., July 7, 20xx — Recession-related layoffs and hiring freezes, coupled with offshore outsourcing, have heightened competition for IT jobs, while exerting downward pressure on computer professionals’ compensation. These factors are causing many IT professionals to consider changing careers, but they’re understandably concerned about wasting their investment in their education and experience. That concern should be dispelled by “Debugging Your Information Technology(TM) Career” (ElegantFix Press – http://www.elegantfixpress.com), which demonstrates that computer professionals can leverage their experience to enter many fields other than traditional IT careers, while reducing or eliminating their vulnerability to offshoring.
Janice Weinberg, the author, is a career consultant (http://www.janiceweinberg.com) formerly with IBM and GE, whose IT background – in systems and application programming, marketing, sales management, and strategic planning – enabled her to identify the 20 careers she describes. While most of them aren’t usually thought of as computer-related jobs, computer proficiency is a key qualification for success in each.
* A software architect’s knowledge of best practices in systems design would be a strong asset in a technology due diligence position.
* A business analyst who guided manufacturing staff in defining their IT requirements could become a technology partner manager for a company marketing manufacturing software.
* A network security administrator would bring valuable knowledge to a position as a broker or underwriter of cyberliability insurance – a very hot product these days.
* A software engineer who supported finance and sales departments could become a global procurement project manager overseeing those functions.
* Any IT professional who can assess the commercial potential of new computer technology might qualify for a position as an equity analyst covering the technology sector.
Most of the careers can be entered without further education beyond a BS in a computer related discipline. Several – for example, business continuity planner – require a certification. Some readers may be motivated to become healthcare administrators, or attorneys specializing in computer law. Many of the fields can be springboards for consulting practices – or new revenue streams for established consultancies.
As Weinberg describes each career, readers will:
* Understand why computer expertise can be a significant advantage
* Be able to imagine themselves in the field by reading the hour-by-hour Typical Workday
* Understand how a recession could undermine job security, while learning strategies for minimizing or avoiding any negative impact
* Learn whether offshoring is affecting employment in the field, as well as what the future vulnerability will likely be
Readers will learn job-hunting techniques tailored to specific fields, including guidance in identifying employers and selecting those aspects of their experience to highlight in their resumes and interviews for greatest impact.
While there are many books providing IT career advice, Weinberg’s gives new – and much broader – meaning to the term “computer job,” demonstrating that an IT professional’s knowledge constitutes precious currency in a world dependent on computer technology.
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Example Book Press Release – Self Defense Manual
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Author Pens Pet Guardian Self-Defense Manual
GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo., Nov. 24, 20xx — Devoted dog owners know the dilemma – my dog is old and has health issues: I know he doesn’t feel great, but how should I know when to let him go to the big dog park in the sky?
James D. Schwartz, a retired Colorado fee-only financial planner, knows the problem well. “A large number of guardians (pet owners) have told me the same thing about asking their vets when it’s time to say goodbye. In response to the question: ‘How do we know when it’s time?,’ the response is something like, ‘Oh, you’ll know when it’s time,’”he writes.
This answer wasn’t good enough for Schwartz, owner of three standard poodles. He began to research this and other issues, including pet vaccination laws and public policy, micro-chipping, the low down on picking the right veterinarian, pet health insurance and more. Schwartz has, in fact, done an exhaustive analysis on the current state of the small animal veterinary industry, leading him to publish his research and conclusions in his book, “Trust Me: I’m Not a Veterinarian!”
Schwartz has created what amounts to a pet owner’s self-defense manual, offering advice on everything from pet cremation to up-to-the-minute facts on controversial pet vaccination practices and the frequent life-threatening or fatal results vaccination can have on older animals.
Experience with vaccination and his dogs Buddy, Nicki, Moolah, Elle, Max, Ricki and Moses led Schwartz to question and examine the science, practice and public policy of pet vaccination, leading him to the conclusion that veterinary vaccination practices, evidently dangerous to pet health, are in actuality a huge cash stream to small-animal vet practices.
In his book, Schwartz deconstructs the financial and legislative implications for our pets that, in most cases, function as family members.
Schwartz also founded the Next-To-Kin Foundation (http://next2kin.org), a private, not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization that believes that “dogs, cats and other pets so enrich our lives that we should recognize our pets/companion animals legally and even legislatively as ‘beyond mere property.’”
The book “Trust Me: I’m Not a Veterinarian!” is available at http://www.amazon.com.
For more information, contact Mr. Schwartz at 303-850-9166
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Even the best press release for your book will be useless if you don’t get it into the hands of the appropriate journalists, reporters, bloggers, and influencers.
That job can be incredibly time-consuming and frustrating. Not only do you have to figure out who the right people are to contact, you have to get their accurate contact information and maintain it, because that information changes frequently.
Trust me, this is harder than it looks – this is what we do for a living.
Then you have to figure out how to send it to them in a way that they see it, realizing that most of the email that comes into a media outlet goes directly to spam and trash folders.
You need a press release distributor who has developed and maintains relationships with key media people at scale.
At eReleases.com we do exactly that – with over 1.7 million journalists, reporters, bloggers, and influencers on our database, people who have asked to be there and trust that we will only send them press releases that we believe apply to their beat and their audience.
Plus, every press release we distribute also goes to every news outlet in the United States through PR Newswire, the oldest and most respected press release distribution newswire.
And best of all, we do it all at a very affordable cost.
Get more information about press release distribution services from eReleases.com.