Press releases are very helpful avenue of communication between authors or publishers and the press. A good press release outlines the topic you are announcing, why readers should care and where interested readers can go for more information. It is important to remember that press releases are not just for the press no days. They are available online to the public, so be sure to remember that when writing one.
There are free press release wire services that you can use to get your name out there. PRlog.com is a free service. While PR.com and PRweb.com are also available but require a fee. For fees refer to the websites.
An important thing to understand is that doing a press release does not guarantee press coverage but it doesn’t guarantee some needed exposure.
Below is the format that a press release should be written in. It is important to follow this simple structure.
Headline: The headline should be in ALL CAPS or Initial Caps. Summarizes the high level message of what you’re announcing.
Subhead: Provides additional context about your announcement.
Dateline: follows the format of City, State — Date. The dateline precedes the body of your first paragraph of the press release:
First paragraph: Usually reads like “XYZ today announced….” A good first paragraph should tell the reader what the announcement is about, why it’s important, and who should care.
Second paragraph: Go in more detail here about the book and add a quote if possible. Quotes should follow a strict format, such as “First sentence,” said [your firstname lastname], author of [booktitle]. “Second sentence. Third sentence.”
Third paragraph: Go into more detail here if needed. For a non-fiction book you can summarize what the reader will learn from the book. For fiction, this is a great place to provide intriguing details about the story.
Boilerplate: This is where you put the author bio, and summarize where readers can purchase the book. Add hyperlinks to your personal website and your blog. Include contact information such as your email address.
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