4 Tips for Creating the Essential Press Release That Announces Your Book by Sandra Beckwith

gb-sandra

(Our focus this season is on Press Releases. Your press release is your announcement to the world. For example, you can share that your book is available and waiting to be read and you can write it in a way that will make people eager to find out more.

While the topic of “press releases” may seem like a complicated or mysterious one, it is really rather straight forward. In today’s featured articles you have access to a wealth of ides to help you publish press releases for your book.

Enjoy this article is by “Book Buzz” Expert, Sandra Beckwith

What is the one essential tool you need in your book marketing kit to make sure your book gets the maximum buzz and exposure it deserves? It’s your book’s announcement press release, a versatile publicity tool lets your book declare to readers: “I’m here and I will rock your world!”

Your book announcement press release tells people what to expect from your book, what makes it better or different, why they need to read it, and why you wrote it.

You send it with a copy of your book to reviewers; they use it to decide if the book is a good fit for their publication, website, blog, and so on. It’s important that you write one that has the information they want in the format they’re accustomed to using and seeing. That’s because if it’s badly written or doesn’t have the information they need, want, or expect, your book won’t be reviewed.

Make it the best it can be

Simply put: If you want your book reviewed by media outlets and credible bloggers, you need a good book announcement press release.

You’ll need it for more than reviews, too. Your book announcement press release will be the core tool you use to share information about your book. Want to do some public speaking on your book’s topic? It will be part of your marketing materials. Planning to be interviewed on the radio? Talk show producers and hosts will need to see your book announcement press release. Going on a virtual book tour? You’ll send it to bloggers as background information.

There are many other uses for this versatile tool – including helping with your site’s SEO when you make it the centerpiece of your online author press room – but let’s talk about how to create one that’s compelling and effective.

Tips for doing it right

Take these steps now to write a press release that generates the results your book deserves:

  1. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Study what the big guys do, then imitate them. Use a search engine to find the press rooms of a few big publishers and read their announcement press releases. Go to a few paid press release distribution sites such as PRWeb and eRreleases.com and search for book press releases. (Skip the free press release sites – the quality isn’t as good.)
  2. Start with your back cover or eBook sales page description. The description you’ve already labored over will form the backbone of your press release. You will build around that with an engaging headline, compelling first paragraph, and other relevant information.
  3. Avoid the mistakes that make you look like an amateur. These include bad grammar and spelling, focusing on yourself instead of the book, and writing it like an advertisement instead of a news story you’d read in a newspaper or magazine.
  4. Put yourself in the shoes of a journalist, reviewer, or reader. What would you want to know about a book? You’d want a solid and honest description, bullet points on what you’ll get from the book when you read it, and a sense that the author is well-qualified to write it, for starters.

Your book’s press release can be the difference between success and failure, so take the time to write one that meets the expectations of the influential people you’ll send it to.

Hot Tip from Sandra

Your book announcement press release headline can make it or break it for you. You want people scanning your press release to think, “I can’t stop here – I have to keep reading!”

The headline’s job is to grab attention – and that’s why, with few exceptions, you should never use your name in the headline. You’re not a super star or a celebrity, right? Keep your name out of it and use that valuable real estate to grab attention for your book instead. Craft something with words that sizzle and dazzle so your book sounds like an irresistible ‘must read.’

About Sandra

Sandra Beckwith is a national award-winning former publicist who now teaches authors how to promote and publicize their books. She is the author of ‘Get Your Book in the News: How to Write a Press Release That Announces Your Book,’ ’Build Book Buzz Publicity Forms & Templates,’ and several other books.

sandra-bookClick here to Learn how to: Get Your Book in the News: How to Write a Press Release That Announces Your Book

 

 

Comments

  1. Hi Sandra!

    Great to see you here too. 🙂 Wonderful advice as always.

    Writing a press release is an area I’ve been lax, but one I’m working to change when I release my next book in October. Thanks for the great tips!

    Your course sounds amazing! My schedule doesn’t allow for it next month, but I’ve recommended it to my writing group.

    • Sandra Beckwith says:

      Nice to see you here, Elke, and thanks for sharing the course info — I appreciate it! Definitely write that press release for that next book — it’s a must do.

      Sandy

  2. Hi Sandra! I just love your blog and your press release booklet. Thank you for writing it.

    I do have several questions I hope you can answer:

    1. I have never heard of a press release until I discovered your blog over LinkedIn. Can I write an anniversary press release for my book?

    2. Who do I send the press release to in the media world? Producer, anchors,…? Where can I find these people?

    3. I also have no idea where to find available media? Is there a list somewhere I can look up? A library? I know a few stations I watch, but where can I find all the available media in my area?

    4. Should I send the press release outside of my own country (Canada)? To US? England?

    5. Should I focus on book related shows? I would like to send one to a local TV station that I’ve never seen review a book, but I believe could be interested in my platform.

    Clearly I am very ignorant on the subject. 😀

    Thank you again.

  3. Sandra Beckwith says:

    Hi Mili! Here are the answers:
    1. The press release is the basic building block of publicity activities, so I’m glad you’re on board now. There’s no real news value in a book’s anniversary, so skip that. Think instead about writing a tip sheet with tips or advice related to a specific problem addressed in your book. Learn more here: http://buildbookbuzz.com/promote-your-book-with-tip-sheets/
    2. The outlets you send a press release to depend on your book’s target audience. If the book is on home decorating, you won’t send it to telecommunications trade magazines, right? Start by being clear on your book’s target audience, then doing some research to learn what they read/watch/listen to.
    3. I’ve got media list tips here: http://buildbookbuzz.com/how-to-build-a-killer-book-publicity-media-list/
    4. You can send the press release to media outlets in countries where your book is available for purchase. I’d probably stick with Canada and the US, unless you’ve got an angle that will make it popular elsewhere.
    5. TV stations aren’t going to do book reviews. They’ll do an interview about the book’s subject, instead. Start with local TV stations, but pitch them on a segment idea, not a book review. I can’t explain in a blog comment how to do that, but I offer in-depth instruction and support on how to get media attention in my Book Marketing 101 course (http://bit.ly/10CVqWv) starting next week. (Not a sales pitch — just want you to know that it’s too much info to offer in a comment.)

    : )

    Sandy

  4. I have a different opinion about press releases after reading your article Sandra. I also listened to your interview with Dvorah. I am already working on promotions for my new ebook series. I’ll go full speed after I have two of the five ebooks /audio books published so I have something to market. Yes I did niche and key word searches on Amazon and Word Tracker. The results are integrated into my book titles and book descriptions and “Purpose For Writing the Book”. I write nonfiction. See my newest website http://www.intolifebylight.com.

    • Sandra Beckwith says:

      Thanks, Bernard. Are you promoting the first book in the series now?

      Sandy

  5. Michael Bloom says:

    Hi Sandra-

    What you shared about press releases and tips are right on! I released a press release for my book launch in September 2013 and then a follow-up in November in honor of National Family Caregiver’s Month. Got lots of buzz and request for interviews. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/boston-elder-care-expert-michael-133500336.html. Press releases are definitely an important part of my book (and business building) marketing strategies. Thank you for your post!

    • Sandra Beckwith says:

      I’m so glad to hear you’ve had so much success, Michael! Congratulations! If you’re not using tip sheet-type press releases yet, work them into your plan. They’re perfect for your topic. (Scroll up to my reply to Mili for a link to how-to info.)

      Sandy

  6. Liesel Teversham says:

    Great info, Sandra, thanks. I’ve never done a press release and my book was also published a year ago. So I’ll look at some of the suggestions you made for Milli. I love the tip sheet idea. Thanks for the informative article!

    • Sandra Beckwith says:

      You’re welcome, Liesel. Every new book needs a press release to send with review copies, help with site SEO, etc. I hope you can make this your standard practice as you continue to write books.

      Sandy

  7. Sandra,
    Thanks for sharing your tips on press releases. You shared a resource that I haven’t used yet. This is one area I need to be more vigilant at pursuing.
    Blessings,
    Deborah

    • Sandra Beckwith says:

      Thanks, Deborah. Every book must have an announcement press release. When it’s done properly, it can be a powerful resource with many uses. I hope you’ll write one for your next book!

      Sandy

  8. As usual Sandra you have given excellent advice. Thank you. My e-book fictional series will be the kick off

    • Sandra Beckwith says:

      That’s wonderful, Patricia! I’m glad to hear it.

      Sandy

  9. Michael R. Stern says:

    Hi Sandy-Thanks again, and as usual. Good stuff. I have a question. With my first book, published two years ago, I didn’t send out press releases. Should previous works be included in a press release for a new book, or does that detract from the one you’re announcing?

    • Sandra Beckwith says:

      Good question, Michael. You can reference them by title if they contribute to your credibility on the topic of the new book. If they’re unrelated, or in a different genre, you’re better off going generic — “Stern is also the author of two other books.” If you reference them by title, don’t describe them, etc. — just say, “Stern is also the author of X and Y.”

      Sandy

  10. Naomi Baum says:

    thanks for another great post. i am learning tons. so i wrote my press release. have a look- open for comments. you can find it on the first page of my website- a button that says: press release:
    http://www.naomibaum.com

    • Sandra Beckwith says:

      It needs more details, Naomi. My e-book referenced above, “Get Your Book in the News: How to Write a Press Release That Announces Your Book,” will show you what’s missing and how to present it in the right format.

      Sandy

  11. Gina says:

    Sandra,

    I’m here at the Book Marketing Challenge because of you. You know what you’re talking about, so I always pay attention to what you are promoting. This is how it worked for me; I wanted to write a press release, which led me to typing those words into the browser window. Your book, http://buildbookbuzz.com/get-your-book-in-the-news/ came up on the first page. I clicked on it, saw your satisfaction guarantee at the bottom, and purchased without another thought. What happened next happened because of the quality of your book. I wrote stunning reviews about you and your book on my blog, Amazon, Facebook, and GoodReads. I subscribed to your newsletter, which I read. When I’m asked about marketing, I point them to you. I found this program because of you, and it once again reinforces the quality and credibility of you as an author and a coach.

    Thank you!

    • Sandra Beckwith says:

      Gina, you absolutely — and I mean ABSOLUTELY — made my day! Thank you so much!

      : )

      Sandy

  12. Peggy M McAloon says:

    Sandra,
    I can’t wait until next week to learn more. I was told my launch date would be June 15th, but then I started running into my book everywhere a little over a month ago. The publisher had gone ahead and placed it here and overseas. Will I have enough time to honor the 15th date…can I go a few weeks beyond that in order to do a good job or should I throw something together now without direction and follow templates instead?

    • Sandra Beckwith says:

      You’ve got time, Peggy, so don’t worry. I’m glad you’re taking my Book Marketing 101 course that starts next week — you’ll learn what you need to know and I’ll watch over your shoulder while you do! (Virtually, of course…)

      Sandy

  13. Great post Sandra!

    I was in PR for many years so this was one area of book marketing I was very comfortable with but there’s always more to learn (especially in the digital realm). When I released my novel last year I chose International Women’s Day as the hook since the main theme of the book revolves around Menopause. Here’s the link to the release:
    http://www.globalwritingsolutions.com/uploads/mental_pause_release__v2_.pdf

    As I am putting together the launch plan for my next novel, I’d love any feedback you (or anyone else) may have. One piece of advice I would like to offer is to make sure your release goes out several months before your book launch. I was so focused on my virtual book tour that the release went out late and I missed several great opportunities for magazine coverage because the lead time for print magazines is at least three months in advance 🙁

    I have a free download on my website that offers some insight into doing your own PR, which became the outline for an eBook that followed. I’d be happy to share if it’s appropriate. Doing The Book Marketing Challenge has inspired me to create a series!

    Happy writing,
    Anne 🙂

    • Sandra Beckwith says:

      Thanks, Anne. If you want exposure in monthly magazines, you need to send out that press release (and review copy when appropriate) about 4 mos. before your pub date, but for radio, TV, newspapers, and blogs, the lead time is much shorter. Think more in terms of 3 wks for those media outlets.

      Also, keep in mind that you can still get publicity in magazines long after your book’s pub date. In fact, you can do that as long as your book is available for purchase (and in some cases, even that doesn’t matter). I emphasize the long-term publicity in my Book Marketing 101 e-courses because so many authors completely overlook the potential there. Those who succeed know how to do it.

      Good luck with the novel!

      Sandy

  14. Susie says:

    Thank you Sandra, you have given some great advice. I was uncertain about doing this prior to reading your article but not any more. One question though, is there a particular length ie number of words in a press release?

    • Sandra Beckwith says:

      Great question, Susie. Try to keep it to fewer than 500 words.

      Sandy

  15. Loved your material Sandra. You too are always a wealth of knowledge and I must thank you for introducing me to this program with D’Vorah in the first place! I also loved your downloadable material on press releases so informative and easy to use!

  16. Sandra Beckwith says:

    Thanks, Sara! I’m so glad to hear this! I’m glad you signed up for the challenge, too. The volume and quality of the content is amazing.

    Sandy

  17. Sandra Beckwith says:

    My e-book, “Get Your Book in the News: How to Write a Press Release That Announces Your Book,” will practically write your press release for you. I thought there was a link to a description of it in my post above, but there isn’t. If you’d like to check it out, please visit: http://bit.ly/1iWEO4U .

    Thanks!
    Sandy

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