Writing a press release falls under the category of traditional book marketing and can be an effective way to get your book into the hands of editors and reviewers. Marketing your book online can help you sell your book and get the word out, but sometimes it’s nice to fall back onto the time-tested process of book publicity via traditional marketing to seal the deal.
Through a press release, you give editors and reviewers content that’s easy to publish or redistribute. When writing a press release, you must first convince editors and reviewers that your eBook is interesting, unique and worth reading. Make sure to include the vital stats of your eBook—title, author, ISBN, price, publication date, website, and available locations—so it’s easy for media to look up your eBook.
When you begin writing a press release, start with a short, concise “hook” line. This line is the first thing that editors and reviewers will see, so it should be unambiguous, attention-grabbing, and free of clichés. Think of your hook like a headline of a news article. As the name suggests, it should “hook” your audience into reading further.
The first paragraph should begin with the city, state, and current date of the press release. The remainder of the paragraph should be around four sentences and contain the most important information (and key selling points) of your book. If a reviewer or editor read only the first paragraph, would he or she want to read your eBook? Editors receive so many press releases that many will not read past the first paragraph if they are not intrigued.
The next two paragraphs should expand on the first paragraph, including information that’s important, but not necessarily fundamental. Here’s where you can include historical context, information about your protagonist, or the outline or your plot. There’s nothing here that you absolutely have to include—just think about the details of your book that are really unique, creative, or interesting. When writing a press release, ask yourself, “What are the things that are going to convince people to read my eBook?”
The fourth paragraph will typically be the author bio. Everything you say in your about the author section, may that be previous or current occupations, education, or interests, should somehow relate to the subject of your book or your platform. Remember, you’re selling the book, not necessarily the author.
If you have any reviews of your eBook, include them in the press release, by all means. Shorten the reviews so each is only a sentence or two—you don’t want to drive editors and reviewers away with massive blocks of text! If you have a ton of reviews, choose two or three based on content and the prestige of the reviewer’s name or position.
When writing a press release it is important to keep it brief but informative. Remember, editors typically do not want to spend a lot of time on one release, so as a general rule of thumb your press release should be one page long. Once you feel you have a solid release, you can send it to media outlets, share it on newswires, and use it for other promotional needs!