March 26, 2021– Happy Friday, Friends! I hope that we’re in for a nice weekend. Next week, we’ll be wrapping up our theme for the month in which I answer your most asked questions. It’s been a really fun experience and I’m grateful to the people who sent in questions via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s see what the question is today:
Q: “I’m reading a lot about press releases and the importance of them when a new book launches. I’ve self-published and I’m wondering how to write one. Can you help?”
A: Great question! The main function of a press release is to announce to the media that you have a new book out and why they should talk about it/read it. Press releases contain the following things:
- The title of your book. This is self-explanatory.
- Where to purchase your book. Sometimes, the media such as newspaper reporters, bloggers, and book editors get free copies of books for review, but not always. Most are happy to purchase a copy to support the author and many of them pass the press release on to friends and colleagues that may be interested in reading you book. Be sure to include the websites, bookstores, the publisher’s website, and anywhere else your book is sold. You can also include social media handles provided they are your professional ones (e.g., Book pages, author page, Youtube Channel, Book Trailer etc.).
- Author information. A short bio works well to introduce you to your readers. Include things that are relevant like your education, interests, and anything you’ve previously had published. It should be short and to the point. Also, some authors include where to reach them as in an email address. For example, L. Colling was born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and still resides there today. She’s completed her education in literature in New York, Boston, and London. Obsessed with Her is her first thriller. Including a professional looking headshot of yourself is always a plus. Plus, if you’ve won any awards for your book, mention them.
- Reviews. Positive reviews from satisfied readers are always excellent to include. Reviews let people know why they should read your book and potentially what they will enjoy about it.
- An interesting tidbit. This is the blurb usually found on the back cover. It’s a brief synopsis, usually no more than a short paragraph that’s a teaser for what’s inside!
- Make it clean and uncluttered. We don’t want the press release to be visually overwhelming. When there is too much info, especially info that is disorganized, it looks not only unprofessional, but it’s hard to read and understand the message that you’re trying to convey.
To contact your local press, do a Google search; start in your hometown and branch out from there. Local authors with new books make great news articles and interviewees for podcasts, blogs, etc. Happy Writing X LLB