The press release—sometimes called a "news release" or "media release"—is a vital part of book promotion. It's used to attract the attention of writers, editors and book reviewers who may become allies in creating publicity which can sell books.
Remember: the mere publication of your book is not usually sufficiently newsworthy to impress anyone. Only the most desperate small-town weekly would publish an article with the headline: “Local Woman Writes Book.”
Your news release needs a news hook. The hook is the main point of your release. It can be a theme, statement, trend or event on which you “hang” your news release. It’s also a hook with delicious bait on it that you hope will attract the attention of writers, reporters and editors.
- To grab the attention of newspeople, you have to think and act like one of them.
- You need to be a partner, not just a salesperson.
- Authors—like news media—make money by attracting readers.
- Your press release must provide important or useful information, or entertainment.
- Think like a news writer, not a book writer. If you were reporting news or providing entertainment, what would interest you and your readers?
- A press release should be newsworthy and read like a news story—not an advertisement.
- It should adhere to fundamental journalistic standards, using the five W’s and one H (Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How).
- Write something that you’d like to read about your book if someone else wrote it.
- Many websites automatically redistribute press releases.
- Some “reviewers” are too busy or too lazy to actually read your book, and will merely rewrite or reprint your release. Make it as effective as possible.
- Your release must be accurate, both in terms of its content, and in grammar and spelling. Don't embarrass a news person or reviewer who attaches her name to it.
The release that follows is a gushing advertisement, not news, and apparently has not been "picked up" by any online media. (My "pregnant" news was picked up, and I later let my hairs grow back.)
The release below has some silly errors and the book is terribly overpriced—$29.95 for the hardcover, $21.95 for the paperback.
For Immediate Release
“Confessions of a Disco Queen…30 some years ago”
Marries Fashion with Passion
Set in the tumultuous time of the 1970's, “Confessions of a Disco Queen…30 some years ago” dares to ask provocative questions about race, culture, and the human need to connect.
Sensual and heart breaking in turns, author Veronica Page takes readers through the true story of her desire to succeed in the fashion industry amid the hot box of racial struggle in New York City. Told in the tune of disco against the sweeping backdrop of elaborate fashion shows, “Confessions of a Disco Queen…30 some years ago” immerses the reader in the day to day hardships of living as a black woman in a world that balks at both her gender and race.
Page weaves narrative with her own published newspaper articles, lush fashion descriptions with steamy romance, and cruel reality with laugh out loud honesty to create a novel that brims over with life.
Deidre Berry, author of The Next Best Thing and All About Eva, says, "Pazge [sic] has lived a life worth reading about. Hold on to your seats as she takes you on a thrilling ride through New York City during the decadent disco era."
To arrange a book signing, radio and print interviews, please contact Managing Partner, Talib Tauhid at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (480) 208-5510. Or to purchase the book, visit the website or Amazon.com or BN.com
To learn more about press releases for books, spend a buck on The One-Buck Author's Press Release Book.