5 Steps to a Great Press Release

Close-up of old typewriter

There are many approaches that you can take when drafting a press release for your book. One of the most important things you can do is make sure your press release provides all of the vital information so that you don’t leave an editor with any unanswered questions. Here is a quick cheat sheet to help you get the best possible press release crafted for you and your book.

  1. Headline. Be attention grabbing but not sensational. Give the most important aspect of the book so that editors know what will draw the reader in and why people will be talking about your book. Why do people need to read your book? How is your book applicable to a particular audience? What makes it “newsworthy”?
  2. Body. Don’t use BIG words. A recent study found big words to be a waste of time and not successful in proving your intelligence to readers. What do you want to say? If you were sitting down with an editor or producer, what would you want them to know about your book? Why is it newsworthy? Why is it readable? Think like a journalist. Give them the story right there in the body of the press release. Provide a quote from the author (you). Provide a quote from an expert if it supports your material. Give statistics, research studies, facts and figures that help make your story more interesting.
  3. 5 W’s and an H. Who, What, Where, When, Why and How. Enough said.
  4. Keep it clean. Be precise, straightforward, and to the point. Don’t fill up your press release just to take up space. This isn’t your 6th grade book report with a required word count. Don’t use wacky colors and fonts. Make it as print ready as possible because you will find that editors pressed for time may take your press release and run with it, exactly how it stands.
  5. Vital Stats. Provide any extra information on how to find you online {i.e., Twitter, Facebook, Website, Instagram, LinkedIn}.

There are a lot of rules for drafting the perfect press release. Once you learn, understand, and incorporate them, you can break them to fit your needs. Maybe your book is about bringing color and sparkle into your life, then adding funky colors and fonts represents your work and might be what grabs the attention of an editor? Maybe writing a sensational headline will set you apart? Maybe you don’t want to answer all of the W & H questions because you want to leave an element of mystery to correlate with the mysterious subject matter of your book? These are the tried and true rules for writing a press release and you should always make sure that you have one straight/serious/official press release available to send to the media. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a fun/gimmicky press release available, as well. Some of the best coverage we have secured was the result of a more creative approach to gaining the media’s attention.

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