7 Important Facts about Author Press Releases

If you’ve ever written a book, then you have probably attempted or paid someone to write a press release. Publicists and PR pros make it seem so simple. Even those websites with templates make it seem simple enough, but in truth, there are some important things to know about press releases before attempting to write your own.

If you’re writing a press release, then write it like a news story to increase the chances of it being published as is online or in print. Look online for examples by visiting sites that post new book information.

1. Tailor your release for local, regional and national distribution. The local release will state your ties to the city and the same goes for the regional release. A national press release will focus on some part of a book or the author that has national interest.

2. If distributing your release via e-mail, paste a copy of it in the body of the message as well as attach a MS Word copy to the message. Why? It gives the recipient an option to read the copy or open your attachment. Many people do not like to open attachments for fear of viruses.

3. If sending your release via e-mail and posting it online, please use hyperlinks. Link to your publisher, link to the book on Amazon and link to your site.

4. Attach a photo of your book’s cover in a web-ready (digital) high resolution. Small photos can irritate recipients. Make it large for reduction and cropping.

5. Don’t use superlatives. Editors and producers know an amateur work and will dismiss anything that announces how wonderful, great, important and groundbreaking the book, product or author is, especially if the release is coming from an author. Insert testimonials to speak on your behalf but do not proclaim those things yourself.

6. Use the AP (Associated Press) stylebook to ensure your release meets the standard of print and broadcast journalism. It will lend credibility.

7. Here are two more important facts. Most reviewers, editors and broadcast producers have an aversion to poorly written material.  Make sure your manuscript, site and other collateral bearing your name are polished. And scrub your social media for content that could exempt you from being coverage-worthy.

Do you have advice? If so, please share.

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