This entry is an ode to the press release, your key to free publicity. Some call it a media release to include video and other digital media; others call it a news release. For most journalists and PR experts, “press release” is the search term of choice.
So Many Opportunities for Free Publicity
- tell your story in your words,
- emphasize the points you want to share publicly,
- introduce your voice through colorful personal quotes,
- show off favorite testimonial quotes,
- provide the metadata to sell your book,
- instruct readers to take your desired action, and
- include your contact information so editors can get back to you for an interview.
They live forever in the e-world when you post them on your website. Be sure to use any keywords that will bring your potential readers to your site.
All in 350 to 500 words on one or two pages.
Generate Favorable News Coverage
When you learn to write a press release, you can generate favorable news coverage for any one or more of the following occasions:
- After you upload your POD files, your ebook files, and your audiobook files
- When pre-orders are available for purchase
- To announce your book’s release in each version: soft cover, ebook, hard cover, audiobook
- When your book goes live on a new platform
- When you release a new edition
- To announce, then report on pre-publication promotions
- To announce, then report on post-publication promotions
- When sales hit milestone totals
- Before and after you make public appearances as author expert
- When you win awards, including bestseller status
- When an article you wrote appears in a prestigious publication. (Thank you, marketing expert and press release advocate Lois Creamer, for this idea.)
Free Publicity through Barter
Press releases are a timely form of barter. Newsrooms are no longer flush with reporters. Today, newsrooms are more commonly understaffed and news budgets are underfunded.
When an overworked editor is looking to fill six column inches by midnight with interesting content but no budget to pay a freelance writer, your well-written press release exactly fits the need.
Remember to include an electronic photo of yourself and another of your book cover.
On your end, although they don’t pay you for the story, you get free publicity and goodwill.
It’s a win-win.
Play the Local Author Angle
You play the “local author” angle when you send your press release to media from the town where you were born, the town where you grew up, or the town where you live now. You can play the angle for the town where you spent a significant period of time or the town where a memorable event happened while you were there.
While you’re at it, send press releases to the high school and college where you graduated and any organization where you can claim membership.
If you can find a local angle, exploit it because local papers love it.
Look for current events that relate to your book and comment on them publicly. Make the focus of the press release the event but then quote yourself and list yourself as “author of [your book].”
You’re an Author
When you comment on issues of the day, people listen — because you’re an author, which is two-thirds of “authority.”
What’s the other third? You believing in yourself.
In my next article, I’ll show you how to write a press release.
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This piece was adapted from Ken Wachsberger’s You’ve Got the Time: How to Write and Publish That Book in You. Ken’s other books may be found here and here. For book coaching and editing help, or to invite Ken to speak at your meeting, email Ken at [email protected]. Schedule your complimentary 30-minute coaching and editing session now.
Thanks to Klara Danner for the “Keep the Vision” drawing.
Last chance! Register today: Ken’s “What’s Your I-Factor?: Writing for Self-Discovery and Healing” interactive workshop.