Years ago, when my marketing budget bordered on zero, I was fortunate that multiple free press release distribution networks were around to help me expand my personal media list. I placed press releases on as many different sites as I could.
However, I had little confidence that they were getting to anyone besides “Editor” or “[email protected].”
I had no ability to pinpoint my press releases to the exact readers who would be most interested in their general topics. And I always resented that for each site I had to make another tweak to fit their unique template.
So for my launch for You’ve Got the Time: How to Write and Publish That Book in You, I reserved funds in my budget to pay a reputable press release distribution company to help me expand my media reach.
I Go with eReleases
An Internet search found a handful of recommended companies. I liked eReleases for its wide distribution and competitive pricing. The eReleases representative who worked with me patiently guided me through the process and offered suggestions on my press release drafts.
The releases led directly to one of my best reviews, with Midwest Book Review. In fact, that review led to their doing a second review with an earlier book of mine. Another respondent brought me online to lead two Zoom workshops.
eReleases was founded in 1998 by small business advocate Mickie Kennedy. It reaches 90,000 registered journalists, 30,000 general media outlets, and more than 1,300 newspapers through the Associated Press (AP) News Network; and more than 4,700 websites, databases, and online services through its exclusive distribution agreement with the PR Newswire Network.
Included among the PR Newswire addresses, according to Kennedy, are “syndicated network partners that post most press releases issued…. Most of them are financial/business media sites that simply aggregate all releases.”
Three Press Release Distribution Programs
eReleases offers three programs that range in price from $299 to $499. For first-time customers, they offer an additional 30 percent discount as well. All programs come with their media site-monitoring service, WireWatch, which enables you to track where your story gets picked up.
The more expensive ones allow press releases to be longer, offer wider distribution, reach a more targeted audience, and promise higher levels of placement. Two images and unlimited URLs are included in all plans.
Authors who want to test the waters “should spend time thinking what their book offers readers and try to capture that in a descriptive and interesting way,” Kennedy advises. “This is key whether working on marketing copy or an actual press release. Public relations is about refining and tweaking your message until you find something the media will respond to.”
Authors who are planning major press release campaigns, he continues, “should realize that a campaign usually consists of three to six press releases. What can you say that is unique and newsworthy through a series of releases? You don’t want to say the same thing again and again.”
Releases are distributed before 9 a.m. Monday through Friday. You can schedule the date when your release goes out.
Other Press Release Distribution Networks
Other respected press release distribution networks include Newswire, PR Web, Send2Press, PR Distribution, and PR Newswire.
Most companies, including eReleases, have some kind of template so they may have to tweak your releases to fit until you can do it yourself. Or, you can order writing services; for eReleases, the service is $300 for all three packages.
No matter which service you select, ask a company representative for suggestions on how you can find your ideal niche audience through their distribution network at a price that fits within your budget. Track the results using the software they offer.
At the same time, don’t sacrifice local radio stations and book stores. Kennedy agrees:
If you were to call most local book stores and ask to do a book reading event on their slowest day of the week, most will say yes even if they don’t carry your book, especially if you highlight that you will promote it online and on social media.
Take advantage of social media and local media event calendars, as well as local groups – both online and off – to get people to your reading.
Distribution Is the Key
Bottom line: The best press release in the world won’t do you any good if it doesn’t get distributed. Start with your own media list, your blog, your website, and your social media.
Beyond that, reputable press release distribution networks are available to help you extend your message. Do your research.
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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].