I have written a lot of press releases in my time.  They take about 30 minutes tops, but can have a great, lasting effect for your new release.

Think of your press release as a birth announcement.  It needs to be short and sweet, letting the reader know what kind of baby you had, how much it weighed, how long it was, what you named it, where it was born…  You get the idea.  It should be one page, unless you’re introducing Pottermore, and then you can do whatever you like.

Following is a sample based on my own press release.

press release

Beside your contact info, include a picture of you, or your publishing house logo.  Then, be sure you have the following:

  1. The announcement.  What do you want released to the press?  If you are self-published, skip the bit about the publishing house, but if you are releasing your own announcement for your publishing house, be sure to include it.
  2. City, State, and Date.  This is important for helping pressrooms decide whether or not your release is newsworthy to them.
  3. Your book blurb.
  4. Your book info–where can people find it?  How long is it?  What is the ISBN?
  5. Your author info.  This is the place to shine.  If someone isn’t interested in your book blurb, they might be interested in you.  Sell yourself as much as the book.  What makes you unique?  Why are you the best person to write about your subject?
  6. Your publishing house info.  Give your publisher credit.  Again, this is a sales tool.  If someone doesn’t know much about your book, or you, maybe they recognize the publisher and give you a shot based on their reputation.
  7. Somewhere in there, put a picture of your book cover.

That’s it.  You can do that!  You do not need to pay someone to do that for you.

Next week, I’ll tell you how to send it out.  You don’t really need anyone to do that for you either, though it does take some time.  But you’re a writer!  The next time you are procrastinating over writing a scene, you can send out press releases 😉  That’ll buy you some good time.