When you want a magazine, newspaper, or blogger to review your book, what document do you send with the review copy?
You send a book announcement press release, and every book needs one. This book publicity tool tells the media and others why and how your book will make a difference. It’s the author’s equivalent of a birth announcement.
It’s not optional — it’s a necessity. And because of that, it can be the single determinant of how much attention your book receives.
Potential impact of your book’s press release
When you send a book announcement press release with a copy of your book to reviewers, they skim the document to decide if the book is a good fit for their publication, website, and so on. If it’s badly written or doesn’t have the information they need, want, or expect, your book won’t be reviewed.
Simply put: If you want your book reviewed by media outlets and credible bloggers, you need a good book announcement press release.
It’s a multi-purpose tool
Book publicity is about more than book reviews, though. That’s why you need a press release for your book to get other kinds of valuable exposure, including:
- Interviews with local media outlets
- Short news items in newspapers and magazines
- Radio and TV interviews
- Blog interviews on your virtual book tour
- Speaking engagements
- Website traffic
Most traditional publishers will write and distribute book announcement press releases for their authors. If you’re self-published, you need to go the do-it-yourself route, even if you’ve never seen a press release before.
Get started with these tips
If this is a new concept for you, here are a few tips that will help get you on the right track.
- Study what the big publishers send to the press. Use Google to find the press rooms of a few big publishers and read their press releases. What can you learn from them?
- Search for press releases on paid press release distribution sites such as eReleases (that’s an affiliate link, which means I’ll receive a small commission if you use their services) and PR Newswire. Use them as samples that guide you.
- Avoid the mistakes made by most new press release writers. They including putting your name in the title and ditching the expected format in favor of being unique or clever.
- Take the time to learn. I wrote Get Your Book in the News: How to Write a Press Release That Announces Your Book so that you would have absolutely everything you need to know about how to write an attention-getting press release for your new book. Follow the clear instructions and you’re done.
- Proofread, proofread, proofread. Your book announcement press release tells media reviewers, blog reviewers, and others what to expect from your book. If it’s loaded with mistakes, they’ll presume that your book will have lots of mistakes, too.
Your book’s press release can be the difference between success and failure. Take the time to write one that matches what media reviewers and others expect. It’s not hard when you have a little help.
Have you written yours yet? What has been your biggest press release-writing challenge?
(Editor’s note: This article was first published in July 2012. It has been updated and expanded.)
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