Are You Writing the Right Press Release?

As a self-publisher you know all the burden for marketing your book falls squarely on your shoulders. One of the best ways to market is of course to send out a press release. If you’ve done that in the past but with little success, perhaps you’re making one of these common mistakes that I learned from


Press Release Mistakes

The first mistake that most authors make is that they, unintentionally I think, make the release about them rather than about the book. The easiest way to recognize this mistake is to take a look at your headline. Does the name of your book appear or does your name appear? When you go on and read the body of your press release, does it talk more about you as an author or does it focus more about what’s in the book? Are you really getting across the benefit, the “what’s in it for me” if I buy your book? Yes, we all want people to recognize who we are but what we’re trying to promote with the press release is the book, not the author.

Do you have two many grammar and spelling mistakes? (i.e. using two like I just did when I meant to say too) Spell check is great but it doesn’t catch everything. If you have a hard time proofing and editing your own work then ask someone else to do it for you. Journalists are less likely to have credibility in your book if they see errors in your press release so it’s critical that you make it perfect.

If you are sending your release directly to a journalist, or group of journalists, don’t send it as an attachment. Always copy and paste it inside the email message. The same goes for your photo, or the photo of your book, if you are sending one. Journalists rarely open email from someone they don’t know and almost never open attachments. Make sure the subject line of your email has a catchy title. Don’t just say Press Release. They get hundreds of those. If you want to be noticed you need to be different.

Do send your press release to more than just the free press release sites. I know, must of us don’t have much money to spend on marketing, but the free press release sites don’t actually distribute your release. Journalists have to be looking for your topic and actually find you there. If you use a paid press release service they will send your information directly to journalists that they already know are interested in your topic. So the likelihood of your release being used goes up significantly.

Finally, don’t forget to add all of your contact information. If the journalist has a question you need to make it as easy as possible for them to get in touch with you.


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