There’s always discussion amongst authors about ways to promote their books. People get caught up in blogs, facebook author pages, twitter posts, forums, etc., etc.
Long before those methods, there were press releases. Although the technology has changed to make disseminating press releases easier and faster, it’s still a valid way to promote your work. And most writers/authors overlook it.
Got a new book coming out? Press release. Win an award? Press release. Doing a book event? Press release. Just like in the days of yore.
Only you can determine who should get your press release depending on your demographic, subject matter, location, etc. That can be a lot of work, toiling over your laptop, emailing incessantly – as you should send these emails individually and not in a group blast. Nonetheless, it’s necessary.
Today’s press really want short and sweet press releases. They want the information to the point, no more than a few paragraphs. And attach your cover art in a small jpg. Don’t clog their in boxes. Many newspapers and media outlets are short-staffed. If your release is too long, they won’t take the time to read it. A lot of section editors will just paraphrase your release into a few short sentences and put it in the “Notes” section. Press is press – be happy.
Here’s a press release from last August – when one of my new books came out – as an example: http://www.1888pressrelease.com/cambridge-books-releases-a-new-suspense-novel-by-k-s-brook-pr-325497.html
I used that example because now you have an idea of what it looks like if you use a free press release distribution site to send out your press release. Actually, I used a number of them. Here is a list of free press release distribution sites for your use. Some of them require a free membership, some of them don’t. But as you navigate their pages, be careful. Of course they are going to try to sell you a better package than the free one you want.
http://pressexposure.com/ (300 word minimum)
http://www.i-newswire.com/ (300 word minimum)
The only problem with keeping a press release very short is that it may not meet the 300 word minimum instituted by two of the above sites. So, when I do my next release, I’ll merge the two together and send that out through i-newswire and pressexposure.
These sites don’t replace emailing your release to newspapers and periodicals. But they will send your news out all over the place – and they usually yield good results in Google. And all for free.
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K.S. Brooks is an award-winning author and photographer, and Co-Administrator of Indies Unlimited. For more information, please see the IU Bio page and her web site: http://www.ksbrooks.com/
Versions of this post originally appeared on Write, Write, Write on August 15, 2011, and on Ask the Publicist with John Kremer on August 17, 2011.[subscribe2]
28 thoughts on “Press Releases – Free Publicity”
Wow, this is great stuff. Now I just have to find the time to put it all to use…maybe after the move, but then again, probably too busy after the move trying to get settled and write some more. Thank you, KS
If you're only sending to one specific area, it won't take you a lot of time. I promise! 🙂 It's so worth it.
Yes, yes, yes! Please everyone listen to KS! This advice is spot on. Do it. Do it now.
Thanks Sabrina! 🙂
Awesome advice and just the information I was looking for!
Glad I could be of service, Kristine!
I know it's good advice, but it's like flossing. I know I should do it…maybe cause I was a reporter…but good on ya, Kat! And it really is good advice. I'm just lazy.
That is ironic! You should turn this around and use those top notch reporter skills to write press releases for authors and make some money at it. Although, let me see… you were a reporter…and I've seen you going into phone booths…were you Clark Kent in another life time?
Dead on. I've had press coverage each and every time I've sent out a press release. Sometimes I've had a follow-up interview and a half-page with lots of pictures. Other times I've had a tiny blurb hidden on page 6. One of my best friends was a journalist for 30 years and her advice is simple. "Put the who, when, where, what in the first paragraph. Make it sound like a news story of interest to the local readership. Do as much of the work as you can as journalists are busy and love "canned" content."
Thanks Pam! They are understaffed and underpaid and the easier we make it the happier they are. 🙂
My book is solely available as an eBook. I am based in the UK and ownership of eReaders is not so large as it is in the States. I could get a press release in the local newspapers, but this is represents a small population, as I live in a rural area.
How can I best target the press releases for my situation.
P.s. the book is selling really well, with a lot of downloads since I put it on special offer. See http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004VA3QRY.
Hi Jon, and greetings from the U.S. Since the internet is global, I suggest you utilize the free press release distribution sites listed above. As far as newspapers – have you lived in that rural town ALL your life? If not, tap the papers in the places you used to live as well. Did you go to college somewhere? Contact the school paper. They love to hear success stories from their alumni. Is your book set in a certain town? Contact them. There are plenty of angles you can use.
Thank you for taking the time out to reply. I'll have a go at doing some of that. I think I need to prepare a PoD version to expand the market. Actually the sales are going well at the moment, with a promotion from Amazon.
All good advice is greatly appreciated,
Thank you so much for the great information. Got to put it to use now!!
Glad to be of help, Greta! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂
Thank you so much, this is really helpful!! Wow
You're very welcome, Susan! 🙂
Would I mail a press release to the journalist directly, the editor, the general mail for the publication, or…..?
N/M on the previous post… just realized it would likely be the 'contact us' option that directs…
Exactly. It all depends on the news outlet who the contact person should be. Some of them don't even have email addresses available and you need to submit your press release via the contact form they have on their site.
Headslap time … can't believe I haven't been doing that.
Massive thanks Kat! I will have to see if there is something similar for UK as well. But certainly give me US side a boost. Appreciated.
Hey Kristina, you're welcome! And these work in the UK as well – they basically get your release on the 'Net for free…and that's universal. 🙂
Kat, what if you send in a press release to your local paper and they don't reply to you or print it? Has that ever happened to anyone? I REALLY want to do this for my next book! TY for this excellent post!!!
Thank you Nicole, that's sweet! And yes, sorry, many times papers will not print what you send them. But don't give up. Eventually they'll get sick of you and print something. It took over 10 years of press releases for one of my home town papers to FINALLY print something about one of my books. Perseverance always wins!
Kat, one last question: You mentioned Lafango a while back (at least I think it was you). Is this a free press release website, as well?
Hi Nicole. Lafango is not a free press release site. I'm considering doing a post on Lafango, but it's a little bit complicated, so I'm not certain how easy it will be to explain how to use it. 🙂
Thank you so much,KS!
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