By Sandra Beckwith
Authors who are serious about book marketing, promotion, and publicity have a press release that announces their book. This essential media relations and search engine optimization (SEO) tool is a book marketing basic.
Many, however, don’t know how to get the most from this tool that they’ve worked hard to write and perfect.
The primary purpose of your book announcement press release is to help secure book publicity. Definitely use it with that purpose in mind, but don’t stop there. Think bigger.
Your Book Announcement Press Release
Here are eight ways to make your book announcement press release work harder for you.
1. Include it with advance review copies you send to media reviewers.
Don’t take my word for it – I often receive both printed and digital review copies from publishers, publicists, and authors. They always include a book announcement press release.
This is why you wrote your book’s press release in the first place. You never want to send a review copy to the press without it.
When sending a printed review copy, tuck the folded document into the book. When sending a digital copy, copy and paste the press release text into your email message.
2. Send it to a broad media list without advance review copies.
Some media outlets will use your press release for a short news item in the appropriate section. They include:
- trade journals
- consumer magazines
- city and state business journals
- daily newspapers
- your local weekly newspaper
- blogs related to the book’s topic
You can pay a press release distribution service to send it out or create and mail to your own book publicity media list.
3. Use it as background material when pitching a story idea to the press.
Reporters and producers like to know that any expert article or segment sources they’re considering are truly experts. A well-written book announcement press release copied and pasted into the email pitch says to them, “I know what I’m talking about.”
4. House it in the press room on your website.
This will help journalists investigating you, your topic, or your book find the factual and objective information they need. That’s because you’ve written a press release that shares what they need to know in a way that focuses on the facts and cuts out hyperbole and exaggeration.
Note that when you add it to your press room, you want to use a text-based approach that makes it easy for journalists and others to copy and paste your news. PDF files don’t always allow that. Here’s how media savvy author Candy Harrington does it in the press room for Barrier-Free Travel; National Park Lodges for Wheelers and Slow Walkers.
5. Upload it to free press release “distribution” services.
I’ve put quotation marks around “distribution” because these sites don’t actually send your press release to media outlets. The release sits on the site waiting for a reporter to find the site and search for press releases containing the search term they’re looking for.
They do serve another purpose, though. When your release includes a link to your author website, you’re generating another link back to your site from the “distribution” site, which is good for your site’s SEO.
6. Give it to bloggers and podcasters when scheduling your virtual book tour.
Bloggers and podcasters need information before they can decide if they want to interview you or accept a guest post from you. Your press release provides the essential information they need when deciding whether you’re a good fit for their content and audience.
In addition, virtual appearances on blogs often revolve around written information you provide, typically a Q&A or guest post. Your press release will help your potential blog host assess your writing quality.
7. Use it when asking planners to consider you as an event speaker.
Authors who speak usually present on something closely related to their book topic. The book announcement press release summarizing your book reinforces your positioning that you’re a topic expert.
It’s also important information if you’d like to sell books after your presentation. It’s the answer to the inevitable question, “What’s your book about?”
8. Send it to colleagues, friends, and relatives who will support your marketing efforts.
You can copy and paste it into the email you’ll send out alerting your relevant network members that your book is available for purchase. It has all the facts they need to decide who they’ll share your exciting news with – and how they’ll do it.
You want to make the most of every piece of content related to your book. Always look for ways to re-use and re-purpose it, whether it’s a press release like this or a guest blog post. Start with this essential press release. Once you see how much mileage you can get from it, you’ll be inspired to keep the momentum going with other content you create.
How are you making your book announcement press release work hard for you?