Why We Love Press Releases (And You Should, Too!)

supergirl - pr superheroWriting a great press release or pitch is essential to telling potential readers about your book. Not only is the job of the press release to announce a book launch, event or other newsworthy event, it’s to gain interest.

That’s the fun but also the challenging part.

Writing for journalists is very different than writing a book. Your mission is to grab attention and get to the point immediately. Journalists are flooded with potential stories or pitches on a daily basis but if you grab their attention and get to the point….and if you’ve done your research and hit the right reporter at the right time…you may just get that news story or radio interview.

In this week’s All About the Authors video installment, I talk about seven ways writers will gain attention and interest with a well-crafted press release. Are you ready to pen a super-charged pitch and gain publicity for yourself and your book?

Here are the seven steps to writing a great press release that hooks reporters who will want to know more:

  1. Create an attention-grabbing headline
  2. Get to the point and stay laser focused
  3. Proofread for perfection
  4. Include quotes often
  5. Keep it short. No longer that two pages – one is better
  6. Include your contact information
  7. Offer access to more information

Before you begin writing, remember that nobody cares. Journalists are very busy and are pitched by many, many people every day who all believe that they have that must-tell story. Use this adage to force yourself to step into the reporter’s shoes. What makes your story interesting? Why should this publication or station and next, this particular reporter, care? Find the angle that will interest him and help him reach his story goals.

Next, follow-up to make sure he received your release and ask if there are any questions. Find out if he would like a copy of your book and in what format. Only send your book when the reporter asks for it.

When working with a young adult author several years ago, I announced the newest book in her teen suspense series to reporters in Northeast Florida because that’s where she lived and worked. It helped that she was published by an imprint of Penguin Group Inc. and that she was a school teacher. The community interest angle intrigued a columnist at The Florida Times-Union who wrote an excellent story in his weekly column, “One of Us”. What makes your story interesting?

Finally, remember the long game when promoting your book. You may not deliver the one-two punch with the first swing but if you practice, pitch and persevere, you’re sure to land a winner (and possibly, save the world).