Promoting your book involves good preparation, planning and time management. If you are a self-publishing author, who is operating on a shoestring budget, you may not have the luxury of hiring a public relations firm to get that message out about your book to forthcoming readers. One way to get your book notice is by creating a straightforward press release. If you plan to use a free on-line press release service to get the word out, the format may be a little different. Following are some helpful hints to follow when putting together your press release kit if you plan to send it by snail mail or email:
Once a date has been set for the release of your book, a press release will be issued. Press releases should be sent well in advance to ensure adequate coverage. For magazines, send announcement at least six months prior to the date of release. Most newspapers require at least one-month’s advance notice; some media require two weeks.
Address the press release to a specific person. When you do send out a press release, it may be necessary to send out a second notice.
Press releases should be written in a clear and concise manner. Avoid complex, acronyms and technical language. Press releases should be no more than one page. Type information on a standard 8½” x 11″ sheet of paper, doubled spaced. At the top of the page, include your full name, title, phone number and hours you can be reached, in case an editor needs further information.
Specify when the information should be released, for example, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE or RELEASE AFTER A SPECIFIC DATE.
If the same information is going to more than one editor, write NOT EXCLUSIVE. This will tell the writer that his or her coverage is not exclusive and will not be offended if the same information appears in other publications. If possible, send out a letter, brochure, or any other pamphlet, along with the press release to give the editor a better idea about your book. A copy of any other write-ups, reviews or interviews, which you have received, should be included with the press release. Attaching your bio, the book’s cover, an outline of your book, an excerpt or a book trailer will be beneficial. You may also want to include a chapter of your work. The amount of content you provide will be solely up to you. In addition, do not forget to provide information where your book(s) may be purchased.
Once you have received coverage, remember to call or send a thank you note to the writer and editor. It is preferably better to put your appreciation in writing, because you will always have a copy of that letter on file. If you pen another book, that editor or writer will most likely publish your second Press Release, because you took the time to show your appreciation.