Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Press Releases A Blast from the Past

Press Releases A Blast from the Past Marketing and promotion – the bane of every writer. What works? What doesnt work? Over the past eight years, I have published several childrens and middle grade books. In 2010, blog tours and guest posts were the way to go. It was so much fun visiting and talking with new people through the blogs; especially when it was one of the characters from my book doing the talking. My imagination could go wild! That does not work anymore, nor does offering free copies, or hosting a book release event on Facebook. Only one thing has remained consistently effective through the ever-changing times – press releases. The Test of Time Press releases are a relic from the past, a dinosaur in the new digital age. They were a great means of free advertising in days gone For example, my husband and I submitted press releases to the local newspapers prior to a book signing event. More visitors attended that event than any of our previous signings. We were amazed at the number of people who commented, I saw it in the paper and thought Id drop Another bonus: Our community newspaper asked for an interview. When you live in a small town, being a published writer is big news! It may take a little extra finesse to get a write-up in a larger paper, but it can be done. Consider the topic being more than about the books release, and instead more about the impact of the book, a strange intriguing fact about how the book came about, how the book meets an urgent need, how a famous/semi-famous person reviewed your book and what they thought. In other words, the book isnt the newssomething else amazing related to the book is. Hope Clark, for instance, used the fact she met her federal agent husband over a bribery investigation, which led to the first book in her Carolina Slade Mystery Series. She landed a feature in a local magazine and a podcast interview. Target Your Audience The secret to making a press release work is to target your audience. Do you have a new release? Have you won any awards? Does your book highlight any specific region or profession? My husband writes historical fiction about the golden age of aviation. The setting for the story centers around the Hudson River Valley in NY. We emailed press releases to the newspapers in that region, as well as to aviation publications. During the following month, he had quite a few sales. Was it coincidence or did he gain some new readers through our use of good old-fashioned free publicity? Writing a Press Release Editors want the meat with a few potatoes on the side. In other words, your press release should be short, sweet, and to the point. First and foremost, the headline is the eye-catcher and needs to grab the readers attention. Youre a writer and understand the need for a hook. The meat (two to three short paragraphs) needs to briefly describe what the book is about, how it relates to the reader or geographical area, along with interesting facts about the book and author. A quote or two goes a long way. Go quirky, unique, and outside the box. The closing paragraph is the call to action and should have the authors contact information, website, and where to purchase the book. You can also include a small jpg of the cover. Mention any discounts or limited time offers. It goes without saying; the press release is a reflection of you as an author and should be grammatically correct with no misspelled words. Getting the News Out There Sending out the press release used to be a time-consuming process. First you had to determine who to send it to and write to each of your targets. Thanks to press release distribution sites, the work load is now dramatically reduced. https://www.1888pressrelease.com/ https://pressexposure.com/ https://www.newswire.com/ free-press-release.com/ These sites will send your news out far and wide, but you may still want to hand pick a few newspapers and periodicals on your own as specific targets since emails are so easily deleted. No matter how you do it, you will find press releases are still an effective marketing tool, and well worth the time and effort.

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