The work is done. You’ve written your book, proofread the text approximately hundred and fifty times, had the perfect cover created, and now it’s time for it to see the light of day.
But hold on – there’s one element missing.
In a world oversaturated with information, reaching your target audience and creating a buzz around your book is no easy task. However, it is precisely this that can make or break the deal when it comes to sales.
Enter… a book press release! An official announcement delivered to the media, a book press release is designed to generate excitement around the book launch, expand your reach, and catch the attention of journalists, public figures, and other news outlets.
So, how do you go about writing the perfect book press release? And why do you need it in the first place?
Let’s dive in!
Why Do Authors Need a Book Press Release?
Social media rules the world nowadays, so a book press release may seem like an outdated concept. The opposite is the case. Press releases still play a major role in attracting sales, getting specific products noticed, and creating a narrative around brands and people.
This marketing tool has some great benefits:
- Free press
- Reaching a wider audience and highlighting the release date, which can impact first-week sales
- Attracting the attention of publishing houses and official media, potentially resulting in interviews
While growing your social media and establishing an author website are very effective ways of arousing interest in your work, a book press release is a great additional avenue that can expand your influence.
What Should a Book Press Release Include?
Before we unpack the process of writing the perfect book press release, it’s crucial to keep in mind what exactly will set your work apart. Journalists usually have very little time to go over the press releases sent their way, and so the best way to stand out is to abide by these rules:
Stick to the official structure detailed below. Your creativity can blossom when you describe the plot of the book, but don’t go rogue with the format. Include the basic information about the book, the release date, and some information about the author.
Create an exciting hook that will pique the person’s interest. Research shows that a strong emotional response drives customer behavior, so the journalist is more likely to see the selling potential.
Find an angle that makes the press release worthy of being published in the target media outlet. For example, a local newspaper will be interested in a book that uncovers the history of the region, while a rare topic with a twist may catch the attention of a national literary magazine.
The Necessary Elements of a Book Press Release: A Step-By-Step Guide
Every book press release follows a basic structure. Keep things nice and crispy. You should be able to craft a high-quality copy in about 500 words.
The necessary elements before you write the majority of the copy include:
- Contact information: Name, email, phone number, website, address
- Place and date: Include the city, state, and date
- Publication date: Depending on when you’re sending the book press release, write either “For release on (date)” or “For immediate release”
- Headline: Make it catchy and to the point
- Sub-headline: Describe the work in more detail
Now for the body and soul of the text:
6. Introduction: This is the first short paragraph – sometimes referred to as the “lead” – which introduces your book in a fascinating way and answers the basic questions of who, what, when, where and why
7. Body: The second paragraph describes the compelling plot of the book (it’s essentially a synopsis). The third paragraph may include a quote from the work or a short review by a notable person, and the fourth paragraph (optional) focuses on the details of the launch event and where the public can purchase the book
8. Boilerplate/Closing: A short section about the author
9. Cover Photo: You can add a photo of the author or the book cover. Visual representation is considered to be one of the most important factors in marketing, so this move is strongly recommended
What Makes a Great Book Press Release?
Apart from finding a compelling angle and catching the reader’s attention from the get-go, there are specific aspects you should focus on in order to create a top-quality copy.
Journalists have reported that your text ought to contain a punchy headline (don’t overdo it with the word count and avoid using cliches), needs to be written in the third person, and should make efficient use of quotes (do include them, but don’t waste their potential).
Moreover, avoid these mistakes:
- Language that’s too promotional – while a press release is a marketing tool, it’s also a statement of facts rather than an advertisement, so keep that in mind
- Too many CAPITAL LETTERS
- Incorrect punctuation
- Overusing exclamation marks
One of the best ways to craft a great copy is to research the media outlet you’re sending your book press release to and mimic their writing style. If they’ve published a book press release before, all the better – you now have a specific template to stick to!
What Is the Best Time to Send Out a Book Press Release?
Since a book press release typically gets published on the launch date, make sure to send it at least five days in advance to give the journalists enough time.
What’s more, statistics show that the best time to send out your copy is between 10 AM and 2 PM. This is when email open rates are above 45%. The percentage drops down significantly after lunch.
Thursdays are the best days to send out a book press release, followed by Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Contrary to popular belief, Mondays aren’t necessarily the best option – while the email open rate is at its highest, the click-to-open rate is not. This is potentially due to the overwhelming atmosphere that comes with the start of the week.
So, what does this all boil down to?
Send out your book press release around 11 AM on Thursday.
Where Should I Send a Book Press Release?
Consider your target audience and decide accordingly. While fiction authors may reach out to literary magazines or the local library newspaper, non-fiction authors can connect with organizations and media outlets whose mission resonates with the book’s message.
It also won’t hurt to send your copy to some mass media outlets or publishing houses. The more options you give yourself, the better.
Publishing a book press release is an excellent way to draw more eyeballs to your work. When you’re writing your copy, stick to the structure outlined above and try to come up with a captivating way to capture the reader’s attention.
This book has taken you ages to write. The time has come for the world to take notice. With the perfect book press release, you’ll ensure that it does.