Here are some key items to keep in mind about using press releases to promote your self-published book:
1. The objective of a press release is to get media attention and coverage, not to sell books.
You do press releases so the media (i.e., TV, Radio, Magazines, Newspapers, Websites, and Blogs) will potentially review or discuss your book in their publications or on their channels and this coverage will drive sales.
2. The most important line in a Press Release is the one that says “Review Copies and Interviews Upon Request.”
Your goal from the press release is to send out review copies of your book or get interviews about your book or book topic because a good review in a good magazine and/or an interview on radio or TV will sell books.
3. Yes you need to give away Free Copies of your Book.
Media professionals expect a free copy of your book to consider you for a review. You want to give away review copies of your book as reviewers will not likely write about your book unless you give them a review copy.
Traditional Media (e.g., magazines and newspapers) typically want a free paperback or hardcover book copy, and New Media (websites and blogs) typically want an electronic galley or electronic PDF version of your book. Send them what they want. Don’t be cheap and try to make a potential reviewer buy a book, as it won’t work.
4. The Press Release needs to be sent electronically to a list of professional book reviewers.
For purposes of getting media reviews or interviews with a credible organization, the typical press releases, offered by many online press release companies that are sent to major search engines like Google and Yahoo, wire services, or opt in news subscribers will NOT give you a very good response. You need to send the press release to professionals who write book reviews or interview authors as a part of their job.
Additionally, press releases nowadays are sent electronically via email. The days of sending paper press releases with “For Immediate Release” written in the corner are over.
5. Repeated exposure of your book over time is the best way to get media outlets, bloggers and websites to notice your book.
Multiple press releases done from different news angles and sent to targeted professional reviewers comprise what is called a publicity campaign and it is the best way to build exposure and buzz for your book. Media professionals are always looking for new stories based on what is currently in the news, seasonal topics and assignments from their editor.
A press release about a book sent from one angle may not attract the attention of a specific book reviewer the first week, but another press release, written from another angle, about the same book, might get a response from the same reviewer on the second week.
If you need some help with your press releases, please feel free to visit our marketing services site at Marketing Services or call me at 866-793-9365.