Press Releases are a great way to market books and draw potential buyers to your website. During my time writing press releases I have learned quite a bit, but I know that I still have TONS to learn. While I know I am no expert, I wanted to share a few things with you. 1st, there are so many free press release distribution sites. These are great if you are on a tight budget, but not quite as effective as some of the other ones. Still, I have seen over 200 hits on some press releases through them. If you choose to go through a site that charges, I encourage you to know what you are paying for. Find out what kind of visibility will be available to you, and the benefits that come along with that membership.
When using free press release distributors, make sure you know what is free. They might ask if you want to upload a photo, but photos are only available for paid releases, or something along those lines. Many also have a limit on how many you can post per day or per week. Some sites also allow you to set up free accounts, but charge per press release once you are signed up.
Another important thing that I have learned is that different sites have different standards. It’s important to read the guidelines for each site and tailor your release to meet their satisfaction. I have submitted the same press release to multiple sites, only to have some accept it and others reject it. It’s usually because I missed something in the guidelines. Here is a list of things that vary from site to site:
- The use of exclamation marks – Some sites will not publish press releases with exclamation marks, others don’t give them a second glance.
- The title – While some sites insist that the company name is included in the title, others prefer the title is more descriptive. Most sites are pretty standard about title formatting. ALL CAPS is forbidden, but they expect the first letter in each word to be capitalized.
- Noun usage – Press releases should be written in third person, however whether or not they allow the use of the word “you” depends on the site.
- Advertisements – There is a fine line between a news release and an advertisement in the press release world. While you might be writing to advertise, different companies can see the same press release different ways. While one says it’s news worthy, another might declare it ‘too pitchy” and ask you to change it or reject it all together.
- It has to be newsworthy
- It should be properly spaced and formatted
- It should be a news release, not an article
- It should only be submitted once, and needs to be recent news
- It needs to be professionally written
- Nothing illegal
So there you have it. Press release tips from me 😀 for whatever they’re worth anyway. Do you use press releases to market your book, or author events? Got any tips to share?
My favorite press release writing resource is “Get Your Press Release Done!” by Self Publishing Coach, Shelley Hitz . I must admit that there is a ton of information available online, but this is my favorite resource because it is so well laid out! It took me from knowing nothing, to successfully writing press releases in no time!