Press Release and Free Publicity: Why, When, & How
“Promote? I wrote the book, why should I have to do anything else?”
After months of pouring your heart and soul into putting the perfect adjective, noun, or adverb on the computer or paper, you finally completed that wonderfully scripted short story, or novel. The final draft and editing are done and you submit your manuscript to an agent or publishing company or you decide to self-publish. No matter, you think the difficult task is over, right? If only it were that simple. What happens if you and your book are fortunate and win that contract? It used to be publishing companies did all the work for you, that may be so if you are Nora Roberts or Karen Robards. But in order to get the public’s attention you need to issue a press release to the public.
It Starts with a Press Release
I know what you may be thinking. “A press release for my book?” Before social media, most press releases were given to the news publications for release, now with social media, you have the luxury of doing this yourself. Write your 2-4 paragraphs, talking a little about your book and yourself, listing your social media accounts so people will follow you. Some think press releases don’t really help the sales of a book. Whether this is true or not, it still helps to do everything possible to get the word out there about your book. All it takes is one person to read your book and if they love it, they are going to spread the word. Let them know where you will be if you will be at a book signing. For more Press release tips, check out Kindleprenuer’s Tips
Sounds simple. It’s not. Nothing about being a writer is easy. Once we finish one novel, it’s on to the next one however, there is the promotion of the current novel that will be released and for that you need to prepare ahead of time. Heidi Angell’s article “5 Inexpensive ways To Skyrocket Book Event Success.” First, you must plan ahead and look at the event calendars in the area where you want to have the event. You want to try and avoid any competition however, if you do find that competition will be an issue; you can use that to your advantage by handing out flyers to the foot traffic.
Announce More Than Your Book
The next step in the plan is to plan the marketing. Knowing important information ahead of time to present to the venue can be useful. Make a list of all the local news outlets from radio stations, television, newspapers, local reporters, college campuses, etc. Even holding a book signing at a library is great. Find sites like Eventbrite and Spingo that allow you to create an event and look for local book clubs online.
Networking is important. Use your social media contacts. Write down every source. Who can you approach to help promote the event? Who can help hand out flyers? Who can be your back up person while you are signing your books?
Think about your budget and figure out what you can spend and promote wisely. If you have your own computer, you can make your own flyers to hand out. Hand them out everywhere, especially the bookstores, libraries, on community boards, etc. If you have the budget to print up bookmarks or some sort of book-related trinket to give out that would be perfect.
So you’ve done your work and you’re having the big event. Make sure you have a sign-up sheet that specifically invites attendees to your newsletter, blog, or website (if it’s part of a raffle, you will get more sign-ups). When the event is over, send an email to everyone who signed up saying thank you. You also want to go by the venue and thank them for hosting the event.
You can make connections online by hosting or co-hosting a book release event with other authors. Being a writer, I’m sure you belong to some or several writing groups and have made connections with other authors. Most authors are happy to devote their time online to promote their work. Sometimes you can ask to be on their blog. Perhaps you could do a YouTube video if you are not camera shy and feel comfortable doing that sort of thing and possibly read an expert for your book or talk about writing.
Barbara Tyree is the author of the soon-to-be published mystery/thriller novel Dangerous Liaisons and is in the process of perfecting the final drafts of three other novels including the sequel to Dangerous Liaisons.