Friday, December 24, 2010

The Penurious Promoter’s Guide to Book Publicity #1 -- How to write a press release


By lmmartin

Penurious -- pen-u-ri-ous -- (adjective) stinginess, unwilling to part with money, miserly. Root: penury (noun) lack of money, poverty, want.

Welcome to Penurious Promotions and the first in a series of articles for the do-it-yourself book promoter with a...  "restricted" budget. Today, we’re looking at everything you need to know but haven’t yet asked about press releases.

Why? Because I need to write one, and I don’t know how, so guess what: we’re in this together. As I research and learn, so will my readers. What fun!

But before we get started, a few thoughts:

I should perhaps share another bit of advice with you, dear readers, before we go any further. Like many another solvency-challenged promoter, I’ve happily accepted the well-intended (I’m sure) and sincere-at-the-time offers of help from friends and colleagues. In return, I’ve received what I’ve paid for – nothing. When someone has made an offer of assistance, you can hardly nag or demand action. I mean, they volunteered… 

As is the story with my press releases. An offer of assistance came in September. This is late December, my book is scheduled for release in thirty days and I have no press releases.

So here’s the very first rule for the Penurious Book Promoter: If you can’t afford to hire someone to do it, learn how to do it yourself. Do not depend on friends, family or other volunteers. You'll be glad you did. Think of all those great learning experiences.

Now that’s out of the way, here we are, hand-in-hand and on our way to learn everything there is to know about press releases, and we’ll write one as we go.

Ready?

Why do we need to write press releases?

You’d think that formal press releases would be a thing of the past in this day and age, what with the internet reigning supreme for information seeking, gathering and dissemination.  But no, definitely not. In fact, the press release has grown up into the information age, and e-releases are written in the same way.  For all that we dream up hundreds of creative ways to get media attention, the truth is 99% of all such exposure begins with a well written press release.

Now, it is a well-accepted truth there is no such thing as bad publicity, but it is equally true there is much ineffective publicity. And we don’t want to be ineffective.

What makes a good press release?                       

In my many hours of research, one message came through loud and clear: a press release must be a news story, not an advertisement...


For the rest of the article, use the link in the title or
right here. Don't miss the fun. Come see what we end up with for a press release.

Sincerely yours,

Lynda

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