** P is for PRESS RELEASES **
Hoping this one will be of serious interest for any writer wanting to promote their own work.
This is a template I have committed to memory for writing a press release. I won’t mind if you pinch it! I have written examples for how you might write a press release as a writer, but these are just suggestions.
RELEASE DATE & AUTHOR
Write your name and the date of when you would like this to be printed on the top of the page. There is no guarantee this will be adhered to by the Editors, but you can help them by suggesting an appropriate timetable.
FOR EXAMPLE: If your book tour starts on Monday 13th May, send the article out at least a week before, remembering to check if the publication is a quarterly/monthly/weekly/daily occurrence. Check any deadlines for submission.
Something snappy – I am rapidly going off alliteration in headlines, but the more interesting you can make it the more likely the article will be read.
FOR EXAMPLE: Local Writer To Visit Northampton’s Bookshops
This is the main gist of the story.
WHO WHAT WHEN WHERE WHY HOW?????
FOR EXAMPLE: Local writer Louise Gibney will be touring the book shops of Northampton this month promoting her debut novel, ‘Girl Meets Boys’.
Expand on the story outline here. Let the reader know a bit about you. Give the a summary of the book you’ll be promoting, or the blurb, here.
When did the book get published? Do you have any impressive figures which show how popular your book’s been since it launched?
Do you have any noted writers quoted on your book cover? Think wider than this too – who else recognisable and related to your genre could comment? For instance, I approached Match.com to get a quote for ‘Girl Meets Boys’, my internet age rom com. I was turned down, but asking doesn’t hurt and you might have everything to gain.
Try to get a quote from the book store manager saying how much they’re looking forward to supporting a local writer.
A quote from you isn’t bad either – something nice about the pleasure of meeting fans, supporting literature in your area, and shopping local at your independent bookshops (only if you’re touring indies!).
This is where readers can find out more about you, the event, and your books. You might get some more bookings through this paragraph, so don’t forget it.
FOR EXAMPLE: To find out which bookshops Louise will be visiting when, check out www.xyz.com (not a real website! – ED.) or contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org (not a real email address! – ED.) You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter @MissWriteUK.
WRITE <ENDS> AT THE END OF THE ARTICLE
This is so the editor knows exactly where the copy finishes.
NOTES TO EDITOR
You can write any extra information to support the article after the <ENDS> signal. This is a perfect opportunity to list links to your blog, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc. etc. Your phone number might be useful too, should the Editor have any questions.
General Tips I'd follow...
Including a good photo of yourself looking writerly may make your story more attractive to print. Look professional, smile (not maniacally!), ideally posing with the book in question.
You don’t have to send a query note before you send in a press release, but doing so may ensure you follow any style guidelines the newspaper follows.
Make sure you know the submission deadline to time it with your event(s).
Always send a covering letter or something in the body of the email.
Remember to tailor the press release to the publication – e.g. mention the town it’s distributed in, if you’re from a specific area covered by the paper say so.
Thank the Editor after your press release has been printed. Nice touch! They might remember you and help you out in the future if they’re feeling amiable.
Now, go promote!
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Born to be a Tourist
Images courtesy of OSU Library and My Failure At Modern Living