After publishing your book, one way to secure publicity and get your book in front of the media is to write a press release. Press releases are brief documents that outline the most important points of your message.
The job of a press release is to convince journalists that your book is worth writing about. If they do write about your book, they often use the release as the basis for their coverage. That means your press release should be catchy and informative. Journalists don’t want to have to read your whole book to get to the point.
So, all you need is one good press release for your book and you’re set. Simple, right? However, you do need to know the format of a book press release and some best practice advice on writing one. Remember, a legitimate editor is more likely to accept a press release on your book if it’s properly formatted and they don’t have to do too much work on it.
How to Format a Press Release for Your Book
A press release is usually reasonably short, 300-500 words, and ideally one page, two tops. Although press releases vary a bit, it contains these essential elements:
It should read either FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE or FOR RELEASE ON [Date]
Include your website, email, phone number, and any social media handles that you regularly use.
For most self-published books, the Author is the point of contact for review copies. But if you’ve delegated that task to someone else, make that clear.
This is your hook. Use your news angle to catch the reader’s attention. Short, catchy, action-oriented headlines get the most attention. Use similar strategies for your release headline as you would a blog post headline to capture the reader and make them want to lean in for more. Just as a book title needs to be carefully chosen to interest potential readers, a press release needs a well-thought-out headline to make it stand out from the endless press releases journalists deal with.
This is one sentence that gives a little more information about your book. Your purpose here is to expand on your news angle.
If the headline is like a movie teaser, the subheader is like the trailer. The headline piques the reader’s attention, while the subheader gives them a more substantial reason to keep reading.
City, State, Date
The city and state are in all caps, and the date is followed by a dash. It should look like:
New York, N.Y. – Jan. 7, 2020 –
The first paragraph of the main content includes the basic factual information about your book and your abbreviated bio.
The second paragraph contains a detailed description of your book, its highlights, benefits, or compelling information.
End with purchase link or event information, including date, time, location, cost, and link to further details. Your paragraphs should be short—two to three sentences. Respect the time of the media folks you hope will cover your story.
To enhance the release, include a book review or quote from another author or reviewing organization and links to other media like photos or videos.
The end notation is either included as – ###- or –more- if there is a second page.
Here is a press release template for authors: