How Do You Write a Press Release?

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How Do You Write a Press Release?

There is a specific format and structure you should follow for writing a press release.  If you miss the key points then you will likely receive little to no exposure or uptake by readers.

A release is written in the third person and aims to bring attention to your eBook.   Instead of using ‘I,’ a press release will use the author’s name.
For example:
Wrong – I am an expert on eBook Marketing
Right – David Horne is an expert on eBook Marketing

So let’s break it down into segments and give you a base to work from so you can write your own press release without paying some high fees that many PR firms require to write one for you.

General Press Release Guidelines:

1. Make sure you know who your audience is that you are writing to.

2. The release is not necessarily about you; it’s about your reading audience as well as the media contact’s audience.

3. Use a structured format for your release.

4. Write your release in advance of the release date if possible.  This will give you a chance to review and make changes if needed.

5. Make it newsworthy.

6. A press release doesn’t have to be completely unique, but it should have a unique angle.

7. It should aim to encourage journalists to consider publishing or taking up your release.

8. Make it timely as the media love something new and they also love tie-ins to current topics of interest or events going on at that time.

9. Ask someone else to proofread your press release.  A release full of errors will likely discourage someone from following up on your release.

10. Make your release objective.  Don’t use outrageous quotes such as ‘Greatest eBook Ever!’

11. Check your contact details, the price and all relevant details are correct.

12. Do not send attachments if you are sending your release via email.

13. Ensure that the hyperlinks to your website are working correctly if listed in your release.

14. Do not send a release which is not available for immediate release.

15. Include a non-HTML URL link in your release.  Why?  Because when journalists or bloggers republish your press release online this URL will automatically be converted into a live link.  E.g.  http://www.crimefictionebooks.com

1.  Title / Headline
This is what the reader will see first.  A boring headline will be over-looked while an interesting, unique, and maybe controversial headline, will force the curiosity of the reader to click on and read more.  I prefer a headline with each word beginning with a capital letter.  Sentences with all capital letters can be annoying for the reader.  Keep the header short and make sure it grabs their attention.  Preferred fonts are Arial, Times New Roman, and Verdana.

2.  Subheading
The subheading provides additional information about your release.  Re-enforce and elaborate on the headline.  This piece of information is what is most likely to be displayed with the article in directories, so be sure to continue to capture the readers’ attention.  Often there are a maximum number of words allowed with a subheading.  Write clearly.  State the reason(s) why the press release is newsworthy.

3.  Date
The date for the press release should precede the first paragraph.  Generally it will contain the city, state, country and then the date.

4.  First Paragraph
This can often be where you lose the reader if you don’t provide them with a reason to read the entire release.  In this first paragraph you should tell the reader what your announcement is about.  You should also state why it is important and why it would matter to them.  Give a reason as to what makes your eBook special or different.

5.  Second Paragraph
Many top press release writers include a quote in this paragraph to ‘personalise’ the release.  You can use a figure of authority on the topic to give your release more value.

6.  Third Paragraph
This is the paragraph where the reader will want to read about your eBook.  Provide them with a brief synopsis or description about your eBook.  What will they learn or what is the eBook about.  Try and answer the questions ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘where’, ‘why’ and ‘how.’

7.  Contact Information / Author Biography
This part is of utmost importance.  Include a brief author bio, a link to where the reader can find out more information about you, or even a link to the page where they can buy your eBook.

Don’t write too much or make the reader click on a lot of links to get to your eBook.  If they are willing to click on the link after reading all of your release then you will want to ‘sell’ them on the eBook and take them to your sales page.
Obfuscate (make obscure or unclear) your email address.  Why?  Because there are many software programs (spam spiders) out there trying to search the internet for as many email address as possible.  This will result in you receiving all sorts of spam.  An example of this would be to write your email address as follows: support at ‘yourwebsitename’ .com

Guidelines for Writing an ‘eBook Announcement’ Press Release:
An eBook announcement press release is about you telling the world that your new eBook is available for purchase.  A new eBook release uses the traditional news release format that journalists are accustomed to receiving.  This includes your contact information, a headline, and your announcement written in a journalistic style.

It is important to note that it is your eBook, or subject matter, that is the news and not you!  Unless you have already built a well-known author platform and brand your name will not be recognizable so don’t put it in the headline.  ‘How to Sell More eBooks’ is much more compelling than; ‘David’s eBook on Marketing.’

Make it easy for the journalists to access and copy your release.  You will want to distribute your announcement release in text format, not as a PDF file.  It can be hard to copy text from a PDF file and you will always want to make it easy for the journalist to copy your release rather than re-writing the entire piece.  You can send this press release directly to the targeted media outlets with a note asking if the journalist would like to receive a complimentary review copy.  An effective eBook announcement press release is written in a journalistic format.

A press release (about topical news story) announces news in a factual way.  Therefore you will want to avoid using words such as ‘amazing,’ ‘best-ever,’ ‘revolutionary.’  This isn’t a book review expressing an opinion, it’s an announcement that a journalist would like to copy and paste into a publication.

Tell the reader where they can buy your eBook.  Include the title, publisher name, publication date, price, and information about where it can be purchased.

News Angles for a Great Press Release:

  • Make it unique
  • Make it exceptional
  • Solve a problem
  • Add humour
  • A great story
  • Make it controversial
  • Provide some eye-catching statistics
  • Play the role of underdog

Notes:

  • Type ‘End’ on the first line after your text is completed.
  • Type ‘More’ at the bottom of the first page if your release goes over one page.
  • Try to keep your release to one page, never longer than two pages.

Your press releases should also help you by increasing your brand awareness, author profile, and by increasing your number of leads to you landing page.

How to Track and Monitor Your Releases?
You will want to use Google Alerts to track the success of your press releases.  Google Alerts will provide you with the ability to view who is publishing your article.  This will then allow you to target these publishers and allow you to build direct relationships with them for the future.  Google Alerts will also allow you to test the effectiveness of different online press release distribution services.

Would You Like to See Examples of a Published eBook Press Release?
You can visit www.eBookPressReleases.com for examples of press releases that are specific to the eBook Industry.