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Best practices & tips for writing an engaging book press release

by | Jun 2, 2023 | Public Relations

Your book promotion strategy might involve book reviews, attending book signings, conducting book readings, and running contests and giveaways.

However, one mention in the press can multiply your efforts, sending a community of readers your way, and earning your book a spot on the bestsellers list.

Want some proof? Suzie Collins is already a popular author, yet with each book she releases, more fame seems to come her way thanks to different media outlets sharing her press releases with their audiences. 

You may not be a household name, but you can still make ensure your book gets the attention of your local media outlets and publications to reach your target audience. 

Here’s how to speed things up by writing a book press release.

Do book press releases work?

Book press releases work because they’re part of a larger book promotion strategy that involves signings, readings, and other approaches that help maximize the reach and impact of your promotion efforts. 

Done right, a good press release for your book will catch the eye of popular outlets who will promote it to their target audience.

Why do you need a book press release?

You need to get the attention of media outlets and expand your reach. Media outlets already have their established audiences—you’re capitalizing on that fact to popularize your book. 

For example, the New York Times has a huge base of readers who visit the site and engage with the content they publish. Having your press release appear in such an outlet is a viral marketing tactic that gets you free publicity and drums up interest in your book. 

It’s cost-effective because an alternative to promoting your book would be sending ads to reach the same audience and spending more time convincing the audience to get to know and trust you. You may not have the time or resources to do that. 

Done right, press releases help you control the narrative. You get to share what’s important in your book and add specific calls to attention on the value it holds for your readers.

How to write a book press release

The anatomy of a press release is pretty standard. You can use a template to fill in the basic details such as the date and time of the release, a boilerplate, logo, and dateline among others. 

However, your headline and body copy are essential as they introduce your book and share the storyline, characters, and themes the book explores to help editors and readers learn more.

Here’s how to make your headline and body copy concise, interesting, and informative, with a clear call to action that encourages readers to dig deeper:

1. Create an attention-grabbing headline

Your headline will be the first thing the editor and your readers will notice. On the other hand, journalists and editors in media outlets are busy and already have numerous pitches to review. ‌

Make your pitch stand out by choosing a short, clear, compelling headline for your press release. Take a look:

Best practices & tips for writing an engaging book press release

The headline has two parts. The first part, “Pancakes to Parathas,” piques your curiosity by opening a loop. The second part, “Breakfast Around The World,” partly closes the loop and ushers you into the press release. 

Editors and readers alike will find it hard to ignore such a press release. 

When writing the headline for your book press release, consider bridging the gap between your book and your audience by personalizing it based on their interests and aligning these interests with the content in your book. 

Use simple language that is easy to understand, aiming to communicate the essence of your message in 6-10 words.

2. Create engaging body copy

Your body copy shares an overview of what your book is about. To make it engaging, find an angle worth talking about. Take a look at this press release: 

Best practices & tips for writing an engaging book press release

Here are a few questions to help you find a good angle: 

What makes your book more special than other books in this genre? Is it the character, the story, or the setting? Does the book align with current events that your target audience cares about? 

If you’ve shared advance copies of your book with a few select readers, consider adding their comments or reviews to your body copy. The words and tone that your advance readers use are more likely to resonate with other potential readers of your book making your body copy engaging. 

Best practices & tips for writing an engaging book press release

Once you’ve written your body copy, include your author bio that tells readers who you are and share contact information that will let editors know how to reach you if the need arises.

For example, an editor may want more information from you, to schedule an interview, or to take more photographs to use in their story.

3. Send your release to appropriate outlets and journalists

Once you’ve written your press release, you need to distribute it to the right outlets to maximize exposure. Agility PR comes with a media database that has contacts of different journalists, their roles, and the subjects they cover, to help you narrow down on who to cold pitch your press release: 

Best practices & tips for writing an engaging book press release

In addition to sharing your book press release with media outlets, consider partnering with creators who send weekly newsletters to help you promote your book to their audience. 

If you’re planning to hold a press event to launch your book, consider adding a link to your landing page where your target readers can sign up. 

Conclusion

Press releases might seem like a lot of work in the beginning as you’re reaching out to media outlets to help you promote your book. 

However, if you follow the standard format of press releases and pay more attention to creating a compelling headline and engaging body copy, you’ve got a shot at landing some media coverage. 

To get started, use this press release template from Agility PR and then head over to the media database to identify the journalists you want to send your press release to. 

Alex Birkett
Alex Birkett is the co-founder of Omniscient Digital, a premium content marketing & SEO agency. He lives in Austin, Texas with his dog Biscuit and writes at alexbirkett.com.

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