If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Well, the same question can be asked of whether anyone will notice your new book launch online.
Distributing an effective online press release is a great way to contribute to a successful book launch, and should be an important component of your larger marketing strategy.
Selling your book or ebook online is an interesting challenge, and it should be noted that doing so is different than selling other impulse-buys, (like a t-shirt) or “commodities” (like a poster, dvd, or toy) that may be available elsewhere online. While seeing a funny t-shirt might motivate someone to take their wallet out, the mere sight of a book cover probably won’t. For this reason, you’re going to need to get more personal if you actually want to sell any copies of it.
BUT, before distributing an online press release, you’ll need:
An online buzz – Let’s rewind at this point. Before clicking a button that will distribute news of your new book to dozens of media outlets, let’s ask this question: Who cares? In the months (or even years) leading up to the completion of your book, you should create and grow a name and online presence. Start building a network of people who care about what you have to say.
Contribute to forums and blogs online in the area or niche that your book will be of interest to. If your book is about “organic gardening,” build a name for yourself in that niche online. Same thing goes for a book about “the history of the Boston Red Sox,” or a “vegan cookbook.” The great thing about the web today is that you can really target niches with precision.
As your book evolves, make sure you continue to grow your potential fan base on Facebook, a blog, and social media. If you can create hundreds of “likes,” on Facebook, there will be a genuine enthusiasm for your book release. If you have a few “likes” and haven’t posted on your blog in a month, you shouldn’t even bother with a press release, as the launch is going to fall flat. Establishing a personal connection with potential readers in this case is extremely important.
A media kit – If you have aspirations of a New York Times review, get: a professional-looking head shot, write a 100-125 word biography (that touts you as qualified to write such a book) professional business cards (with your book cover on the front and contact info on the reverse) and a one-sheet (a glossy print of the book cover on one side, and a compelling one page description of the book on the back, preferably with an excerpt from a positive review of the book.)
Book signings, launch party – Once again, we come back to the idea of creating a personal connection with readers. And when doing so, don’t be afraid to be creative. When Rachael Ray came to the Barnes & Noble in Princeton to promote her Book of Burgers, she came in a food truck and gave out free burgers. OK, maybe that’s beyond what is appropriate for your appearance at a local bookstore, but talk about creating a buzz! Your launch party should be fun, and invite all those people who follow you on your blog and Facebook. I’m getting off track, but these things are important, and prelude to a good online press release!
An online Press Release – Ok, finally I get to mention what you probably came here to read about. If you are like me, you might learn more by looking at what works, and then applying that format to your own press release. So here are some sample book launch press releases:
- Rachael Ray – Book of Burger
- Pittacus Lore – I am Four
- Cristina Perez – It’s All About the Woman Who Wears It
- Wordswoth Dances the Waltz (children’s book)
If I haven’t lost you yet, here are some tips that the samples above generally follow. A good press release for a new book should include a great headline, that hooks readers. An introduction which further hooks the reader, as well a lead paragraph that serves as an engaging and exciting brief summary of the book like this sample:
Nice, right? Also include one or more quotes like this sample:
“It became clear after only a few chapters that I Am Number Four is far more than an exceptional thriller, it’s a book to fall in love with”, said Mari Evans, Fiction Publisher for Michael Joseph.
Or, “I Am Number Four has everything you could wish for: a killer hook, fabulous compelling writing, thrills, tension and surprisingly tender moments. It’s fantastic entertainment”, commented Puffin Fiction Editor, Sarah Hughes.
Invite people to become engaged at your website by offering free content, like the first few pages of the book online, or bonus content.
Include a brief “about the author,” afterwards like this:
RACHAEL RAY boasts a wildly successful career as a syndicated television star, an iconic Food Network television personality, bestselling cookbook author, Founder and Editorial Director of her own lifestyle magazine and Founder of the Yum-o! organization. Rachael Ray has sold over 10 million copies of her 20 published books, and has nine #1 New York Times bestsellers
Include your PR contact information at the bottom including email address!
Write an exceptional book! No fancy marketing will substitute for a fascinating, and compelling book.
You should really be passionate about what you are writing about, and that enthusiasm should be evident in your writing. It’s not a bad idea to ask, “who cares” throughout every step of the book writing process!
Finally use a leading online press release company like PRWeb, who is number one in the industry. There are also a handful of other distributors such as PRlog, although I don’t find them to look as professional as PRWeb.
Tip: Get some good, honest reviews on sites like Amazon as soon as possible.