Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Lessons Learned in Self-Publishing, Part 13...The dreaded press release

Someone asked me about writing press releases. As most writers hate writing synopsis, the press release comes in a close second. Following is press releases that I used for a book signing last October and resulted in a newspaper article in the Cumberland Times-News.  Press release is in blue.

Contact person for press release. This will probably be you, but could be your agent or publicist. Include e-mail and phone numbers. 

Ron D. Voigts
 (xxx) xxx-xxxx

Next comes the headline. Keep it brief.

Author Ron D. Voigts book signing at The Book Center, Cumberland, MD

Location, date and elaborate the purpose of the press release.

LaVale, MD, October 10, 2011 – Author Ron D. Voigts will be at The Book Center, 15 North Centre Street, Cumberland, MD on Saturday October 22 from 11 AM to 1 PM, signing copies of his two tween mysteries.

More paragraphs. Add information. Note: I used 13th and not thirteenth.

The first book, PENELOPE AND THE BIRTHDAY CURSE, is set outside the town limits of Dillwood, in a strange old house called the Manor. Friends and family arrive for Penelope’s 13th birthday and are soon stranded by a freak snow storm.  The next morning a guest is found dead.  In the spirit of Agatha Christie, Penelope sleuths and collects clues with the help of friends to solve this who-done-it.
In second book of the series, PENELOPE AND THE GHOST’S TREASURE, her parents send her off to a private school, housed in a made-over hotel, with lots of history and secrets. Penelope's not in class ten minutes when a teacher drops dead in front of her. There are plenty of suspects, a ghost and talk of hidden treasure. With the help of her offbeat classmates, Penelope must solve the mystery and find the ghost’s treasure.

The Penelope Mystery books are also available in e-book format at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple’s iBookstore and Smashwords.

Putting in a bio is not a bad touch. Helps people to identify with the author.

About Author
Ron D. Voigts has the pleasure of calling two places home. He spends weekends and vacations in Raleigh, NC, where he and his wife have a townhouse just off the Neuse River. He also has a residence in LaVale MD where he does most of his writing. Currently he is in the midst of writing the third book in the series, PENELOPE AND THE MOVIE STAR. When not writing, he works puzzles, eats ice cream and enjoys dinners out with his wife Lois.

Keep the writing style close to how you’d expect to read it in the newspaper. Most likely the actual article in the newspaper will read very close to how the press release reads. The body of the article in the Cumberland Times-News was verbatim from what I wrote.  Only the headline changed. 

Keep your writing top down.If space becomes an issue, they will start lopping form the bottom and work their way up the press relase. Make sure the important stuff is near the top,

Another thought for a press release is to have an author picture ready and perhaps one of the book cover.  Pictures sell. Just keep in mind that most likely they’ll be in black and white. So pick a cover picture with good contrast. I used Penelope andThe Ghost's Treasure cover because of the white ghost against a dark background.

There you have it! My formula for the press release.

Ron D. Voigts is the author of PENELOPE AND THE BIRTHDAY CURSE and PENELOPE AND THE GHOST’S TREASURE, both available at Amazon.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this! Press releases are one of the things that have mystified me :)