Press Releases, are they Still Useful for Literary Publicity?

Some colleagues of mine have told me that Press Releases don’t really work anymore. I don’t completely agree with them. If you base your conclusion on the fact that for every new book, book feature, or book event generates a Press Release which will be distributed to the same pool of Media, then it is true, Press Releases don’t work anymore because it competes with an avalanche of them directed to the same pool. But if we utilize Press Releases as an instrument that complements a group of tools put in place following a target strategy, than a Press Release has a lot of benefits to offer the Publicity Campaign of a book.

Before the number of book releases from Indie publishers and authors went out of the roof, press releases were written and distributed to the main Media whether local, Regional, or Global. After they got flooded with Indie Books, most of the Press Releases sent through a standardized format most likely won’t make it through. So what are we to do? Do we stop writing and Distributing Press Releases? I say not.

The Media still uses Press Releases as a source of news. So it is no out dated at all. We just have to be creative not only in the writing of it but also on its distribution. Please note that I am not saying to stop sending your releases to the big media groups, on the contrary I am saying you should expand  your media list to include the little ones too. Following are some tips on how to make the most of your Press Release:

  1. Get to know your local media channels. Spend some time researching all the local small newsletters, newspapers, and magazines from your area. Find out their submission guidelines and create your data base so that you can send Press Releases to them directly as well as the big groups.
  2. Read the paper and begin writing letters to the editor on topics that you can comment on.
  3. Search for local bloggers as well. Go to local media events and try to get to know as many as you can in person. Remember, as an author you probably have your own blog…doesn’t that make you part of the local Media?
  4. Communicate different angles that could be applicable to your book or expertise to your Press Release writer and Distributor, So that its distribution gets strategized to be more effective.
  5. Finally, don’t just do the Press Release on its own when announcing a new book, or book event. The Press Release should be just one component of a well thought effort. For example, Community Calendars, Advertising, Book Giveaways…all scheduled to create a buzz.

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