NB: We developed a template that exported certain elements from the book pages into a Word document to help us create a Press Release. It includes a cover/logo/description/author bio/metadata. However, it does need a lot of editing as the information taken is basic. We have moved away from using this tool, preferring to create a more persuasive document for marketing purposes as described below.
Never attach a press release as a separate document, always put it in the body of an email. Your first email can act as your draft, and can be copy and pasted for subsequent emails, as this doesn't change.
- A strapline to grab attention
- Book Title, Author, Publication Date, Imprint
- Book Cover Image
- ISBN and price for different formats, Paperback & eBook
- Back Cover Copy or Description
- Author Bio including earlier published books, and online links, if current.
You can add a personalised paragraph specifically aimed at the contact, acknowledging who they are and why they may be interested in this title specifically. Keep that brief and to the point, add a link to the book page on the imprint website too. Further advice on what to include and how to send out is explained in more detail in Being Your Own Publicist.
What we do
The Email/Press Release which your publicist circulates is filed under "Publicity" on your Marketing page.
For some of our contacts we will send an email that covers different activities, we may offer them a review copy, an extract/article and or interview. This happens for a number of contacts covering print and online magazines, bloggers and some radio stations.
We refer to it as a Press Release for the sake of convenience, though that is usually more applicable to breaking news, daily events, eccentric stories. This is always targeted, we do not blanket email contacts and authors should not do that either, the recipient can tell and it is an instant turn off.
So this activity is a catch-all for appropriate contacts. It may lead to the creation of another type of activity. The contact may go on to request a review copy, so there will be a seperate activity created for a Review Copy or for an Interview or Article/Extract.
When the press release is sent, your publicist will add the activity to the contacts (s)he sent it to. This will appear on the Marketing page in Marketing Activities. This is a one-off action and will have a "Date Arranged". It will not need to have a "Date Completed", and the author does not need to do anything about this activity.
NB: On your Dashboard under Track Your Marketing Activities, you will see this activity with "Has been completed" – as this has no "Completion" you can ignore that notice.
As a rule whoever adds an activity is the person responsible for completing it. However it is inevitable that some activities will go uncompleted.
What you can do
Do feel free to use it and tweak it further, but bear in mind the advice in Being Your Own Publicist in Chapter 9.
Building your own email list which brings potential reader to your platform (author site) is a good way of selling books, particularly if you are planning a series. You can then periodically send out new content to keep them interested and effectively launch your next books, as well as market the backlist. Include at the end of the manuscript a note directing readers to your site.
You can build a list in a number of ways;
1. Offer something for free in exchange for an email address; This could be in the form of a novella, free chapters, and teasers, articles of interest around the subject of your book. Top tips, How tos, audio clips and video. Different genres offer different opportunities.
Example: Peter Bartram ( Cosy Crime Fiction Author - Roundfire): http://www.colincrampton.com/free-novella/ Peter created a free Novella, he is building a series based on the same character, so this worked very well for him. Peter produced this between publication of his first and second title. He had a very healthy number of downloads and grew his email list by around 1700 names. It means that when his next book becomes available he can let all these people know. This is also about Author Branding which you can find in Chapter 15.
2. Set up a newsletter; this works for authors with more than just a book to talk about. Your list will soon tire of you if the only communication they get from you is "buy my book". But if you offer other information around your subject, then this approach can work well.
Example: Leora Fulvio ( Non fiction Health writer - Ayni Books): http://reclaimingyourselffrombingeeating.com/. Leora offers tips for solving health issues based on her book Reclaiming Yourself from Binge Eating. She is also offering an online course, so this newsletter support her work as a whole not just her book.
You may need specific services/programes to help you capture and manage your list, you must have an unsubscribe option, and please ensure that it is interesting to keep your audience. Continual "buy my book" emails will lead to unsubscribers. Spam is a big problem these days and if you get repeatedly reported for email abuses, you can get into trouble with your internet provider and efffect your Google ratings.