How to Write an Effective Press Release

Happy 2014 everyone. I hope your year is off to a flying start.

I’m deeply immersed in writing my mentorship novel so I’d made a commitment to myself to not start blogging again until February.

But many of my author friends are having books released in the next couple of months so I decided to do this post How to Write an Effective Press Release to help them successfully launch their new book babies into the very competitive market place.

The Purpose of a Press Release

You’re not just writing a press release to let people know you have a new book. You want them to be as enthusiastic as you are – so your press release needs to have a hook.  You need to think about what you want this press release to achieve.

Your press release will serve two definite purposes:

1.            Press Releases are supposed to make the media salivate – to make them desperate to interview the creators of this fabulous new book.

2.            Press Releases are supposed to inspire publications to want to favourably review your brand new book.

So when you draft your press release, you need to bear these two important factors in mind. You need to think about what you are trying to achieve with your press release.


  1. Have a hook – why should the person you are sending the press release to want to read about your book? Why should they want to let others know about it?  A hook must have benefits and it must be relevant. Your hook should be upfront in the headline – in the same way as an advertisement.
  2. Do not use your publisher’s name or your name as a headline or sub-head – they are not selling points – they are just information. A publisher headline is not going to inspire the press to desperately seek authors and illustrators out to interview them – they need to know why they should be doing this.
  3. Be specific – Don’t use vague terms like international or bestselling author. Anyone who has ever sold an e-book could be an international author and everyone’s definition of ‘bestselling’ varies widely. If you really are a bestselling author, don’t be afraid to say how many thousand or million copies of your books have been sold.
  4. Be clear about what kind of book this is and what readership it’s aimed at. Particularly with kid’s books, a picture of the cover won’t necessarily reveal this. Being specific about this kind of information will ensure that your press release information reaches the most appropriate contact.
  5. Be relevant – if the book relates to a contemporary issue or event, say so  – and make the specific connection. For example if you are publishing a book about science and it’s the International Year of Science, then make sure you make mention of the fact in your press release.


The important things should be listed first. Don’t clutter the press release with excess images. Unless you are a famous author, it will be the words you use in your press release that hook the publication/reviewer not the pictures.

Make sure your press release is clear and easy to read.

You have very few words in which to hook someone – use them wisely.

Here’s a fictitious sample press release to help you out.

PRESS RELEAS - sampleI hope you have found this post helpful.  Good luck with your new book. I hope it sells many copies.

If you have any tips for creating an effective press release, please leave them in the comments section of this blog.

Happy writing and book launching:)


4 thoughts on “How to Write an Effective Press Release

  1. Great advice Dee. I’ve found if you write a good press release local papers will follow up for an interview – or even turn the press release into an article. For small papers, if you have a good quality photo to offer them, they’re even more likely to run the story.

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