Marketing Tips From Cheri Cowell

While a lot of marketing tips today are about using technology and having a good online presence, some things are still old school. The press release is still one of those things that works the old fashioned way. So learning to write a good press release is something all writers should practice. Here’s how.

  1. Begin with a catchy title. Just like writing the perfect book title, setting up your press release for success starts with your headline. You only have one line to work with, and most importantly, make it interesting. Invest the time to write a compelling headline.
  2. Just the facts, ma’ am. The first paragraph of your release should cover the who, what, why, where, and how of your new launch, update, or development. Reporters don’t have a ton of time to sift through details and fluffy background information — they just need the facts that’ll help them tell your story to someone else from a position of authority.
  3. The next paragraph is where you can give some background. Tell about the author, or how the story came to be. Share what you want that news reporter to know about why this book should be newsworthy.
  4. Add a quote. This will draw attention so make it count. The reporter may read this first and if it catches his/her attention they’ll read the first paragraph next. Perhaps it’s a quote from your book or maybe it’s an endorsement from a big name. Don’t quote a reader because we all know someone who can say flowery things about our writing, so this is not memorable. Think controversy: sometimes a controversial quote from your book is what will make the newsman keep reading.
  5. Now give the details. Where the book is sold, where the booksigning is taking place, how to contact the author to set up an interview. End with the ISBN, and don’t forget a jpeg of the book cover. If offering an interview, add a jpeg of you but make sure it is professional.

All of this must fit on a single page with enough white space that it doesn’t look overwhelming. So write pithy and edit, edit, edit.

Writing a press release is really only half the battle. Once you’re finished creating and editing, it’s time to send it out. Start local. Send to your local newspapers, radio stations, and television stations. Make copies and hang on bulletin boards at bookstores, coffee shops, the library, and your employee lounge. You never know who will see it. As the saying goes, we are all only seven connections away from someone big.

Cheri Cowell is the author of a new devotional book, 365 Devotions for Peace, released from Zondervan. Her Bible study  Parables and Word Pictures in the AMG Following God Bible study series is a favorite in bookstores everywhere. Her new Bible study One Story, One Mission, One God released last year. Check out her website to learn more

Connect with Cheri Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and you can read her blogs on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month Cheri’s Blog

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