If you’ve kept up with my marketing/branding series “Marketing Your Novel” recently, you’ll know that we distributed our first press release at the end of April.
As I described in my last post about that press release, we announced the official launch of our publishing imprint, Evening Satellite Publishing. Today, I wanted to provide a brief summary of the four key elements of our press release that I believe helped our strong results.
4 Key Elements of Our First Press Release
Have a look at the press release we distributed: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/04/prweb14274460.htm
There are some elements there that are pretty obvious: the image, the contact information, social media, and maybe a few links. These are all pieces of any good press release; most press release distribution services require most or all of these features to be included, in fact.
But these extraneous features do not define the press release or make it interesting to anybody else; they just add flavor.
Today, I want to highlight four elements of our press release that really push our message forward. We not only want to tell people that we launched a publishing imprint; we want them to understand why they should care. So we specifically crafted these four elements to achieve that:
- the headline
- the news announcement, or lede
- our personal story
- and my book blurb
The headline is arguably the most important feature of any press release. This is the first thing that a vast majority of readers will see, so it has to catch their attention. Our headline reads:
New Fantasy and Sci-Fi Novels on the Horizon for Author-Owned Imprint
Notice the length: only 12 words. This headline is short enough to get the point across without having a lot of “hanging text” that would invariably be replaced by an ellipsis on most webpages.
We also did not even bother giving our company name, Evening Satellite Publishing. Why? Because nobody knows who we are; they want to know why they should care
So the headline is the hook: New Fantasy and Sci-Fi Novels! Any fiction reader would at least be intrigued.
Author-Owned Imprint can also be eye-catching, because it implies something outside of the norm. These “new fantasy and sci-fi novels” are not being offered by a traditional publishing house…
So who is producing them?
Summary. Subheading. Lede.
Whatever you call it, we wanted our most important news to be front and center in the release:
Two writers have launched Evening Satellite Publishing to explore imaginative worlds in the fantasy and science fiction genres. The brand new imprint will serve as the platform for two writers to publish their own novels.
This section basically repeats the hook in the headline, but offers some extra detail: our imprint name and that it is owned by two authors.
I would not recommend ending a release after only 100 words or so, but the point is to get the most pressing information out as soon as possible. This way, even the people who do not read the entire release will know who you are and what you do. The rest of the release is informational.
I decided to include a brief background on Jessie and myself, as well as some quotes from us. Any readers intrigued enough to move beyond the headline and announcement want to know more. Who are these authors? Why are they starting their own imprint? What are their novels like?
Paragraphs 2-5 try to provide deeper answers to these questions.
We don’t just want to tell people who we are — we want to build a real audience. Adding some personal flavor to our news announcement helps people get to know us, even if only briefly. Hopefully, anyone who read those sections will see our future releases, or blogs, or novels and be able to connect back to this little blurb about us.
Finally, we cannot forget the primary goal here: to get people interested in our books!
I didn’t want to overload the release and bore potential readers with a full synopsis of WoEM, but providing just a snippet of information about my novel will hopefully draw more eyes to our website.
Putting Together a Press Release
As you can see, our first press release was pretty bare-bones. We didn’t want to overwhelm readers with our life stories or full summaries of our books.
We’re just trying to generate a little preliminary interest in our writing. Future releases will certainly provide new information, but we will likely follow this same basic format in writing them:
- Use the headline to hook your reader. Don’t focus on who you are; focus on why they should care.
- The summary and/or news announcement provide the meat of your news, try to answer at least the Who and What here.
- Personalize with our own stories, quotes, or other details about our lives and our vision for the imprint.
- Include book blurbs, because that’s what readers come for — info on our books!
What other elements would you include in a press release? Let me know in the comments.
Disclosure: I work for a marketing firm, but I am managing the marketing efforts for Evening Satellite Publishing and our novels on my own time and budget. Any data or advice shared in this series is taken from my personal experience in marketing my novels. My results do not guarantee anyone else’s results.