Did you know that press releases are a great way to market books and draw potential buyers to your website? There are numerous sites online that allow you to post your own press releases. Some of them are free, others could cause an author to go broke in the blink of an eye. Free press release distribution sites are great if you are on a tight budget, but not quite as effective as some of the paid options. If you choose to go through a site that charges, I encourage you to know what you are paying for. Find out what kind of visibility will be available to you, and the benefits that come along with that membership. When using free press release distributors, make sure you know what is free. They might ask if you want to upload a photo, but photos are only available for paid releases, or something along those lines. Many also have a limit on how many releases you can post per day or per week. Some sites also allow you to set up free accounts, but charge per press release once you are signed up. Another important thing to know is that different sites have different standards. It’s important to read the guidelines for each site and tailor your release to meet their satisfaction. You can submit the same press release to multiple sites, only to have some accept it and others reject it. Here is a list of things that vary from site to site:
• The use of exclamation marks – Some sites will not publish press releases with exclamation marks; others don’t give them a second glance.
• The title – While some sites insist that the company name is included in the title, others prefer the title is more descriptive. Most sites are pretty standard about title formatting. ALL CAPS is forbidden, but they expect the first letter in each word to be capitalized.
•Noun usage – Most (but not all) press release sites agree that press releases should be written in third person; however whether or not they allow the use of the word “you” depends on the site.
• Advertisements – There is a fine line between a news release and an advertisement in the press release world. While you might be writing to advertise the release of a product, different companies can see the same press release different ways. While one says it’s news worthy, another might declare it ‘too pitchy” and ask you to change it or just reject it all together. The above listed are things that vary from site to site, but a few things remain the same: • It has to be newsworthy
• It should be properly spaced and formatted • It should be a news release, not an article
• It can only be submitted once, and needs to be recent news
• It needs to be professionally written
• Nothing illegal is allowed My favorite press release writing resource is “Get Your Press Release Done!” by Self Publishing Coach, Shelley Hitz.
I must admit that there is a ton of information available online, but this is my favorite resource because it is so well laid out. It took me from knowing nothing, to successfully writing press releases in no time. You can learn more at: Get Your Press Release Done