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triceretops
02-13-2007, 06:54 AM
I've been asked by my publisher to provide some dynamic press releases for my books. They are going to build upon them and, together, we will flesh out the best releases for each story.

Does anyone have some tips on how to do this? Any examples from your own files? What about length? How do you pour all of this passion into words to draw an audience? This sounds worse than writing a bullet-proof query! I would really appreciate some help on this. the deadline is not immediate, but it's coming up soon.

Gak.

Tri

Maprilynne
02-13-2007, 07:57 AM
Wow. I would really, really, really like to help.

But I got nothin'.

Good Luck!!:)

Maprilynne

suzymccoy
02-13-2007, 08:29 AM
I don’t know if this will help, this is the only one that I have. And it was almost 10 years ago! LOL

“What would ever happen if you were in a ghost town for an entire summer? Are the events real? Or are they perceived with an overactive imagination. Are the legends of old mines and their occupants true? Or just stories handed down over time.

Come with me for the summer and together we will explore the possibilities. “Babysitting A Ghost Town” is Factional History. The historical events are true, the encounters with real people are true, and the rest, well you have to make up your own mind.”

BABYSITTING A GHOST TOWN TO BE RELEASED APRIL 1998

Tish Davidson
02-13-2007, 10:06 AM
Here are some from Random House UK
http://www.randomhouse.co.uk/childrens/grownups/pressroom/pressroom.htm

Here are some from St. Martin's Press (click on the titles)
http://www.stmartins.com/#featured

Here are a bunch from Simon & Schuster (not for specific books)
http://www.simonsays.com/content/feature.cfm?feature_id=1990&tab=1

These should give you the basic template.
If you want more,Google the publisher's name, then search for media relations or press room. Usually companies post their press releases there.

Sohia Rose
02-13-2007, 12:01 PM
Here are some from Random House UK
http://www.randomhouse.co.uk/childrens/grownups/pressroom/pressroom.htm

Here are some from St. Martin's Press (click on the titles)
http://www.stmartins.com/#featured

Here are a bunch from Simon & Schuster (not for specific books)
http://www.simonsays.com/content/feature.cfm?feature_id=1990&tab=1

These should give you the basic template.
If you want more,Google the publisher's name, then search for media relations or press room. Usually companies post their press releases there.

These are pretty good samples. I was an editorial assistant once for a newspaper. I was in charge of re-writing press releases to fit into small space or creating an original story from them. The managing editor hated "cutesy" press releases with words like: "the most wonderful ever," "the best," basically, lots of adjectives that indicated a bias.

The press releases preferred the most were the ones written in simple format: who, what, when, where and why because a lot of reporters like to do their own reporting. They train you that way. The current paper I write for don't do press releases at all, even though I'm trained to create original stories from them, which is harder to do than my own reporting. A lot of PR releases usually have too much information, not focused.

Good-luck!

triceretops
02-13-2007, 10:21 PM
Thank you very much for those links. I'm reading them all. They seem to be something akin to a chopped-down query, with some added flare. Certainly every word has to count. A few of them directly address the reader with questions--which seems like an old gimmick to me. I'll have to avoid telling the reader how great the book is, and rather show the major plot points, while showing empathy for the characters.

I notice that an author bio typically follows the release, but I've already sent one, but it is more of a credit list, so I'll have to rewrite that too.

Tri

C.bronco
02-13-2007, 10:24 PM
The best I can offer is to check out Miss Snark's Happy Hooker Crapometer for good advice on writing hooks.
http://misssnark.blogspot.com

Cathy C
02-13-2007, 11:30 PM
Yep. My tips are to try to give information about the MARKET, instead of your book. Your book is one of many that deal with a particular subject. Now, the press release should be done so your book is one of the "recommended" books about the topic, but share the wealth. The more it's geared toward multiple interests, the more places will pick it up to forward on to their own readers. In our case, we were lucky that Tor was beginning a new romance line. That allowed us to highlight some of the books in the line and say glowing things about the staff there too. We were just ONE of their books, all of which were stellar (of course... ;) )

Here are the ones we've done on our books. I haven't done one in a while, but with the publisher about to launch a new website, I'll be doing more in the next few months. Feel free to yell if you need any help. (yeah, I wrote all these from scratch.)


● Press Releases about our Books


PR Web - November, 2004 (http://www.prweb.com/releases/2004/11/prweb182607.htm)
PR Web - January, 2005 (http://www.prweb.com/releases/2005/1/prweb197402.htm)
PR Web - April 25, 2005 (http://www.prweb.com/releases/2005/4/prweb226899.htm)
PR Web - July 24, 2005 (http://www.prweb.com/releases/2005/7/prweb264944.htm)

Old Hack
02-14-2007, 12:16 AM
Press releases have to tell the press what they need to know to write a little filler without any further information; and they have to interest the press enough so that they come back for more info, if possible, and flesh out the story.

SO: tell them the name of the book, the name of the author, publisher, when it's coming out, if it's won any awards, all that sort of thing. Short author bio, why the book was written (the niche it's going to fill and who will want to buy it, perhaps), what the book is about.

Try to find an interesting angle to write about for each one: first book by award-winning writer, first book by infamous apple-stealer, sequel to the huge best-selling book about sequin-sorting. For example. Be specific, and be brief: no padding, like "the most wonderful thing since..." unless you're quoting someone directly. Press releases which merely detail the book, when it's going to be published, and how to order it, won't do the best job. Attach those facts to something quirky and it's more likely to be written about.

Remember to give contact names and phone numbers for publicity person at your publisher, if appropriate; or, "author can be contacted on..." or, "is available for interview at..." if there are any sort of functions planned.

Include a couple of quotes, from author, publisher, in/famous people who have read the book all ready. Quotes are great to include in articles.

Do all this on one page, single-spaced.

Simple.

(Insert the sound of hollow laughter here.)

triceretops
02-14-2007, 12:30 AM
Okay, I've written both for each book and sent them off. It's curious because I've already sent in two major author packages that contained a short and long version summation of each book for media purposes. So I don't know what in the heck they're asking for now. Oh, well. I don't have any readers or blurbs--I'll have to wait for the galleys so I can send them off and pester people like unc Jim and other notables here. Pub date is scheduled for Nov of this year.

Much thanks, all.

Tri

novelator
02-16-2007, 04:19 PM
Well, I have to say that none of this advice really hits the mark in my opinion.

Look at a press release as a news release and it changes the face of things.

Basically, if you write a simple press release hawking your book, no one you want to interest is going to waste their time. Reporters want news, the more topical the better. They have deadlines and space to fill. Your goal is to make their job easier and still get the word out about your book.

Here's a link to some free downloads of sample news releases broken down into different categories. In case you don't know who Paul Krupin is, he's a respected publicist.

http://www.directcontactpr.com/free-downloads/

You might want to cruise his site, click on the free articles as well.

Here's a link to tips, guidlines and templates from PR Web:

http://www.prwebdirect.com/pressreleasetips.php

You'll see the focus is on news. Make your press release newsworthy and you're in.

Hope this helps some

Mari Bushman