With more than 10 years of experience in the online news and press release distribution industry, PRWeb believe they have a unique understanding of how to write a news or press release so it achieves success online.
Here they offer tips to help self-published authors to write a professional, concise and powerful news release.
Write your press release in a Word or other text document instead of writing it directly into an the online submission page. Writing online will not achieve the best results. Write your press release, print it, and proofread it. Rewrite and then proofread again. The more time you take to do it right, the better your book and author's first impression will be.
Your headline and first paragraph should clarify your book's news. The rest of your news or press release should provide the detail. You only have a matter of seconds to grab your readers' attention, so you want to capture it with a strong opening.
If your book's news or press release does not identify the source of the information and news within the first few paragraphs, you may lose the promotional value your book press release can provide. Readers want to know who is talking; letting them know builds the credibility of the release and promotes your author name and author brand.
It takes only a few sentences to discern whether a news or press release is written professionally. If your release contains hype, slang, excessive exclamation points or direct address, chances are it will be viewed as an advertisement rather than a news release. There is no better way to destroy credibility than to distribute a release full of hype or advertising speak. Additionally, on occasion, media outlets may pick up your release and run it in their publications with little or no modification. The more professional your release sounds, the greater the chances are that this will happen.
Answer the Tough Questions
Not everything is news. Your excitement about launching a new self-published book and its availability on Amazon does not necessarily mean you have a newsworthy story. Think about your audience. Will someone else find your book's story interesting? Let's assume that you have just spent a lot of effort to launch a new online store. Announcing a book launch is always an exciting time for any self-published author, but the last thing the media wants to write about is another book with no interesting human angle story. Instead, focus on the features of your site's shopping experience, unique products and/or services. Answer the question, ‘Why should anyone care?’
Avoid clichés such as ‘customers save money’ or ‘great customer service’. Focus on the aspects of your announcement that truly set you apart from everyone else.
Pick an Angle
Try to make your press release timely or think up a news hook. Tying your news to current events, recent studies, trends and social issues brings relevance, urgency and importance to your message.
Use Anchor Text and Features
PRWeb news releases can accommodate multimedia files like images, video, links and other features that will capture the attention of your readers and highlight your news. Nothing is worse than seeing a release go out ‘naked’ with none of these capabilities utilised. Attach logos, head shots, product shots, photographs, audio files, video files, PDF documents or any other supplemental materials that build up your release. Using anchor text and hyperlinks to point readers back to your site ensures both your website and your important keywords receive simultaneous promotion in your press release.
Illustrate the Solution
Use real-life case studies to illustrate how your non-fiction book company solved a problem or how your fiction novel entertained its audience. Identify the problem and why your book is the right one. Illustrate how your book fulfils needs or satisfies desires. Using real life examples powerfully communicates the benefits of using your product or service.
Don't Be Afraid to Toot Your Own Horn
Online new or press release distribution is a successful way to create expert status. If your book has reached a milestone, jumped onto bestselling lists, experienced significant sales received an award, tell the world what you did right. Or, write a tip sheet that offers readers ‘tips’ or help other self-published authors to achieve success as well.
Don’t Give Away All The Secrets
Provide links in your press release directly to the page on your website where readers can learn the specifics about your book's news and then act upon it. If you give your readers no reason to click through to your site, they're not necessarily going to. This kind of ‘call to action’ pulls them away from reading and urges them to respond.
Stick To The Facts
Tell the truth. Avoid fluff, embellishments, hype and hyperbole. If you feel that your press release comes across as ‘amazing’, there's a good chance your readers will be sceptical. If your story sounds too good to be true, you are probably hurting your own credibility. Even if it is true, you may want to tone it down a bit.
Use Active Voice
Verbs in the active voice bring your press release to life. Rather than writing ‘entered into a partnership,’ use ‘partnered’ instead. Do not be afraid to use strong verbs. FOR EXAMPLE: ‘The committee exhibited severe hostility over the incident’ reads better if changed to ‘The committee was enraged over the incident’. Writing in this manner helps give life and energy to your release, which will set it apart from the rest of the pack.
Economize Your Words
Wordiness is distracting, so be concise. Okay, so you as an author should know this, but the same rules that apply to editing your self-published book apply to your press release as well. In addition, news search engines sometimes reject news releases with overly long headlines, excessive lists and high overall word counts. Eliminate unnecessary adjectives, flowery language or redundant expressions such as ‘added bonus’ or ‘first time ever’. Make each word count. If you can tell your story with fewer words, you'll have better results with your readers and the search engines.
Jargon is language specific to certain professions, industries or groups and is not appropriate for general readership. While a limited amount of jargon is required if your goal is to optimize your news release for online search, the best way to communicate your book's news is to speak plainly in ordinary language. Using an abundance of technical language and jargon limits your reading audience.