Press releases can be a great way to shine a light on you, as an author, and your books. They can have a lot of value, but, as our guest Dan Janal points out, you have to manage your expectations. You may not sell a lot of books by merely writing and sending a press release, but it can help you in other ways, like being able to add the major news publications to your “As Seen On” section of your website, and also help you get found on Google (if you use your key words properly within the press release).
Press releases also help build your brand and raise your credibility. You can add these to your website as marketing materials. But one thing to keep in mind is reporters receive hundreds of press releases every day; sending one out doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get called for an interview or an appearance. But if you have a really good story and angle, it can work for you.
Piggybacking and Newsjacking
If your book happens to be related to something newsworthy that’s already being covered, it’s a good idea to get your press release to news outlets. This is called “piggybacking” or “newsjacking.” Most newspapers write about topics like real estate figures or employment figures on a regular basis. If your book falls within that genre, reporters may be looking for a local source to interview about it.
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You can also check Twitter for what’s trending and if you have an angle that ties into that, you will probably find reporters who are writing about it. Be proactive and find those local news outlets and let them know you’ve written a book about that topic and are available for interviews.
Seasons for stories
Another thing to be aware of is most newspapers and magazines write the same stories every year during different seasons. In April, you’ll see a lot of tax stories; in November, you’ll see a lot of gratitude pieces; in January, you may see articles and reports about New Year’s resolutions or goal setting. If you book falls into those categories or into a particular niche, reach out and let the reporters know you cover that in your book.
Don’t feel like you have to be everywhere, either. Your ideal readers may not be everywhere, but they may only focus on certain publications and areas that are of interest to them.
You really have to think about it tactically that you don't have to be everywhere. You have to be everywhere your readers and your prospects are.
You don’t necessarily need an agency for press releases, either. There are plenty of resources to help you contact reporters or write press releases. But if you do decide to hire an agency, the only reason would be to help open doors to you. Otherwise, it’s better if you reach out personally, since you are the one with the passion and knowledge to sell the story.
Bio of the Author in the Case Study:
Dan Janal has written 13 landmark books, including 6 for John Wiley & Sons, that have been translated into 6 languages. He is a serial entrepreneur and inspiring business keynote speaker who helps entrepreneurs realize their dreams of creating a successful business, leading a balanced life, and achieving financial freedom.
You will also find him frequently on webinars, podcasts, and radio shows. He's probably the only person who created 8 different businesses that make $100,000 a year by using 8 different business models.
Dan has spoken on marketing topics and futurism in six countries and four continents and has taught at Berkeley and Stanford. He's one of the most creative, problem-solving persons you’ve ever encountered. And now, he has created the paint-by-numbers system for writing the book of your dreams, available through live support or on-demand training.