When to Distribute a Press Release About Your Book

When should you send a press release about your book to the media? When (and why) will they care? In this Digital Age, it's relatively easy for anyone to write up a basic press release and publish it online inexpensively. However, that doesn't mean that you should just because you can.

One of my biggest pet peeves as a PR professional is the way the Web has become so littered with garbage press releases that have absolutely nothing newsworthy to say. You don't want to fall into that group of offenders, do you? You shouldn't. Publishing press release after press release with no real news may bring a few people to your website or even a few buyers, but it's also going to hurt your reputation in the long run.

I like to equate it to the "boy who cried wolf" scenario: if you keep publishing garbage with nothing to say, your target audience is going to notice. By the time you have some real news to publicize, they won't even bother to read what you're sending anymore. As an author, you'll be trying to reach a few smaller niche groups in the media (reviewers, publications in your book's niche or industry, etc.). Alienate them, and you hurt your chances for coverage now and if you're running a book publicity campaign for a new book down the road.

So when is the "right" time to send a book press release? You can certainly send more than one (and should - a single press release doesn't equal a book PR campaign; it's a continual process). Here are a few situations where it may be appropriate for you to distribute a press release about your book:

  • Official book launch announcement (tying your book to something timely or newsworthy)
  • You're hosting a seminar or some other event (or participating as a speaker or presenter)
  • You've reached some major milestone in book sales (though to be newsworthy, you'd have to be a serious exception to the rule and have some interesting statistics to offer)
  • Your book is applicable to something big happening in the news
  • Your book has won an award (a "real" one -- probably not worth a major release, but it might be worthwhile to submit one to your local media)
  • You have won an award (see above)
  • You're participating in a large enough book signing event that at least the local media might be interested
  • You're hosting or sponsoring some other type of event that might be of interest to local media

If you're not sure where to begin with writing a press release for your book, you can use my book launch press release template as a guide, or some of my articles on press release writing below:

Have other ideas where it might be appropriate to issue a book press release? Share them by leaving a comment!

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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, consultant, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, NakedPR, and Kiss My Biz.

Jenn has 25 years' experience as a professional writer and editor and over 20 years' experience in marketing and PR (working heavily in digital PR, online marketing, social media, SEO, new media, and thought leadership publication). She also has 19 years' professional blogging and web publishing experience (including web development) and around 18 years of experience as an indie author / publisher.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names and is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

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