Promote A Book – PR Does Not Stand for “Press Release”

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PR Does Not Stand for Press Release

Promote A Book – PR Does Not Stand for “Press Release”

I wonder if people think that press releases are the way to effective PR to promote a book because it shares the same acronym: PR. If you ask the average businessperson how they intend to get their message out, one of the very first things that they utter is, “We’re going to send out a press release.”

Well, when you’re talking to your business friends about your efforts to promote a book, it has a nice ring to it… PRESS RELEASE, it sounds official and it gives the connotation that the “press” will read what you are writing to promote a book. News Flash (no pun intended)! Unless you are a reputable source that has established relationships in the media, your press release to promote a book is not going to get read.

Why? A very good question that I thought you’d never ask.

Have you ever written a press release? I am not talking just about a press release to promote a book. Have you ever written a press release at all? If you have, how have you written it? Was it from the company’s or your best interest point of view? Was it making sure you hit all the sales hot buttons? If you’ve ever read the average press release to promote a book, did it not read as if those were the points being made?

Since the news media exists to provide news, not make sales for anyone, they are not reading press releases to promote a book, or for that matter to promote anything else. Understand that the goal of the news media is to provide information that will be useful to their viewers, readers and listeners. If they do their job well, their public grows and they become more influential. The more influential they become, the more they can charge for advertising revenue. After all, how do you think the media makes money?

Couple this with the advent of the Internet and news aggregators, and what has happened is that traditional media has had to downsize their operations and make them leaner and meaner. For example, The New York Times laid off over 1,500 personnel in 2010. They receive approximately 500 press releases daily. Who do you think is reading them? No one. So how do you reach the media then to promote a book? You become a solution that fills their need.

Image representing New York Times as depicted ...

Image via CrunchBase

Imagine that you are a journalist with a deadline and you need a source that can add substance to your news story. You don’t have the time to hit the streets and hope you can find someone who can speak to the dynamics of your story. Instead, you pick up the phone and you call your trusted sources for news guests that can contribute to your story: PR agencies.

Even better, you check your daily messages and faxes, because your trusted source is sure to have already sent you a media pitch for that news story (hopefully your story on your efforts to promote a book!). You see, a good PR agency understands that the way you get publicity and PR coverage for a client is to stay on top of the news. This is true when you promote a book or you promote some other product or service. The minute a news story hits, the PR agency already knows which client has the expertise and experience to able to be a guest on TV and radio shows, or be interviewed for a print article. Moreover, a good PR agency that is qualified to promote a book typically already has a readymade pitch for the client, based on his or her expertise, so that it can be edited at a moment’s notice to ensure no opportunities are missed. Plus, a good PR firm to select to promote a book will already have the relationships established with an open door, so that when the opportunity arises, the pitch goes directly to the producer or host who is a decision maker.

No press releases to promote a book are going to get perused when a deadline looms, and if the journalist or host makes a mistake, it’s on full display for the entire public to see. So, instead of sending a press release for any little thing you think can qualify for writing one, figure out the expertise of your message and get a PR firm that can present you and your efforts to promote a book as a solution to the media’s need for news.


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