“I don’t have a budget for marketing,” I’ve often been told by authors when I ask what they are doing to market their books.
My response to this is two-fold.
- You must budget a little something to market your book. Part of marketing is sending out review copies, inquiries to the media, press kits, and time. It may not be a huge budget, but a budget none-the-less.
- Find ways to get your message out that don’t require money such as converting all your marketing material and your book into an electronic format. This allows you to have inexpensive ways to distribute your material. Even when you minimize hard costs, it will still require you put time into the marketing.
- You may need to rethink your thinking around real costs for marketing. After all, when done right, marketing gives your book visibility that often equates to great sales. You’ve put money into the cover design, editing, publishing … don’t skimp on marketing.
The primary reason for marketing is to gain visibility for your book and you, the author. The more publicity you can get, the better. Add to that the many ways to obtain FREE publicity with the many avenues available online, when done right, your book will get noticed.
A simple way to gain free publicity is to write and distribute a well-written and well-formatted press release. A good press release is one of the most effective, and yet, most underutilized, of publicity tools.
What is a Press Release?
A press release (media release) is an announcement you send to magazines, trade journals, newspapers, and newsletters. Also to radio and television. Often what you send to radio and television are referred to as a PSA (Public Service Announcements).
I have one client who hosted an event and submitted one well-written and well-distributed press releases to the media. When the release made it in print, they went from having a 50% booking for their event through some direct mail efforts to filling up the entire room in less than 48 hours. This was worth a substantial amount of money to them.
Prior to writing a press release, determine the following:
- Who is your target market?
- What is your target media?
- Who is the contact person at the media outlet?
- What is the time-frame for submission?
- Do you have an attention-grabbing headline?
- Do you know the who, what, when, where, why, how?
- Do you have good quotes, research and technical date if appropriate?
Develop a system for writing and distribution of releases. Stay organized. Know how to send the press release to a specific media outlet and person.
Each has their own preference as to how they want to receive it. It will be to your benefit to find out. In the past, you often had to contact the media source to find out how they wanted the information sent; fax or snail mail. Yup! That’s how we did it “in the day.”
Today, most media sources will have something listed on their website. You can also use paid services such as PRWeb to distribute your release. There is a hefty cost for some of these services, but when you look at the reach, it can be worth it.
If you’re doing something locally, put a couple hours into creating your list in a spread sheet and then sending your information out. Once created you can use the list over and over.
If you want a wider reach, such as nationally, a paid service may be the way to go.
Allocate a budget
With my upcoming memoir, we are allocating a budget to post a few releases with PRWeb. Their reach can’t be matched. To achieve the goals I have with the book, it’s necessary to budget for media and marketing.
Make yours stand out
Editors are inundated with information. If you want their attention keep the release short and to the point. During busy times, like before a huge event in a city, they will be on information overload.
Avoid using massive amounts of buzzwords such as all-new, interactive, cross-platform, new multimedia solution. Avoid jargon. The public will have no idea what your industry jargon means and editors rarely will take time to find out.
Link to enhance interest
Enhance your release with links to relevant information. Links to video clips, websites, images, and other engaging information goes a long way to increase interest. For your book, you can link to the book on Amazon, B&N or other locations it is available.
The 5 Ws of writing a press release or PSA
Give them the who/what/when/where/why as articulately as you can. Make sure your information is complete. Incomplete information is far more likely to get your press release in the trash bin than anything else.
- Who is the release about? Who is the information for?
- What is taking place? What is being promoted?
- When is it happening?
- Where will this occur?
- Why would people be interested in the information?
Sending press releases
Nowadays, the preferred method of delivery is either email or submitted through a form on the source website. A service like PRWeb can be a huge time saver. The release goes over the news-wire. Once on the news-wire it can be picked up by dozens, hundreds, even thousands of outlets.
E-mail should be sent as a plain text file: the simpler, the better. Do not send a press release via email with an attachment. Most media people will automatically delete due to the concern of a virus.
When an editor calls for more information, respond to their call as quickly and professionally as possible. There is no substitute for building good relationships with the media. Never assume you are too busy for them.
By making yourself available for the media, they tend to make themselves available for you. And what more could you possibly ask for?
The following is a release for an event I am hosting. It’s simple and to the point. In that it’s for a local event, the focus for distribution is media in the Portland, Oregon and surrounding areas.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Kathleen Gage – 541.746.5551
Smart Entrepreneurs Use Video to Gain Massive Visibility – One Day Workshop Shows You How
Portland, OR July 29, 2017, Visibility experts, Jeany Park and Kathleen Gage, have joined forces to teach entrepreneurs how to gain massive visibility through the power of video.
Join Jeany and Kathleen on September 12, 2017 in Portland, Oregon for a one-day experience where you will learn exactly what you need to do to create power-packed videos and get lots of visibility in front of your ideal clients.
Information and registration at www.PowerUpThinkTank.com
You will learn:
- How to do DIY video yourself, and make it look professional
- The right mindset behind visibility for video
- How to write copy for video
- How to brand yourself on video so you don’t sabotage your business
- Where to get the greatest results on visibility for your efforts
- How to avoid the most common mistake entrepreneurs make when trying to become visible
- Step-by-step implementation strategy to gain massive visibility
- Hands-on video instruction, with YOUR SMARTPHONE
FACT! Enjoyment of video ads increase purchase intent by 97% and brand association by 139% - Unruly
FACT! By 2018, 79% of all Content online will be Video - ReelSeo
FACT! Social Video gets shared 1200% more than links & text combined - Brightcove
FACT! 96% of B2B organizations use video in some capacity, of which 73% report positive results to their ROI - ReelSeo
FACT! Smart entrepreneurs are getting in the game of using video to market their businesses.
If you’re an entrepreneur who is ready to gain lots of visibility through the power of video…this hands-on workshop is for you. Information and registration at www.PowerUpThinkTank.com
Jeany Park is the CEO and Founder of Compass Rose Video, a boutique videography agency based in Portland, Oregon, that helps small businesses to connect with their tribe and create massive lead generation by creating polished & effective marketing videos. She leads a team of talented videography professionals who are passionate and dedicated in their craft, and under Jeany’s leadership, partner with clients to help realize their vision into reality. Jeany started out as on camera talent for 15 years, was in the Acting Company of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and is also a certified Life Coach. She lives in West Linn with husband Geoff, who’s the CTO of Compass Rose, and with their daughter, Hannah, who’s a Junior at Oregon Episcopal School.
Kathleen Gage is a woman of a certain age who is known as the “no-nonsense, common sense” online marketing strategist, speaker, author, product creation specialist, and owner of Power Up For Profits. Kathleen works with other woman of a certain age who identify as conscious entrepreneurs who are ready to quit playing small in order that they can get their signature message out in a BIG way through speaking, writing, information products and a targeted online presence.
Her clients are driven by making a difference through their own unique voice. As an early adopter of online marketing, Kathleen is known for cutting through the fluff and helping people leave their sob stories behind so they can stop focusing on the past and start looking towards the future. She speaks and teaches about what she believes are the core elements of a successful life: accountability, integrity, honesty, and living with passion and hope.
Are you using this powerful method?
If you have yet to get in the game of media release, this is a great time to start. You never know what will happen as a result. At a minimum, a few outlets will post your information. You may also create interview opportunities, sell books (if that’s what your promoting), fill events and, best of all, get some free publicity.
Be sure to join the Power Up for Profits Facebook Group
I love receiving Press Releases as it allows me to share new content for my readers that I don’t have to write. Now I know I shouldn’t work for free but it has lead to future jobs so if a Author contacts me and I can help them then count me in. Especially if they are local and I can meet them in person.
What a great vision to have. Many people don’t see beyond what’s right in front of them. It sounds like you have a great handle on things unfolding as hidden opportunities. Thanks for your insights Glenda.
The more I read your blog, the more I want to get started ony book! Thanks for sharing the wealth of knowledge Kathleen.
Yeah!!!!! Can’t wait for you to start.