Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Today I wanted to share a couple of thoughts about issuing a press release for a new book. There are a few elements that a press release contain.

Urgency of the news- “For Immediate Release” tells them they can run the story NOW.
What is the story? The release of this new book and what the book is about.
About the Author- Help the media outlets get to know you a little bit.
Contact Info- Tell the media outlet how they can contact you or your publisher if they’re interested in doing a story or interview.

To whom should I send the press release? Work with your publisher as they will likely be issuing a Press Release about the book to certain media outlets. It’s rarely a problem if both the publisher and the author sends a release to the same outlet, but be organized and coordinate your efforts. Is there a specific audience you’re trying to reach? In the example of my Crater Lake book I targeted media in Missouri (where I live) approaching it from the “local author” angle. My publisher has close relationships with media in Utah where they are based so they took care of that market. I also focused my attention on the media in Oregon because Crater Lake is a landmark for the state and there will be local interest there because of the subject.

I’ve contacted newspapers, both large and small, radio stations offering to do interviews, and even TV stations. Not all outlets contacted will run the story, but some will. Target your media outlets strategically but also make sure you spread a wide enough net to catch all the outlets that may be interested. Once initial contact has been made, via email or phone, giving the outlet a copy of your book cover and the Press Release. Then follow-up becomes important, emailing again and even calling the outlets to see if they’ve received it and if they have any questions. This may seem a little bit overbearing, but who cares. It’s the media. They are the kings of overbearing and this is definitely a situation where the squeaky wheel can get the grease.

One last thought. In addition to media outlets, also make it a priority to contact book sellers in the target area who may also have an interest in the book. In my case I’ve targeted bookstores local to Crater Lake and even the Crater Lake gift shop asking them to carry the book. Hopefully they will see that it is a win-win for both of us. Here’s an example of a Press Release I worked on with my publisher.

Steve Westover’s new book to be released March 2012 - Crater Lake: Battle for Wizard Island

1/31/12—KANSAS CITY, Missouri—Steve Westover, author of the FBI thriller Defensive Tactics (August 2010), announces the release of his first youth novel, Crater Lake: Battle for Wizard Island, March 13, 2012, available in hard back at selected bookstores and online at Amazon, Barns & Noble, and WalMart.

Crater Lake is a thrilling adventure about thirteen-year-old Ethan, whose world collapses around him when his parents and all other adults disappear while the family is visiting his crazy uncle at Crater Lake National Park.

Westover delves into the mystical legends of Native American tribes local to Crater Lake to craft his story. Set in modern times, Ethan’s life is thrown into turmoil when all the adults at Crater Lake are devoured into an earthen prison. He must dig deep to find the courage and determination required to face his fears and rescue his family.

“I found myself wondering what would happen if all the adults visiting Crater Lake disappeared, leaving only the children and young teenagers on their own?,” says Westover. “What would happen if the legends of Crater Lake were true? How would kids survive the natural and surprising dangers of Crater Lake, and how would they save their parents?”

Crater Lake, all that is left after the collapse of the once majestic Mount Mazama, holds a hidden secret, a lost colony buried beneath its depths. All that remains of Ethan’s family is his annoying little sister and the hope that he can free his parents.

Ethan must decipher the legends of Crater Lake, rally his friends to find the key to the Prison of the Lost, and free his parents before their captivity becomes permanent.

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About the Author
Steve grew up in Salem, Oregon, and graduated from South Salem High School. He then attended Brigham Young University and graduated with a BA in political science and a minor in psychology. He currently lives in Missouri where he works as a banker but writing is his newfound passion.

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