Heidi Hormel is a former innkeeper and radio talk show host. She has always been a writer. She spent years as a small-town newspaper reporter and as a PR flunky before settling happily into penning romances with a wink and a wiggle.
Press release are so last millennium. Wrong. Press releases should have a prominent place in your promo arsenal with an easy-to-share page of information. (I do mean one page -- about 250 words.)
So I promised fill in the blank, right? Well, there may be a little more to it than that but not much. Here is the general structure that can be used in a newsletter, on Facebook, for reviewers, etc.
Example: Debut Author Releases First Book, ‘Love Re-ignited’
FIRST PARAGRAPH: The traditional who, what, where, and when will give the info readers need to know.
Example: Debut romance author Heidi Hormel releases “Love Re-Ignited”* on May 14, a book that has been noted as “gripping and heart-wrenching” by reviewers.
SECOND PARAGRAPH: Here’s a good place to add how to get your book, any discounts, etc. Or for a signing, explain the location and whether an RSVP is needed.
Example: Hormel’s book is available through Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and ABC Publisher in both print and electronic formats. A special release price will be available through May 31. For more information, visit her website: HeidiHormel.dragon.
THIRD/STORY PARAGRAPH: A short paragraph about the plot of the book. Depending on your own personal backstory, this paragraph and the FOURTH/AUTHOR paragraph could be swapped (Remember the inverted pyramid? The most important info goes first).
Example: In “Love Re-Ignited,” fire-breathing dragons take human form once a millennium to find a mate. For two dragons who have fought for hundreds of years and are now mated, there problems have just begun. They must solve the riddle of the Sphinx to save their race and the Earth.**
FOURTH/AUTHOR PARAGRAPH: This is the brief bio space, which may be of special interest to hometown media or others based on your background.
Example: Hormel has been named an author to watch by the RT Book Reviews and is a former astronaut who became a writer after three successful missions to the space station.
FIFTH PARAGRAPH: This final paragraph is always a re-iteration of contact info and serves as a call to action—make sure that readers are clear on what you want them to do.
Example: To purchase “Love Re-Ignited” or to find out more about Heidi Hormel, visit HeidiHormel.dragon; her Facebook page (Heidi Hormel); or her Twitter profile (@Heidi Hormel).
Easy, right? This is truly the most basic of releases, but it provides a wealth of uses because you’ve broken your material into easily read/digested bites. Take the material here and use with abandon.
Heidi Hormel’s debut contemporary Western, THE SURGEON AND THE COWGIRL, releases on June 1 from Harlequin American with a connected second book, THE CONVENIENT COWBOY, released Aug. 4. Visit her at HeidiHormel.net; on FB, Heidi Hormel, Author; or on Twitter @HeidiHormel.
*Try to follow AP Style if possible that means book titles in quote marks, for example.
**I write contemporary romance… really … not one dragon fire-breathing or otherwise.
***Hashtags or -30- are the traditional means of indicating a press release is finished. This is just the way it is, but I’m sure End of Release would work, too.
Have you prepared a press release? Did Heidi make it seem really simple? Do you see the many venues you could use this prepared release for your book?