By Mary Walewski, CIPA Board Member & PR Chair
If you want editors to publish news about your booksignings and events, make it easy for them by sending complete information. If you make an editor on a deadline scramble for details, your event might end up in the deleted column.
1. Write a press release about your event. Have a compelling title that gives your audience a reason to read it (think “what’s in it for them?”) Be sure to include your contact information – email and phone number.
You don’t know how to write a press release? One of the best resources I’ve ever found has been Joan Stewart’s 89 Ways to Write Press Releases. It’s free.
An editor might rewrite your press release for publication, but you’ll be sure your information is organized and complete. Put the most important details near the top, as your release might be edited by just chopping off the bottom paragraph or two.
2. Take photos during the event. Ideally, have a designated photographer so you can focus on your event. If you can, shoot some video to edit down for a YouTube video.
3. Have a digital recorder handy to record some quotes, like testimonials of your book and even your impressions of the event as it’s taking place. (Then you won’t have to rely just on your memory.) A good quote can help to sell a story.
4. Have professional photos ready of you and one of your book cover. Even if your event photos are bad, at least you’ll have the professional ones to send out.
5. Create a list in advance of where you’ll send your release. Whenever possible, get the contact email. Include trade organizations and alumni associations you belong to. Don’t forget to post it on Facebook and on your blog!
6. Send out your information promptly after the event. A booksigning 6 months ago is no longer news.
7. Have a press page on your website with pertinent information about you and your book. Include your picture, a picture of your book cover, bio, fact sheet on the book, and press releases. Editors on deadline will love you for it!
Mary Walewski of Buy The Book Marketing is a social media guide and consultant.