1) Develop a “how to” press release, no longer than 2 pages at 1.5 spacing. These releases offer the absolute best shot of getting magazine or newspaper coverage because they provide clear, solid information. They are particularly useful for business and self-help books, but with creativity, you can also use them for novels.
2) Keep e-mail subject lines as short as possible. When contacting the media by email, subject lines are better when short. Never forget that the subject line is the first and often the only information someone sees when an e-mail comes in. Don’t try and be inventive like spammers do–get right to the point and make it as concise as possible. The most important words of your subject line should always try to be used first.
Bad e-mail subject line: Renowned Expert and Author Reveals Everything You need to Know About Home Mortgages and Why You Shouldn’t Pay Them Off
Better subject line: Finance Expert – Why You Should Love Your Mortgage
3) Short headlines rule; make use of sub-headlines. In general, the shorter the headline for a press release, the better. Then use a sub-headline. A sub-headline–the descriptive, smaller text line or two after your headline–is an ideal way to elaborate on the headline and further refine your pitch.
4) Always mark envelopes. For anyone who requests your book or press materials to be mailed, make sure you mark the outside of the envelope “Requested Material.” This will separate your package from the many unsolicited books received. You can also try and do this for ones who didn’t request your book and information, but be selective. Don’t forget to stamp your book with your contact information in case your material becomes separated from the book!
5) Fold press releases so the headline is the first thing someone sees. Ask any direct mail expert, and they’ll tell you that the slightest adjustments in how a piece is packaged can make a huge difference in your response. When mailing a press release, always fold them ‘out’ so the text and headline appears when first opened. Most people open letters from the back, so you want your headline and beginning of your release to be visible as soon as it’s opened.
Sandy Diaz is the President of Smith Publicity, Inc. Beginning in 1997, Smith Publicity is one of the world’s leading promotional firms, specializing in book publicity. Fueled by a passion for making good things happen for clients, the company has worked with over 900 individuals and companies–from authors and entrepreneurs to publicly-held companies and businesses representing a wide range of industries. The Smith Publicity reach is international with offices in New Jersey, New York City, Los Angeles, and London. For more information about Smith Publicity, Inc., please visit www.smithpublicity.com.