Book press release: A publisher’s promo tool

Imagine this: Your book has been published and you’re awaiting the day of its release. You’ve received a box of copies from the first run for your personal use. You’re running your fingers over the shiny book cover and the letters of your name.

Finally, the day arrives to spread the word. The publisher declares to the world that your work — months, years, maybe decades of hard work — is ready to enjoy.

It’s the book press release.

What goes into that promotional tool that publishers use for their authors?

A recent example

Kathryn Cushman’s new book, Almost Amish, was released a few days ago. I know Katie, and seeing her work in print sets my heart a-jumping. I am glad for her success, which lets me imagine the possibilities for my work.

In this post, I used her book excerpts from her publisher’s site to give you a look at the business side of a novel.

And now, with the formal release of her book, you have a good example of a book release.

Click here for a closeup of the release (or, as Bethany House calls it, the announcement). What you’ll notice right off is that it reads like a news article. It includes

  • the book cover
  • publishing information
  • an eye-catching headline
  • the aim of the story
  • the author’s expertise on the subject
  • the story’s mini-synopsis
  • an end line to excite the reader
  • quotes from well-known authors
  • other books written
  • media contact information
  • the author’s bio and photo
  • purchase spots
  • and, above it all, the publisher’s name.

See what you have to look forward to, future author?  A packed page of promotion designed to get people excited about having your book in their hands.

Small versus large

For comparison, I looked at press releases from the larger book publishers.

HarperCollins has the same information on their book release web pages, plus more features that big-name publishers can offer. The same goes for Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Penguin, rounding out the top four English-language publishers.

These publishers also use social media like Facebook and Twitter to promote their new releases. That will be a topic for a future post as we look at the published author’s life and learn from it.

Bethany House is a much smaller publisher, but its press releases are comparable to the larger companies in their looks and how they read. It also has a more intimate feel to its author’s sites.

Win a copy

Visit this author site for details on how your comment at Katie’s website can land you a copy of her novel plus a Starbucks gift card. I just happened to find out about this after visiting her blog. She’ll be picking the winner this weekend. You can read the first three chapters of Almost Amish here.

Read my interview with Katie Cushman, and the 10 questions I asked her as a published author.

NOTE: Katie is my friend; I’m using her writing life as an example because I know her. I think her experience can be an inspiration and learning experience for new writers. I am not being paid in any way, not even with chocolate, to feature her book on my blog. Read my Disclosure Policy for more information.

Do you ever dream about that fine day, when you hold your published book in your hand? Tell me about it in your comments.


4 thoughts on “Book press release: A publisher’s promo tool

  1. Great post, great info. I visited her site, read the chapters, and was definitely intrigued by the story. I left a comment on her website, too. Thanks for sharing the info about the contest. 🙂


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