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PRESS RELEASE WRITING
The purpose of this guide is to outline the steps for writing a press release. Writers that follow this simple formula will be able to write an effective press release in an hour or less.
Step 1 - Choose the Topic of the Press Release
The entire press release writing process starts with "something that happened" that you wish to announce to the media and the public. This is your news and the subject of your press release. News that you can announce includes: a new website, new feature, new product or service, new office location, new employee, new award received, new sales record, new partnership... To get ideas for your own press release, it is a good idea to look at the announcements that others have made in press releases at www.mmdnewswire.com
Step 2 - Write the Headline
The headline is a single sentence statement that announces what the news is. Readers should be able to know exactly what you are announcing by reading the headline. The headline should be 100 characters or less including spaces.
Step 3- Write the Body of the Press Release
The body of the press release expands on the "Who, What, When, Where, How and Why" of the announcement or news. The details in a press release should be limited to the "facts" about the announcement or news. Opinion, fluff or hype is not appropriate. Statements about how the product or service is the most amazing innovation ever invented should not be included. It is important that readers form this opinion by themselves by reading the details (facts) in the press release.
Step 4 - Verify that the Basic Press Release Rules were Followed
- Was your press releases written in third person?
- Does your press release focus on your announcement or news
rather than selling something? Your press release should never resemble an advertisement or sales letter!
- Did you include a media contact name, email address and phone at the bottom of the press release?
- Did you include at least three links to your web site?
- Is there any way that you can make your press release more interesting, timely or unique?
- Is your press release more than 200 words and less than 500?
- Did you add ### to the bottom of the press release to signify the end?
- Is your headline clear and to the point? Can it be shortened without losing anything?
- Are all details of the "Who, What, When, Where, How and Why" covered in the body of the press release?
Call for Submissions:
Allbooks Review is now offering an Author’s Page, for $75 per year. You prepare your page to tell readers anything you like. Bio, book titles, where to purchase, link to website, etc. Include a photo of yourself, and a covershot for your books, one or ten+ it is up to you.
Each additional year is only $25. Get a full page ad that you can send your readers to. Just like having a website without the fuss.
Contact me at: email@example.com for details.
Remember to post your book signing, guest speaker events on our Bookstore page. Simply send us an email with details of your events and we will be happy to post them. Just part of the Allbooks service to our authors.
We love to hear of your success stories, submit them to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Words at Work wins award! Congratulations to the author
I wanted to let you know that Words at Work just won the top award in its category (writing/publishing) in the National Best Books 2009 Awards.Thanks again for your support! Best wishes, Lynda McDaniel
Children’s Author, Dawn Beaumont Lane has released A Witch’s Tale, in time for Christmas
Shirley A. Roe has released her third and final historical fiction in the Whittaker Family series, Return to Whittakerville. Copies can be ordered from: www.theebooksale.com or www.amazon.com.
Allbooks Review Interview
Please state your name and location. (city and State or Province, Country)
Jacksonville, Florida USA
Tell us the title and publisher of your book:
Tell us about yourself:
I am a 45 year old male who is originally from Michigan. Fortune has allowed me to live in and also to travel to quite a few places in my life. Prior to attending college I worked in a new\used bookstore for 10 years buying and selling books, comic books, magazines, memorabilia and collectibles. The store specialized in science fiction and fantasy but we bought and sold every type of printed matter.
From there I attended Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI, where a BS\BA in Business Administration and Accounting was conferred. An MBA in Finance and Operations Management from Vanderbilt University was also earned. During the formal educational process courses in Shakespeare, Robert Frost, EE Cummings, Southern American Writers and Creative Writing were also completed.
A variety of employment positions have been held. The most recent jobs were 8 years as Cost Management Manager in the automotive industry for a global Japanese corporation, and 3 ½ years as the Financial Controller for the largest exporter out of the Bahamas while I lived on Grand Cayman Island. But the life of Dilbert took its toll and a decision was made to give up island life, move back to the USA, and start a new career.
When was the book released?
Painless was released in September, 2008.
Give us an overview of your book.
Painless is ostensibly a crime novel. The main protagonist (Augustus “Aug” Valentine) operates an import-export company in South Florida that was started with “illegal” money. Periodic smuggling in and out of the USA occurs. In come a load of rubies, sapphires and diamonds and they are promptly stolen from Aug. Who did what and why is the primary plot of the story.
Painless is also the story of Aug’s conflict of love between his first wife Laurie and his new love Jocelyn. To tell you more here would spoil the fun.
On a societal level Painless is a metaphor for the world of today. The hurricane is a metaphor for the financial hurricane hitting all of us. Also, who are the bigger criminals, the protagonists in Painless or the crooks in Washington and Wall Street\Corporate Management? As one character states “Recidivism is ugly whether personal or social in nature.”
I describe Painless as “modern noir.” What this means is that the elements of “noir” fiction and film are in the novel (crime and society as well as characters who are all conflicted with choices of good and evil) but the style and setting are modern. The time frame is 2005 versus 1950’s Los Angeles or Florida. Virtually every chapter is action packed but the action doesn’t rely on fantasy weapons or fantasy locations.
Lastly, the characters are somewhat common people in criminal situations. The plot is not driven by secret government agencies or lawyers or detectives or “Let’s kill the president\high government official” or “Let’s stop the global terrorist threat.” And when the crimes are resolved the story is about people.
What inspired you to write this book?
Creating novels has been in my mind for many years but until recently I personally never felt mature enough to create a product that would meet my standards. But, as a movie buff, I have seen most of the crime\action\horror films made in recent years and I have found the screenplays to be, in my opinion, “lacking”…and that is being kind. My opinion is that I can create stories that are better than what I see on the big screen today and my belief is that Painless and the other material I am writing achieve that.
The Sergio Leone movie A Fistful of Dynamite has seen a lot of airplay recently as re-release. The story is brilliant. The plot revolves around the desire of Juan to rob a bank but the story is about war and revolution and family and death. The revolutionary with no family destroys the family of the man who wanted no revolution. When James Coburn blows himself up at the end of his life he once again states “Duck, you sucker” but he means not that his friend Juan save his own life because he is going to blow up the dynamite but that his character Duck was a sucker in his life for his belief in Revolution. The story has purpose.
Few recent films I have seen or stories that I have read have such purpose. They are throwaway material designed by the corporate marketing machines who “know best” what humans need. Painless is inspired by this perceived lack of cinematic\literary vision; this homogeneity of art. To steal and paraphrase a line from Videodrome “Painless has something that most novels don’t have. It has a philosophy and that is what gives it strength.”
How is your book different from other books in this genre?
Most popular material I see published on mass scale today is either fantasy driven or is based upon effects rather than plot and characters. The stories are a capitalization of “what’s hot” and deal with cop, detective, lawyer, secret government agency\agent. In Painless the characters are people you might meet anywhere. The locations all exist and can be visited. The time frame is 2005 so the time is “now.” There is minimum fantasy (dream sequence) and the story is not technology driven. There is also metaphorical purpose to the story while recognizing that popularity is determined by the capability for the mass public to enjoy the novel.
Perhaps there are others that create texts like Painless; I cannot speak to everything written. But when I look at bookshelves I don’t see anything that I would consider to be a modern time frame “noir” title. I don’t see anything like Painless on the bookstore shelves. If one reads the reviews on the Painless website one will see that the people who read Painless really enjoy the novel but there is no reference of “this is like…” This is a testament to the originality of Painless.
Where can people buy your book?
The Borders\Walden’s stores have been very kind to me as an author. The store managers of the 3 major US chains that I have spoken to all love the book but the Borders\Walden’s chain is the only chain to allow me in to the store to do store events and to meet people. The suits at the other chains won’t work with me because I am unknown…even though their stores would love to showcase the product. I appreciate this and promote purchase of Painless through the Borders\Walden’s chain.
Painless is available on Amazon and through all major bookstore chains or internet venues.
Are you working on another book? If so when do you expect it to be published?
I am concurrently writing 2 novels and have 4 more separate novels mapped out beyond those 2. One novel is the Painless sequel titled Blindless. The time frame of Blindless is 2007 and the crime is ratcheted up one level in society.
The second novel is code named “Project NLM.” NLM is loosely based upon the concept of the character of Kwame Kilpatrick who is the defrocked ex-mayor of Detroit. The protagonist of NLM is the mayor of Detroit in 2008 and he is embroiled in scandal. So he does what politicians do when confronted with crisis; he deflects criticism elsewhere. This is done by championing a social cause. The mayor winds up personal vendettas on a road trip from Florida to Detroit but uses the vengeance to promote the social cause through media manipulation. Besides media manipulation the theme of political correctness in today’s society is explored.
My goal is to publish both books simultaneously and I am targeting either a Spring or Summer 2010 release. The biggest issue I have is time to write. I have no dull days!
If you self published, what advice can you give to fellow writers?
From the “meet and greet” events I have hosted the following things pop out to me as advice to aspiring authors:
1)What is your purpose in writing?
My purpose was to create a story translatable to the big screen that has originality and, when one is done with the crimes, the story is about people. So buying the “Rolls-Royce” package of Xlibris made sense for me so that there is full distribution. It also made sense to create a story that appeals to men and women both if I want to sell a lot of copies. So first answer the question of “purpose.”
2)Write a story from start to finish and then go back and re-edit
Many people have said to me “I’ve got half a book done.” Well, then you have nothing. How can you say it is half done if you haven’t finished it? Until you finish the book from start to finish you have no book or no 1\2 book.
Painless went through 6 full revisions. Except for some concepts nothing from revisions 1 & 2 exist in the final text. Revision 1 was a seventy five page prototype from start to finish that I had 30 people read. I found out what worked and what didn’t work from talking to the test market.
3)Be prepared to spend time and money on publishing and marketing.
I had a marketing plan in mind when starting that has continuously evolved. Some items have worked and some have not. But I spent the money to try things and to learn from my mistakes.
The biggest item is that I am not relying on others more than is necessary to sell my product. I designed my cover; I am seeking my reviews; I am lining up my book signings; I am spending my time and money on promoting Painless. It is a full time job, especially when combined with writing future products. It will be years before I make any, if any, financial gain off the novel(s). Are you willing to make that commitment?
Remember, you get what you pay for. If you want to buy cheap and save a couple hundred dollars on publishing your product you can do that; just don’t be surprised if you get a bad web site or a bad cover or have distribution issues because you went cheap. I went with Xlibris and I am happy I did.
If published traditionally, tell us how you benefited:
Can you share one of your marketing successes with us?
One of my successes is designing a cover that looks like a movie poster and allows me to have a 30 second speech that utilizes the cover to sell the book.
The Ruby symbolizes the South Florida action.
The Platinum Ingots symbolize Jocelyn selling Jaguars in Merritt Island and the scenes in Cocoa\Cocoa Beach.
The Sapphire symbolizes Aug & Jocelyn’s weekend getaway in Ponte Vedra.
The Diamond symbolizes the real estate developments in San Destin.
Aug’s life is a hurricane that is heading to San Destin.
His life is a gambling roll of the dice; is it Snake Eyes or a 7…and which is the better roll?
The gold I in the title symbolizes the gold.
The background and lightning symbolize the storm that surrounds the characters.
Painless means multiple things including “Pane Less” symbolized by the shattered glass motif of the logo.
There are rubies, diamonds and sapphires but the emeralds, the symbol of trust in “astro-gemology”, are saved for Jocelyn’s ring. See the “Emerald J”? There is also a “Gold A” entwined for Aug. This is their Ring of Love.
A picture is worth 1,000 words and I have a picture that I can point to when talking to both bookstores and customers. There is immediate visualization about the product that is achieved through this process.
How did you find Allbooks Reviews and what are you hoping for in your relationship with us?
To market a book one needs reviews and I found Allbooks Reviews researching websites for reviews. My only expectation was that Painless would be reviewed in an objective manner. I have confidence in the product as the people who give Painless a try really enjoy the novel because it is not only a good read but also because it is unique.
I believe that the Allbooks review bears this out. The review states that the book is good for “a light, fun read for a day at the beach” but also that it has “a complicated and intriguing plot” and “plenty of humor” full of “action and quirky humor.” This sounds exactly like a 1950’s noir story except that the time is now.
Was the low cost a surprise? What other things would you like Allbooks Reviews to offer writers?
I have no complaints about the cost and I feel that, in today’s world, the cost is exceptionally fair. Allbooks is certainly not getting rich off of me!
I cannot state what else Allbooks should do for authors because I am too new at this business to really know. Between my personal life, promoting Painless and writing the next 2 novels, I really have no needs that I am aware of other than the review and advertising.
Thank you for this interview and best of luck with your book.