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Introduce Your Self-Published Book Launch to the World With a Press Release

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

A Guide On How to Write a Book Press Release and the Top Ten Mistakes to Avoid

by Mimi H./

Crafting a compelling book press release is not just about announcing your book launch, it's about selling your book.

As a self-published author, you probably don’t have the media connections that traditional publishing houses have. The good news is that you don’t need them. In today’s online world, digital press releases are extremely popular. Online press release distribution can help level the playing field for self-published, independent authors.

Why Press Releases Are Crucial for Book Launches

Imagine you've just written a true masterpiece. The plot is engaging, the characters are robust, and the narrative is compelling. But what's the point if no one knows about it? A book launch press release serves as your book's debutante ball. It presents your valued piece formally to the world. It's not just an announcement but rather a persuasive document that is aimed at convincing journalists, bloggers, and the reading public that your book is worth their time and attention. A well-executed press release can make people curious enough to give your book a chance (and a read) and therefore propel it from obscurity into the limelight.

How to Write a Book Press Release

Most people spend many hours a day online—for work, education, social connections, and entertainment purposes. There are more platforms than ever where the written word has a chance to shine. However, even the most compelling book can get lost in the noise if it’s not properly introduced to the world. That's where the art of knowing how to write a book press release comes in. A well-crafted press release can be the golden ticket to your book's success and serve as the initial handshake between your work and its potential audience. Yet, many writers stumble right out of the gate and fall into common pitfalls that can turn this crucial document into a missed opportunity.

The Anatomy of a PR

A well-formatted book press release should include a captivating headline, a subhead line for added context, an introductory paragraph summarizing the key details, a body section with quotes and other relevant information, a boilerplate about the author, contact information, and a compelling call-to-action. Let’s take a look at the essential components:

TIP: Make sure you write your PR in third person. Do not use the pronouns I, we, or ours.


The headline should be catchy but also informative. It's the first thing people read, so make it count. (At a minimum, it could be: AuthorName Announces the Release of [Book Title].)


This is where you can add a bit more context or intrigue without overwhelming the reader.


The first paragraph should summarize the who, what, when, where, and why of your book launch.


This is the meat of your press release. It should contain quotes from you or endorsements from notable figures, a synopsis of the book, and any other relevant information.

Boilerplate BIO

A short paragraph about you, the author, including any previous works and accolades.

Contact Information

Provide details for the media to reach out to you for further information.

Call to Action

End with a compelling call to action, encouraging the reader to check out your book or attend your book launch event.

By understanding and incorporating these elements, you're well on your way to crafting a press release that not only announces your book but sells it.

What Should You Avoid When Writing a Book Launch PR?

Moving through the landscape of press releases can be a tricky endeavor. Even seasoned writers can fall prey to common mistakes that can diminish the impact of their announcement.

To make sure that your press release has the best possible impact and outcome, avoid common mistakes such as ignoring your target audience and lacking a strong hook. Other pitfalls include poor structure, overuse of jargon, and failure to include multimedia or quotes. Also, don't forget the importance of a clear call to action, timing, and thorough proofreading.

Top Ten Mistakes to Avoid

1. Ignoring the Audience

The first and perhaps most crucial mistake is ignoring your target audience. A press release should be tailored to resonate with the people you want to reach. Knowing your audience's preferences, pain points, and what makes them tick can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your press release.

2. Lack of a Strong Hook

A press release without a strong hook is like a book without a compelling opening line—it fails to grab attention. Your hook should be a succinct and engaging statement that encapsulates the essence of your book and compels the reader to learn more.

3. Poor Structure

A well-structured press release is like a well plotted novel—it flows logically from beginning to end. How do you format a press release for a book? Start with a captivating headline, followed by an engaging introduction, the body, and finally, a compelling call to action. Each section should seamlessly lead to the next and provide valuable information without overwhelming the reader.

4. Overuse of Jargon

While industry-specific terms can lend credibility, overusing jargon can alienate a broader audience. Keep your language simple and accessible, to guarantee that even someone unfamiliar with the book industry can understand your message.

5. Ignoring Multimedia

Text alone often isn't enough to convince your audience. Include relevant images, videos, or infographics. This can significantly enhance your press release and make it more engaging and shareable.

6. Lack of Quotes

Quotes from credible sources can add a layer of authenticity and credibility to your press release. This could be an endorsement from a well-known author, or it could be a testimonial from a satisfied reader. Quotes can provide that extra push to persuade your audience.

7. Ignoring the Call to Action

A press release without a clear call to action (CTA) is a missed opportunity. No matter if it’s directing readers to your book launch event or encouraging them to preorder, a well-placed CTA can be the difference between a passive reader and an engaged one.

8. Poor Timing

Timing is everything. Release your press too early, and it may be forgotten; too late, and you miss the buzz. Coordinate the timing of your press release with other marketing efforts for maximum impact.

9. Not Proofreading

Last but not least, the importance of proofreading cannot be highlighted enough. Typos, grammatical errors, or factual inaccuracies can severely undermine your credibility. Before hitting that “publish” button, make sure your books press releases are polished to perfection.

10. Bad Press Release Pitfalls

A bad press release often suffers from a few common issues: lack of focus, unclear messaging, and poor structure. It could also be riddled with grammatical errors, lack compelling visuals, or fail to include essential information like quotes or a call to action. Try to avoid these pitfalls!

Make Sure Your Book Press Release Is a Success

The important thing to remember about crafting a compelling book press release is that it’s not just about announcing your new work; it's also about selling it.

If you manage to avoid the common mistakes we have talked about and adhere to the proven best practices, you can significantly increase the chances of your book getting the attention it deserves. Keep in mind that a well-executed press release can be the one thing that transforms your book launch from a disappointment to a success. So, make sure to do your press release the right way – it’s worth it!

There are many websites for online press release distribution. Some are free, others have various pricing fees. SelfPublishingUS does not recommend any one PR distribution firm over another; however, we do recommend that you review PRweb’s book press-release page to become familiar with how authors promote their books with press releases:

SelfPublishingUS can help you sell your book by building an author website:

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