Friday, October 28, 2005

WORKSHOP: Press Releases - Can you write one yourself?

Press Releases - Can you write one yourself?
Shelia M. Goss ©2005 All Rights Reserved.

Why would I want to write my own press release? You may be asking yourself this, especially if you hired a publicist.

There may come a time where you will need to send a press release; whether it's because you can't get a hold of your publicist, it's beyond the scope of your contract with your publicist or having a publicist might not be in your budget, etc.

What is the purpose of a press release? A press release is an announcement. It should contain specific information. For example, you may write one to announce an event (such as book signings, participation in an expo, etc.) or a major achievement (such as your book making a bestsellers list, optioned as a movie, etc.).

Writing a press release isn't hard.

What should the press release include? Make sure your press release has an eye-catching Title, contact information and include the five W's:
* Who (Identify yourself)
* What (Your announcement)

* Where (Location of the book signing or event)
* When (Date and Time) and
* Why (Because you're the next best thing to sliced bread; just kidding, but you get the point, smile).

How should the press release look? To view an example of a few press releases, please go to one of the following links:
* Title: Woman Fakes Las Vegas Wedding
* Title: Small Press Author makes Essence Bestsellers List

Where should I submit the press release? Press releases should be sent out to your target audience, which can include media outlets such as newspapers, TV, radio, magazines or book clubs, bookstores, etc.

Are there any online services I can use to distribute my press release? Yes, there are several. PRWeb ( and ( are two I recommend.

Don't limit yourselves to online services. Find out fax numbers and mailing addresses of your target audiences and send them out that way as well.

Now you're ready to try your hand at writing your own press release. Remember to keep it simple. Keeping it simple, means being direct and specific. 1st Assignment: Write a press release announcing a book signing or release of your next hot new novel.

Shelia M Goss is the ESSENCE MAGAZINE Bestselling Author of My Invisible Husband. With unique storylines, her goal is to create "stories with a twist." Shelia was the recipient of three 2003 Shades of Romance Magazine Reader's Choice Multi-Cultural Awards for her debut novel, ROSES are Thorns, VIOLETS are True. Be on the look out for her next novel--My Three Beaus. Her articles, poetry, and short stories, have appeared in National Magazines such as Black Romance Magazine, Bronze Thrills, InnerCosmetics, and Tribes Magazine. Visit her website at or check out one of her blogs:


Anonymous said...

Great Advice, Sheila. Simple and to the point.

Lexi Davis

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