Why Writers Need a PR Package

Photo by Kia Abell

Whether you decide to take a traditional path towards publishing your book or you go the DIY route and self-publish, every author needs a PR package to promote his or her writing.

In a recent article I put together as the Toronto Writing Examiner, I outlined a few of the basic documents the you should have filed away for future use.

Preparing these documents ahead of time makes it easier for you to put together a promotional package (whether you are mailing it or e-mailing it) to send to potential reviewers, interviewers, or even when you decide to send your manuscript out to potential editors or agents.

Here are a few ideas of what documents to include and ways to make sure you don’t just get the information across, but share your personality as well.

Every author needs to have a written profile, whether it’s 1 paragraph or enough to fill the inside flap of your book.

The length and style of your profile will differ depending on whether you’re using it on your website or if you are sending it to a potential editor or agent. With the latter, you may lean towards being more straightforward with your writing style, however the bio that you put on your website you can be a little more flexible with. Try infusing it with your own writing voice or writing and in a similar style to the genre you write in for a bio that will stand out from the masses.

Check out a few of the profiles I’ve written, in both a business style and a more creative style to see how you can bring your voice into your marketing materials.

Press Releases
The press release may seem a little old school in this digital age, but it is still a valuable tool to get the word out about your book launch, award, or other news related to your writing.

There are many opportunities for which you can write a press release – a new book; new event, appearance or book signing; updated website or new samples/excerpts to read; book sales or discounts. Use your imagination (but make sure what you are reporting is news and not just a way to get a little attention).

Again, while there is a specific style for the Press Release, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun with it.

At Outstanding Ink, I have written quite a few Press Releases that have a little fun and are written with a more creative style while still keeping in mind that it is a business document that is used to announce news.

Book Blurbs/Cover Copy
Obviously, if you are promoting your latest book you want to include the back cover copy with any marketing material that you send out to bloggers or interviewers. It’s an easy way for them to feature you and your work and they can just copy & paste the content to their blog or website.

Although it might seem strange considering you just penned a 80,000+ word novel, sometimes, coming up with the cover copy can be the most difficult part to write.

One way to tackle that is to include it in the planning stages of writing your book. The text may change as you go from the initial idea through your first draft to the finished manuscript, but at least it allows you to get your basic idea on the page so you can focus on the core ideas of your book which will help you to sell it to both readers and reviewers.

Check out our Author Bundle, which offers a variety of different documents at a discounted rate or get in touch so I can help you figure out the direction you need to go to promote your writing in the best way.

Book Launch Marketing Material
Creating a few different pieces of marketing material focused around the launch of your book will help you to keep the buzz building long after launch day has come and gone.

Building up to the book launch with promos, blurbs, teasers, and excerpts are an excellent way to build buzz, but don’t forget to continue to promote your book in the weeks and months following its launch.

Collecting reviews, star ratings, blog features and other feedback from readers is built-in promotional material the you should send out to interested readers and bloggers to retain your book’s momentum and hopefully keep it rising up the best-seller chart.

If you need help compiling the information into a cohesive narrative, I can help you create compelling features that you can use to promote your book and keep the buzz going long after its launch.

Reviews and Press Clippings
Now that you’ve gathered some reviews or press clippings from online blogs or magazines, you need to put them to good use.

An interesting way to do that is to gather ones that have a similar message and create an e-mail blast or short feature for your newsletter.

Word-of-mouth is one of the strongest tools you can use to get new readers to pick up your book. By sending out newsletters or featuring feedback on your own website or blog, you are making it easy for new readers to find you and your work.

My Email and Website Marketing services can help you to take advantage of the feedback you’ve received, share it with your fans and help you find new ones.

Tying It Up
Ok, so you’re a writer and all you want to do is write, but your writing career is also a business.

That doesn’t mean your creativity has to get lost in boring business documents. Using unique strategies to sell your work and creating a targeted method to get in touch with potential readers, reviewers and fans, you can build a buzz about your writing that will carry you forward to your next novel…and the next one…and the next one!