Writing a news release

If you’ve been reading my blog lately, you’ll notice I’ve submitted quite a few news releases lately. Press releases and news releases are similar and different. Press releases usually are for businesses that have come up with a new product of service and they want to tell the world about it. News releases are for sharing something newsworthy and are sent to organizations that distrbute the news, i.e. newspapers. Writing a news release isn’t rocket science, but the better it is, the more likely it will get ink. Some people think they can’t write one because they’re not reporters. Nonsense! You can and should write a news release whenever you do something big, small, or anything in between.

For example, in the past week, I had three events concerning my latest thriller, The Brink: one was an evening with the authors event; two, I had a book signing at a quaint, independent bookstore; three, I did a presentation at the Alvarado Public Library on why writers need to think like entrepreneurs to get their books read.

I write every one of my news releases. Now, as part of my freelance writing duties, I do feature articles for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, so I have experience as a reporter. But, again, it ain’t rocket science. Just remember to cover the who, what, when, where, andwhy, take a few good quality pictures (you’ll only use one, but take a few so you can choose the best), and get a few quotes from the event attendees and you’re golden.  The following is an example of a pretty good news release. It got a high number of hits and it will be published in an upcoming edition of the Southlake Journal newspaper:

For Immediate Release:

For more information, please contact:

Mark Fadden

mark@markfadden.com

817-504-3886

 Triple C Ranch book club hosts “the next Dan Brown”

Sept 19, 2010 – Southlake, Texas – Once finishing a book, many readers would love the chance to ask the author questions about it. The ladies of the Triple C Ranch neighborhood in Southlake got that very chance when Colleyville author Mark Fadden stopped by during their recent book club meeting as they discussed his latest thriller, The Brink. “It was an engaging read,” said Patty Jefferson. “I read it in a day and a half. It was a real page turner.” Arlene Dang, one of the group’s founders, agreed with Jefferson and had perhaps the highest praise a thriller writer could hear. “I think he’s the next Dan Brown.” While the rest of the women had similar sentiments about the book, they also had some constructive criticism for Fadden. “While it would spoil the book to mention their exact comments, I can say that they had some specific ideas about the ending and some of the characters in the book. Anytime that we as authors can get this kind of feedback from our readers, it’s invaluable.” 

The Triple C Ranch Book Club, which is comprised of women from all walks of life including housewives, lawyers and educators, began with an idea that sprang from a conversation between two of the women in the neighborhood. Dang and Sipho Gumbo had a conversation about books and found out that they both were active on Good Reads, an Internet website where readers discuss their favorite books with others. “We thought why not do the same thing in our neighborhood?” said Dang. “We knew that several people in our neighborhood liked to read. Creating a book club just seemed a natural fit.” Gumbo, whose husband has written a book of historical fiction about African politics, entitled The Fire Inside, agreed. “We wanted to have a neighborhood group where people could share and socialize.”

The club, which meets the third Sunday of every month, has a dozen members and has even created their own Facebook page. Fadden’s novel, The Brink, was the third book they’ve read. Sometimes, the ladies have different opinions about characters and plots of the books they review, and they each respect the other’s opinion. Other times they all agree about a book, like when they all thought that the bestseller Eat, Pray, Love wasn’t their cup of tea. Lorianne Hartman, who hosted the meeting that Fadden attended, picked The Weight of Water for their next book. “It’s a very informal group of women who like to read and like to share,” said Hartman. “We’ve got a great group and I look forward to spending time with these good friends.”

Fadden will be signing copies of The Brink at the Southlake Barnes & Noble book store on Saturday, Oct 9, from 1:00pm-3:00pm. To preview it, visit his website at www.markfadden.com.

—end of News Release   

 It is very important to include the first part about it being tagged for immediate release so the reporters/editors you are sending it to will know when they can send it out. Also, contact information right up front is critical. Newspaper people are on deadlines, don’t make them hunt to get information to contact you. Again, a high quality picture is a must. And I would try to keep it 500 words or less. And try to make it look like a normal newspaper article you see in your paper. Again, deadlines are the reason why here. The less work a reporter/editor has to put into your article, the more likely it will get ink.

Hope that helps. Comments? Question? To the comments! 

P.S. You ‘ll see that I changed the title of my blog yet again. I went to an SEO (search engine optimization) seminar today and oh my dear lord, what a mountain of information! We’ll be covering that topic tomorrow night.

Until then,

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

Rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow… 

****************************************************

Here’s what readers are saying about Mark’s latest thriller The Brink:

“I finally had a chance to sit down and read The Brink–all the way through in a day and a half. The story is gripping, even frightening, and you capture the suspense in the rhythm of your prose. In places I was reading so fast I felt like I was in the chase! I’ll put it on the shelf next to my signed copy of Lonesome Dove, in the gallery of great contemporary writers!” – Bob H., Amarillo, TX

“He’s the next Dan Brown.” – Arlene D., Southlake, TX

“Truly a pager turner for me. I could not put the book down. Every time I thought I had figured something out, the next twist came up. If you like conspiracy theories, you’ll love this one.” – Sharon L, Houston, TX

Want to start reading The Brink right now? Download the eBook version from amazon.com for less that $10 at http://www.amazon.com/The-Brink-ebook/dp/B003OYIEPC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1284567122&sr=8-2 or bn.com at http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Brink/Mark-Fadden/e/9781450210492/?itm=1&USRI=mark+fadden.

Order a signed copy of The Brink as a keepsake for yourself or as the ultimate unique gift at http://markfadden.com/buyabook.html

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