You are an author with a great book. Now what? First of all, you should treat your book and your writing career as a business, an online business, where the most successful businesses are located these days because the Internet provides a free platform and free resources to authors.
As an author, you should be on a constant search for ways to promote your book and find new ways to use technology to increase your public profile and income. What better way to promote your work, create a public profile and increase your income than to write a series of Internet press releases and articles to use as promotions? The Internet has changed the writing game and shortened the distance between writers, if you can afford to hire a press agent (which I cannot) to create and write your media campaign, or if you are willing to develop the skills to write news items about your own projects (which you can).
This may sound daunting but, if you are a writer already, producing your own written materials should not be such a stretch for you. Writing Internet press releases and articles will require you to learn a few new skills, which you may not have needed for writing print press releases. There are many resources to be found in a simple web search that can guide you in the direction of becoming proficient in writing Internet press releases, which differ from print press releases, in that, for the internet, news items need to attract search engines to the materials posted on your websites, Blogs, social media networks and online news distribution services.
Search engine optimization (SEO) tools, keywords and keyword phrases change constantly with the changes in popular trends. As searches become more refined and specialized, keyword search tools must respond and we must also respond with the anticipation of shifts in market language. When submitting press releases to online distributors, take a look at their title suggestions for your topic. Most services have developed SEO tools of some sort that are designed to help you optimize your press releases and articles for their purposes. Be sure to investigate what they have to offer and use their handy suggestions to show you what the distributor considers to be successful for the topic you are covering.
Today, immediacy and information updating are the rule because of the growing significance of Blogs, social media, Internet communities, collaborative platforms and web mobility. Technologies such as mobile and smart phones and online book readers increase our need to adapt SEO strategies, in order to survive in the SEO game. However, don’t forget that you are ultimately writing for human beings, so the words you chose must also make sense to human beings who are searching the web for information. Understanding the relationship between human readers and search engines will help you produce press releases that create a strategy to get you and your products in front of a target audience. Once you get the attention of the target audience, send them to your Blog or website to learn more about you and your books and services. Once there, you must convince you visitors to take an action:
- Hire you to speak to their group
- Solicit your writing services for a juicy contract
- Place you on retainer as a consultant
- Buy your book
The purpose of all the press release promotion is to get the target audience to take action when they arrive at the destination you have enticed them to explore. Be specific. Do not take for granted that visitors will know what you mean without instructions. Be sure to tell them exactly what you want them to do and give them the means to accomplish the action. Give them a purchase link for your book; provide your services description; and leave an email contact address.
Your success in the area of action you want the visitors to take will depend upon the appeal of your site and the ease with which your visitors are able to move around your site and to make a book purchase or inquiry for your services. Approach Internet press releases the same way you approach traditional hardcopy press releases, with the difference coming in the form of search engine awareness. In our quest to satisfy the search engines, we cannot afford to forget important basic information.
- Biographical sketch
- Contact information
- List of your speaking topics
- A few significant book honors
- Hyperlink to your Blog, website or other pages
- Hyperlink to video of you in action
- Hyperlink to news coverage about your book
- Hyperlink to excerpts from your television appearances
Hyperlinks can give the target audience additional detailed information about you, your book and the services you offer without cluttering up your press release. And if you have an opportunity to include images, include a picture of your book cover to promote yourself as a published author and a good-quality photograph of yourself. Be sure the images are in jpeg format.
Having written press releases for both print and the Internet, I have learned that the difference between an author’s Internet press release and a print press release – both intended to create the publicity described above – is the need for keywords in Internet press releases, which can be suggested by free or paid SEO services. Be sure to do a web search to find the most useful SEO resources for your needs. Internet press releases are tools that no author can survive without in this age of online marketing. For more information on this topic, read: Free Publicity or Your Book.