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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

[Build Book Buzz] Why You Want to Pay for Press Release Distribution via @sandrabeckwith

Tips, tactics and tools for generating media awareness and other buzz about your books.

March 14, 2012

In This Issue:

Buzzing Around

Hi Sylvia,

March MadnessI'm mad about March Madness! 

There's something oddly therapeutic about hooting and hollering while I'm watching the games on TV - it's a great energy release! 

If you're paying attention to U.S. college basketball, what's your favorite team? Mine are Xavier and Syracuse. My youngest daughter has interned with the sports information department at Xavier University for three years and works at the men's home basketball games, so I often get to see her sitting at one of the media tables when the games are televised. 

My oldest daughter is a Syracuse University alum, but I've been attached to that team since before she was born. That's why it was such a treat when my (then) publicity client, athleticwear manufacturer Champion Products, asked me many years ago to plan a press conference for long-time SU basketball coach Jim Boeheim. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Coach Boeheim is accessible, friendly, down-to-earth, and much taller than he looks when he's standing next to his giant-size players. I was a fan before then, but this sealed the deal. (And I really want one of those Jim Boeheim masks in this photo.) 

So who are you cheering for this season, and why? Send me a note!



Expert View:
Why You Want to Pay for Press Release Distribution

F-r-e-e press release distributions sites are popular with authors for the obvious reason - they don't cost anything. Not surprisingly, though, you get what you pay for. 

But don't take my word for it. A public relations firm evaluated results from no-pay 60 sites (read the complete review here) and reached these conclusions:

  • None of the sites did a good job of reaching journalists, editors, bloggers, or other influences. None. N-o-n-e. Why send a press release that isn't going to reach journalists?
  • One site, Online PR News, did a good job of getting press release into Google News citations. Two others, Open PR and PR Fire, did an okay job of it.
  • Just one site - PR Fire - was good at getting the press release content found by Google News. Three others, News Wire Today, PR Zoom, and Idea Marketers, did almost as well. 

As a result, if I'm going to use any of the no-charge services, it will be Online PR News and PR Fire, but I'll do it for Google search results purposes, not because I think it will get used by the media - because it won't. 

Obviously, if you want your press release to reach journalists, you'll have to use a paid service. But which one? I research and compare the various services on an ongoing basis, and keep coming back to two that stand out in terms of price and the types of media outlets they distribute to - PRWeb and Cision. A third, Business Wire, is comparable, but more expensive. (FYI, that PRWeb link is my affiliate link; it entitles you to a 10 percent discount on your first order this month.) 

My recent blog post on why I like PRWeb included information on how to use the service because I didn't think the company's website did a good enough job of explaining which of its packages you should buy and what you get for the price. You can read it here; I hope you find it helpful. 

Here are two more important reasons why you want to pay a service to send your press release to journalists:

  1. More and more of the high profile media outlets - including CBS, Yahoo, Fox, The Wall Street Journal, major daily newspapers, and many more companies - will post your press release on their website for SEO (search engine optimization) reasons.

    They run news releases on their sites because when somebody searches online for keywords and terms found in your press release, their sites will show up in the search results. When people click onto search results found on media sites, those sites get more traffic. More traffic equals more advertising money for them.

  2. You'll see which (if any) of the high profile sites posted your press release when you get a results report from the distribution service. When you share the logos of the best of them in a "as seen on" section of your website homepage, you and your book will enjoy instant credibility. You might not have been interviewed by Fox News or the Houston Chronicle, but if your press release appeared on the those, you can say with all confidence that you've been "seen" there. (Keep a list of the URLs as evidence.)

Remember, if you're going to spend money to distribute your press release, you want to make sure the release is well written because if it doesn't meet industry standards, it won't get used. Go to the newsrooms on the distribution service websites to study the press releases they're sending out (they're all available). Learn as much as you can about how to write them using the proper format (I've got fill-in-the-blanks forms and examples in Build Book Buzz Publicity Forms & Templates). Barter with a friend who already knows how to do it. Write one that's decent, get it out there with a paid service, and then leverage the exposure to build the credibility you've earned (and deserve!).

Register for June 2012 "Book Publicity 101: How to Build Book Buzz" E-course

Are you ready to learn how to get the word out about your book? It's time to register for the next "Book Publicity 101: How to Build Book Buzz" e-course running online from June 4 to 29, 2012. Both sections - one for traditionally published authors and the other for those who have self published - emphasize the planning, strategy, tools and tactics needed to get - and keep - your book in the news so that you sell more books. (The course for self-published authors includes a section on how to announce a book's publication and generate reviews.) You'll leave the class with your own book publicity blueprint, tools you can use immediately to get media exposure, and a solid understanding of how to get attention in both traditional and social media worlds. 

The class is taught online in a forum format. There are no scheduled meetings or sessions - you work at your own pace according to your own schedule. I provide very personalized guidance and feedback as you move through the course. 

For details on the original course, "Book Publicity 101: How to Build Book Buzz," go to http://buildbookbuzz.com/how-to-build-book-buzz-workshop/

For specifics on the self-published authors course, "Book Publicity 101 for Self-Published Authors: How to Build Book Buzz," go to http://buildbookbuzz.com/self-published-how-to-build-book-buzz-workshop/.

Learn "9 Novel Ways to Promote Fiction"

If you write fiction, you don't want to miss my recorded interview with Sandra Poirier Diaz, president of fiction publicity firm Smith Publicity, about "9 Novel Ways to Promote Fiction." Unsolicited rave reviews for the audio program include: 

"I was a newspaper editor for 18 years and have a degree in public relations, so to tell you the truth, I wasn't very optimistic about learning anything new. However, the audio got my creative juices flowing so I now have a few pages of notes to go through." Jessica James 

"This was absolutely riveting!" Judy Nickles 

"I learned so much and am inspired to try several different avenues for publicizing that I had not thought of before. Best $29 I have spent in a long time!" Elaine Cooper 

"It was great - both informative and inspiring. I already have some new ideas for promoting my new book." Gini Rifkin 

"That was a great teleseminar. I learned a lot." Victoria Noxon 

"Great seminar! Thanks for all the valuable info!" Chrystle Fiedler 

Learn a top pro's secrets for using the news media, social networking, and other effective options for building sales-generating buzz for fiction when you purchase the audio program now! Listen on your computer or an MP3 player. You'll also receive three bonus fiction promotion handouts. 

To learn more, go to http://buildbookbuzz.com/fiction-promotion-audio-program/.

About Sandra

Sandra Beckwith is a former publicist who has won several national and regional publicity awards and teaches authors how to generate long-term media buzz for their books. She is the author of three books on publicity, conducts publicity workshops, and writes frequently on small business marketing and management topics. Please visit her book publicity site and publicity blog to learn more.

Build Book Buzz is a free e-newsletter published twice monthly by Beckwith Communications. Please forward this newsletter to anyone. To subscribe, visit www.buildbookbuzz.com. We do not share our mailing list with any individual or organization for any reason.

Need a writer's conference speaker or workshop presenter? Sandra's workshops at the American Society of Journalists and Authors annual conference, the University of Wisconsin Writers Institute, and at other industry conferences share priceless how-to information you won't get elsewhere. Contact her at sb@buildbookbuzz.com for more information.

Build Book Buzz
Sandra Beckwith, Editor & Publisher
Phone: 585-377-2768
Email: sb@buildbookbuzz.com

Beckwith Communications

25 Erie Crescent
Fairport, NY

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