Do free press releases for new books work?
If your aim is for the New York Times to notice your book and write about it, no, they won’t work.
It’s improbable that any newspaper or magazine will notice your press release and mention you.
But that shouldn’t be your goal. What you are after are valuable SEO (search engine optimization) opportunities.
New authors often overlook writing a press release as part of their book marketing plan.
But it’s a big missed opportunity to gain long-term promotion.
No, you won’t get in the news and suddenly sell thousands of copies.
What you will get, though, is additional pages on the web that will all have some degree of SEO value.
The best part is that you can easily take advantage by writing an excellent release or even different versions.
Most free services allow you to add links and images, so you should take advantage of these opportunities.
Think of a press release as similar to a page on your blog or website.
You want it to be informative, easy to read and to help attract attention to your book.
It’s quite easy to find sites that offer free press releases, and I’ll note some of them later in this article.
But before that, here are six ways free press releases can help you.
1. A press release adds credibility
When you publish a press release, you can add a link to it on your site.
You could create an ‘In the Media’ page if you publish a few releases.
Perhaps use screenshots with links to bring more attention to them.
It’s a great way to add extra social proof and credibility for you and your book.
2. SEO keywords and search terms
Like any page on the Internet, search engines will index a press release.
Because of this benefit, you should take extra care to ensure that your text includes relevant search terms and keywords.
You can use the KDP keyword search terms you researched when you published your book.
Or, you can research new or alternative keyword phrases to include in your text.
When you prepare your press release, you can include links. Depending on which service you use, you may be able to add one or more links.
If you can only add one, it’s usually best to link to one of your book promotion pages on your website or blog. Linking to your homepage isn’t as effective.
But if you can add more than one, then yes, add a link to your homepage.
You can also add links to your social media accounts with some services.
It is one of the big benefits because the links you include in your release can earn backlinks for your site.
So, the more backlinks you can get, the higher your page will rank on search engines.
That’s why linking to a book promotion page on your site is better value than linking to your homepage.
Always check how many links you can add, and make sure you use them all.
But don’t be tempted to add a link to your book on Amazon or any other retailer.
They won’t add any value for you and may not be permitted because they may be deemed as affiliate links.
5. Add images or videos to your press release
Some services allow you to include images in your press release.
When possible, take advantage of the opportunity to help promote yourself and your new book.
You can see in the example below how adding an image, and some text formatting can make a press release more visually appealing.
Another option is to include a video book trailer.
But you might have to hunt for a service that gives you this option.
In the example above, you can also see links included in the body text, as well as an email contact.
With any free press release service, check all the options that are available and then use them to your best advantage.
One other advantage of free press releases for new books is that they give you more options for sharing on social media.
Instead of always linking and sharing your site’s book page, or your buy page on Amazon, share one of your press releases.
It will help you add much more variety to your book promotion.
When to issue your press release
The earlier, the better.
Plan it to coincide and help you with your book launch.
If you arrange to have your new book available on pre-order, issue your press release as soon as it is listed.
Without this option, issue your release a few days before or as close to your publishing date as possible.
What if your book is already published?
There’s no harm at all in issuing a press release.
It’s not as effective as at the time of your launch. But you can still benefit from backlinks and search terms.
Writing your press release
You can find hundreds of advice articles on how to write a press release.
Read a few to get an idea of the structure, tone, and appropriate content.
Also, read some press releases by other authors. Take note of how they are formatted, what information is included as well the visuals they use.
Free press release services
You can do a Google search and find many service providers.
But to save you some time, you can check this listing of free and paid services.
As far as free goes, these five are probably among the most popular.
You might not have considered the side benefits of free press releases for new books.
But they offer you a terrific opportunity to improve not only your book launch but also to add long-term SEO value.
A year after your book is published, the backlinks from your press release or releases will still be working for you.
Yes, there are so many ways to promote a new book.
But free press releases offer you an extra opportunity, so they are always worth including in your book marketing plan.
Related reading: How To Promote A Book On Linkedin With Your Company Page