KISS a Press Release

by Christine Kohler, author of NO SURRENDER SOLDIERI am surprised by the number of authors who are baffled how to write a press release. But that’s really not fair of me, considering I have a journalism degree, worked as a reporter and editor, and did public relations for several years while in graduate school. That’s also so not fair of me because I can write an entire book and yet get befuddled at writing a synopsis, short summary or *shudder* a one-liner describing the book and hooking the reader. KISSActually, writing a one-page synopsis or a short summary of your book is comparable in public relations to writing a one-page press release or a shorter version called a public service announcement (PSA). From my experience, you stand a better chance of getting a PSA accepted for publication in newspapers or newsletters. Like a hook for your book, the trick is to hook the editor into wanting to do a review or interview. You do that with a KISS: Keep it short and simple. HEADINGYou wouldn’t dream of submitting a manuscript without your contact info at the top. Do the same with your PSA. Single space the heading and include this info:PSA, CONTACT: Name, Phone Number, e-mail WsRemember the Ws? Who, what, where, when. (You can drop the “how” in PSAs.) That’s what you need to include in a PSA. Here’s an example, just substitute your info for mine: Join local author Christine Kohler for a program on the research behind her YA novel NO SURRENDER SOLDIER (Merit Press, 2014) at the Carnegie Library in Ballinger January 18, 2014.That’s it for a PSA! Send it to the editors who publish briefs and events. If you post it on-line, add the state. Nothing is more irritating than seeing an invitation on Facebook and not knowing at what state the event will be. Since a press release is longer, you can add two more paragraphs—one with a short book description, followed by one with your bio. But remember, KISS. That’s it! Now, can someone help me write my elevator pitches?   


Christine Kohler

 NO SURRENDER SOLDIER, Merit Press, 2014

“An interesting account of history that paints a picture of life both on and off the battlefield.” - Booklist