Press Releases

Welsh Books Council

Press Releases

Releases announcing the publication of individual titles will normally be sent out, with an embargo, between ten days and a month before publication. Where there is potential for extensive coverage or serialisation, contacts will be made and advance material supplied at a much earlier stage. The earlier a release is dispatched, the more important it will be to refresh the memories of recipients with further releases and/or telephone calls.

Releases will vary according to the nature of the book being promoted and the newspaper or media outlets targeted. For example, local angles may be more fully developed for local press and media, whilst specialist content will be emphasised in releases sent to academic journals in pursuit of a review. Where reviews are sought, information may be sent as much as four months before publication, provided that advance proof copies can be supplied.

General press releases will have the following common characteristics:

  • brevity: the release will be no more than two double-spaced pages of A4: one page is better. Long blocks of text should be avoided;
  • clarity: the importance and appeal of the publication and/or author must be obvious from the first paragraph; language should be simple and direct and free of both jargon and cliché;
  • newsworthiness: a possible angle or story needs to be provided so that, if need be, the release can be quoted verbatim. A striking headline will help arouse the editor’s curiosity; a quotation from a prominent personality, reviewer or expert will lend authority and credibility;
  • practicality: the publisher-contact’s name and full contact details (day and evening) must be included, together with information about the author’s availability for interview, launch events and signings, etc. Title, author, ISBN, page numbers and format, price, availability, publication date and (where relevant) target age-group appear best as a separate block of information;
  • visual appeal: illustration makes the message more striking. Lay-out must be clean and uncluttered.

A standard guide to writing promotional material is Alison Baverstock’s Publicity, Newsletters and Press Releases (Oxford University Press, 2003).

Sample press releases can be viewed on-line at a number of publishers’ websites, including :

www.ylolfa.co.uk
www.parthianbooks.co.uk
www.seren-books.com
www.accentpress.co.uk  
www.faber.co.uk
www.randomhouse.co.uk
http://pressoffice.penguin.co.uk 

Click for comprehensive contact details of press, periodicals and broadcast media in Wales and selected details for press elsewhere.

Date last updated: 21 Jun 2013