15/10/2014 12:11 BST | Updated 15/12/2014 05:59 GMT

Writing a Punchy Press Release

What to do if you're not JK Rowling, you don't have a big publishing house to promote you but you're determined to make your book a success?

The ideal press release will contain not only all the relevant information about your book but also a tantalising hook to snag the attention of any journalist reading it. It should be as concise as possible and no longer than an A4 piece of paper (around 500- 700 words). Relevant information should include:

1. The headline. At its most basic, this will be - Book Press Release. But preferably you can come up with something more eye-catching. Think in terms of being a newspaper reader, what would capture your imagination?

2. The title of your book, your name, the publication date and any reviews you may have gathered (next week's blog will deal with reviews). If you have timed the release of your book to coincide with any important anniversaries (see When Is the Best Time to Publish Your Book ) this should come next to give the journalist a ready-made angle.

3. A compelling description of your book (70 - 90 words). This can be taken from the back cover, providing it is suitably attention-grabbing and leaves the reader wanting more. NB before writing my back cover blurb I checked out how the big hitters in my genre did it. I suggest you do the same. Alongside this text should be a picture of your book's brilliant front cover.

4. Genuinely interesting information about yourself. Irritatingly, it's not enough that you have written a book - you need to show journalists that there is something utterly unique about you.

5. The publishing company, the price, the ISBN number and where your book is available.

6. Your contact details: website and email address.

Remember that a press release can be tailored to whichever journalist you are sending it to. A press release for Heat magazine should be different to that aimed at the Guardian. Research your target audience and craft your copy accordingly.

I wrote a special press release for BBC Radio London*, linking my love and knowledge of the capital's quirky cinemas to the unique one-seated cinema featured in my book. This got me onto the Robert Elms show and three weeks later onto the Jo Good show, where I was then able to cheerily chat away about Cinema Lumière.

*Remember that local press and radio is easier to target than the nationals.

The Advanced Information Sheet (AI) is like a press release for the bookshops, giving them all the relevant details about your book - ISBN number, RRP, publisher's logo, size and key sales points, press campaigns, etc all of which will act as an incentive for them to stock it.

An example of how to lay out both a press release and an AI sheet to be found at :


For more advice on Getting Published, go to

Hattie's debut novel Cinema Lumière is out now, available on Amazon and at all good bookshops.