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Writer's Corner

News Release Part 2
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If you’ve ever had to write a press release, you know how frustrating it is.


What should I put in it? What should I leave out? Should I put in biographical material? Should I put in excerpts of the book I’ve written?


It isn’t really all that hard. Once you get started, it will just flow, and you’ll wind up with a PR to be proud of.


Start with a sheet of letterhead (while you’re practicing and trying to get it just right, use plain bond paper so you won’t use your expensive letterhead). At the very top, type:



Attention: Book Editor

Contact Information: John Doe, 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue, Markham, MD 73501, phone 725-400-8088 or email

In the body of the release, write in the third person: he, she, it, they, them, their. Never use first or second person (I, you, he, she, we, etc.) except in a quote.


“John Doe of Markham, MD has announced the publication of his first novel, Nothing to Fear, which will be on newsstands Dec. 1.


Nothing to Fear is the story of a young man who is happily married with the requisite number of children and living the American dream. Then a woman  accusies him of fathering her child, the FBI gets into the act, his best friend is murdered and he goes on the run to keep from being executed for a crime he didn’t commit,” said Doe.


Simon & Schuster has published 10,000 hardback copies of Nothing to Fear and Dove Publications has inquired about rights to publish the paperback version. “It’s a dream come true,” says Doe, who has a three-book deal with the publisher.


Look for Nothing to Fear on the newsstands  Dec. 1.



The -30- centered at the end is the professional journalist’s way of saying “the end.” Certainly you may do without it but it gives an added boost to the release that says “I am a professional.”


After calling ahead to find out the name of the book editor of every book editor in your reading area, whether a small weekly or big daily,  send a release and if possible a preview copy of the book for an independent review. Always let it be know the review is not expected, but would be appreciated. If the review is positive, be happy; if not, take it with a grain of salt. After all, a review is only one person’s opinion.


Oh, and don’t forget: type only on one side of the paper.


(NCWritertoo is a retired journalist who worked as a writer for over 25 years. Email her at