You Shouldn’t Fear Writing a Press Release

All our press releases

Image by Christopher S. Penn via Flickr

Taken from Writerstopia Magazine, Dec. 2011 – with permission

The word “Press Release” seems to scare most people to death. On top of that not many people take the time to even think of writing their own Press Release. We hope this brief article will help clear up some of the mysteries surrounding this simple form of marketing.

The first thing you have to remember is that a Press Release is a “news” item. It needs to “inform” people, NOT sell them something. For example, you are reading this report because you want to learn something that will BENEFIT YOU. You aren’t reading it just so you can buy something else. If money is the driving force in your business – you won’t go too far. Your main goals should be in pleasing customers, providing them with a high-quality product and more than their money’s worth. The trick is to do all this while still making money. People don’t care what mountains you had to climb, what seas you had to cross or what tribe of people you had to learn the ways of just to find a secret formula. Instead – they want to know WHAT the secret formula is.

The sales circulars you print and mail sell your product. A Press Release informs others about your product. Instead of your main objective being to sell the product and have the customer send in an order immediately, a Press Release informs the customer exactly how your product will benefit their lives. This must be conveyed in the form of a “newsworthy” Press Release. If you have a sales circular to sell a product, you can easily turn it into a Press Release without much difficulty. It’s just a new marketing angle of presenting your product to the public.

The following is an example of a typical Press Release for a publishing service:

So many people are entering the mail order market these days, but so many of them are getting ripped-off by a bunch of hype. People are promised untold riches in a short period of time. The hype ads play with their emotions by making them believe it’s so easy to make money through the mail. It’s sad.

However, a new book has just been released to help solve these problems for the average person. For the first time in history – a REAL directory has been compiled listing the ACTUAL name and addresses of 179 honest and trustworthy mail order folks. People can write DIRECTLY to these people and receive FREE information to get them started in their own business now!

It’s unbelievable. Without trying to sell you anything else, you can get this book for only $4.95 – a price anyone can afford. Meet the real mail order dealers who care about their products and want to help you get started doing what they are doing.

Only available from Graphico Publishing, PO Box 488, Bluff City TN 37618.

As you can see, this is a short but sweet Press Release – however, you should be able to see the “newsworthiness” in it. Its main focus is on the fact that most people get ripped-off when they start their first mail order business. The solution to this problem is a new directory that is available for the first time in history. The “sale” is slowly led into because the reader will naturally want to get their hands on this one. It doesn’t ask for money it only tells the reader how to get a copy if they want one.

Here’s a great test for a real press release. Since your final sales pitch is included in the last paragraph – read the Press Release aloud. Would it still be worth reading WITHOUT your sales pitch? If so, it’s probably a Press Release.

Press Releases come in many forms due to the product you are writing about.

However, the basic rule of thumb still applies. If you’ve never wrote one before – it may be a little difficult. Don’t despair. Grab the latest daily newspaper and read some of their informational articles. Notice how each article is written and pattern yours after the same format. After you do a few of them – you’ll be able to “get the picture.”

When your Press Release is written to your satisfaction, the proper way to submit it to a publisher is: Be sure and type it on a typewriter or computer.  Standard format is double-spaced and not longer than two 8 1/2×11 pages. Be sure and put your name, address and page number at the top of each page.

Write the note: “For Immediate Release” at the top. If you are only sending the press release to one publication – tell them it’s a “first run.”

See you soon,

Dr. Ande,
Creator of: The 30 Hour Business Plan
Teacher of: How to Write a Book in 30 Hours
Author of, 65 Tips for Affiliate Marketing Success
Host of, Dr. Ande’s Marketing Radio & Biz Talk with Dr. Ande
Associate Editor: Writerstopia Magazine

So How Do You Write a Book Proposal Anyway?

Okay, this is one of the few times you’ll get information from me and a shameless plug for something I’m promoting in the same location, that being the space for this posting.

The simplest way to answer the above question is that you write a proposal step by step. It’s like most things, you break it down into steps and before you know it, you’ve got a finished product. This helps to keep up confidence because the steps are the goals and they mark you achievements.

For my classes, I’ve broken writing book proposals down into 10 key steps. They are pretty cut and dry on the surface and the steps are easy to follow:

  • Step One: Getting an idea for your book.
  • Step Two: Develop the idea and expanding on it.
  • Step Three: Assessing the market.
    • Who needs this book? What’s the competition for the book?
  • Step Four: Outlining your book.
  • Step Five: Researching your book proposal, and fleshing out your outline.
  • Step Six: Writing the proposal query letter.
  • Step Seven: Sending your query letters to agents and publishers.
    • You send the queries while you’re working on the proposal. This helps you to gauge reaction to your work.
  • Step Eight: Writing the proposal.
  • Step Nine: Writing the sample chapter.
  • Step Ten: Revising your proposal

See simple right? Well here’s that shameless plug I promised you, I can give you the steps but it’s the visuals that help you understand just what is expected; so I offer a couple of ways to get my “visuals”.

The first is that you can attend my class on How to Write a Book in 30 Hours where I go over all 10 steps in depth as well as help you flesh out your book. As a bonus I will also tell you the easiest way to write a best-seller and help you create a proposal. This is a webcast so all are welcome. If you cannot join the original webcast session as long as you register you will have access to the full broadcast to download.

Well that’s part of the shameless plug portion of this posting, hope you will attend the class or at least visit Writerstopia.com, the publication for self-publishing and independent authors, click on the “Writer’s Radio” tab and click on the free download link, and you’ll receive a courtesy copy of “Dr. Ande’s How to Write a Book Proposal in 7 Days.”

That’s the end of the shameless plugs for today. Thanks for reading the blog. Good luck with your writing.

See you soon,

Dr. Ande,
Creator of: The 30 Hour Business Plan

Teacher of: How to Write a Book in 30 Hours

Author of, 65 Tips for Affiliate Marketing Success
Host of, Dr. Ande’s Marketing Radio & Biz Talk with Dr. Ande
Associate Editor: Writerstopia Magazine

5 Reasons Why You Write the Book Proposal First

Let’s get this out of the way right now. All non-fiction books are sold on proposal.

Now there’s the heavy aspect of this article all cleared up. What comes next is that supporting content that all writers should have after making their initial eye catching statement. (Okay all publishers expect to read after your first eye-catching statement of fact).

There are several reasons you want to write the book proposal first.

  • Reason 1: You learn whether or not a publisher is interested in your work. If you are a mainstream writer, with millions of book sales under your belt most publishers won’t baulk at publishing your work, no matter what subject you chose. But if you are a newbie or even a published but less known author; the proposal is your best friend, if it’s well thought out and written.
  • Reason 2: You may receive an advance for writing your book. This depends on who you are the book’s subject matter. The target audience it will be marketed to and the size of the publisher who takes it on. Again, for the mainstream million copies sold writer, this is not a problem; but your proposal is your lifeline when you are less known and can make or break this decision to advance you moneys based on a book that isn’t written yet.
  • Reason 3: A book proposal is much easier to sell than a complete book. It’s easier to read a 20 or 30 page proposal than a 400 page book. Let’s face it; editors don’t have the time to read every single manuscript that land on their desk.
  • Reason 4: It’s easier to make changes in the book’s concept at the proposal stage. You may be in the ballpark with your idea but perhaps the publisher or editor want to flesh it out and take it in a new direction. Depending on the subject its timeliness might mean the publisher wants to market to a different group; or whittle your idea down to market to a single niche that’s hot at the moment and expand it later.
  • Reason 5: With a proposal, the publisher, in the person of your editor, can take ownership of the book. It’s like bespoke tailoring: the editor feels that the book has been specifically written for the publishing house.

Even if you decide to write your book first, you’ll need to create a proposal once you’ve written it. No agent or publisher is interested in reading an entire book to assess its viability. That’s the proposal’s job: to ensure that your book has a niche in the marketplace. As you do your research for the proposal, you’ll work out whether or not your book is likely to sell. You can shape the book at the proposal stage, much more easily than you can when it’s a huge stack of print or a giant computer file.

Sometimes you may get an idea for a book, but the idea is amorphous, it doesn’t have a real shape. You may want to write several thousand words to see whether the book becomes clearer in your mind. But write the proposal before you write more than ten thousand words, because your book must target a specific group of buyers.

Again if you’ve never written a book proposal for, visit Writerstopia.com, the publication for self-publishing and independent authors, click on the “Writer’s Radio” tab and click on the free download link, and you’ll receive a courtesy copy of “Dr. Ande’s How to Write a Book Proposal in 7 Days.”

See you soon,

Dr. Ande,
Creator of: The 30 Hour Business Plan

Teacher of: How to Write a Book in 30 Hours

Author of, 65 Tips for Affiliate Marketing Success
Host of, Dr. Ande’s Marketing Radio & Biz Talk with Dr. Ande
Associate Editor: Writerstopia Magazine

Sell Your Book the Easy Way

If you’ve dreamed of writing a book but weren’t sure of where to start or even if you were good enough to write a book; there’s great way to find out if you’ve got the “write stuff”. Okay all puns aside, writing a book is the easy part, the hard part is trying to sell you book. But the best part of book writing is that you don’t need to write your book before you get some money! That’s right you didn’t misread.

You can honestly get paid to write a book before it’s even written. It’s easily possible to make a fast $20,000, or more. There have been instances when authors have made seven figures — over a million dollars for only twenty pages of text.  It sounds incredible, but a fast seven figures is certainly possible if you have a HOT, hot idea or have had an experience that hundreds of thousands of people want to read about.

The magic money in question is called an advance. It’s the money a publisher will give you prior to you writing the book.

The next thing that should have come into your mind is “how do you get a publisher to do that; pay you the advance?” Well, the answer is, you write a book proposal.

This is why before you write your book (especially non-fiction books) you write a proposal.  A book proposal is the business plan for book writers. Okay that’s the simplified way to think of one, granted most business owners don’t like writing business plans but without one, you will fail in business. The same is said of book proposals. They focus you on your topic, help you formulate the most important things that a publisher wants to see – your marketing strategy and the bottom-line of how you plan to recoup the money the published is spending on you and to whom you are selling the book to.

Writing a proposal is the smart way to write a book. It’s the way professional writers sell non-fiction. Selling a book on a proposal is much easier than selling a book that you’ve already written. A book proposal is a complete description of your book. It contains the title, an explanation of what the books about, an outline of chapters, a market and competition survey, and a sample chapter. A publisher will read your proposal, assess its feasibility, cost it, and if it looks as if the publisher will make money, the publisher will pay you to write the book. When you’ve sold your proposed book to a publisher, your role doesn’t end with writing your book. You’re in partnership with your publisher to ensure the book’s success. If you do your part, both you and your publisher will make money

A book proposal functions in the same way as any business proposal does: you’re making an offer to someone you hope to do business with. It will be treated by publishers in the same way that any business investor or financial institution treats a business plan or business proposal.  The proposal is the roadmap that helps you to not only sell your book; it helps you write your book. So before you sit down and pen one thing, sit down and create your book proposal.

If you’ve never written a book proposal for, visit Writerstopia.com, the publication for self-publishing and independent authors, click on the “Writer’s Radio” tab and click on the free download link, and you’ll receive a courtesy copy of “Dr. Ande’s How to Write a Book Proposal in 7 Days.”

Dr. Ande,
Creator of: The 30 Hour Business Plan
Author of, 65 Tips for Affiliate Marketing Success
Host of, Dr. Ande’s Marketing Radio & Biz Talk with Dr. Ande
Associate Editor: Writerstopia Magazine

Share Information and Increase Your Income: Start an eBook Writing Business

$100 Laptop prototype

Image via Wikipedia

If you are a savvy writer with great English grammar skills, you should consider writing eBooks.  It pays very well and you can do it in the comfort of your own home.  It is very simple to write up an eBook.  All you need to do is have Microsoft word and the internet.  Do some research first on the topic.  Know everything you can know about it, read up on it and save some quotes in your favorites area.  You may want to stop by the local library to pick up some books on the topic too.  That will help you when writing up your eBook.  EBooks should be between 50 – 75 pages depending on the topic and what the assignment is.  After you have thoroughly researched your topic and you know a lot about it you want to create a table of contents.  You want the chapters to flow freely from one thought to the other.  Make sure you cover as much as you can about the topic and title each chapter, writing a few notes about what you want to write about which you will delete later.

The next step would be just to get started on it!  Start writing creatively, from your heart, not just spitting out facts on a paper.  People are reading your eBook because they do not want to read and search for information located everywhere about a specific topic.  They want a concise, easy to read; interesting eBook they can print out and curl on the couch with.  It goes without saying that no one should ever plagiarize; not only is it unlawful, it is disrespectful.

Always spell check and edit your work by reading it when you have finished.  Polish it off by organizing each chapter into an eBook.  Come up with a savvy title that catches the audience.  If you really enjoy this line of business, you could do this full-time and quit your day job.

Dr. Ande,
Creator of: The 30 Hour Business Plan
Author of, 65 Tips for Affiliate Marketing Success
Host of, Dr. Ande’s Marketing Radio & Biz Talk with Dr. Ande
Associate Editor: Writerstopia Magazine

How to Find Web Writing Jobs

If you’ve decided that working as a WAHM writer is the best work at home job opportunity for you, then you’ll need to figure out how to get writing assignments. Fortunately, when you work as a web writer there is no shortage of job opportunities. It all depends on where you look and how much research you are willing to do.

Web writing can break down into several different categories. Before you begin looking for work, you’ll have to decide whether or not you want to get credit for your writing. If you insist on byline, you may have difficulty finding a lot of paying jobs. Byline jobs are out there if you look. However, the most money to be made is from working as a web ghostwriter.

Many WAHMs find success with ghostwriting. When you work as a freelance ghostwriter you provide writing services for clients who will then use the work as their own. Ghostwriting as a WAHM is a lucrative opportunity, especially when you focus on web writing. For the most part, the Internet is a text and image based platform. Companies and individuals who run websites constantly need text to make their websites attractive to visitors. Since writing is something that a lot of people would rather not do, this leaves plenty of opportunities for people who love to write.

Web writing WAHM need only an Internet connection, e-mail address and word processing program to get started. Your own website is not necessary, but it adds a touch of professionalism to your writing business. However, when you are first starting out you can get plenty of work without having a website.

There are several different categories of web writing. When you see the term “content writing” you will normally be providing text for an existing or new website. Your writing will have to be engaging and clear for website visitors. Article writers concentrate on providing articles for websites, newsletters and blogs. Generally, articles for the web are between 400 and 800 words each. Any more than that is difficult for readers to sit through while looking at a computer screen. Copywriters are challenged with putting readers in the mood to buy. They write copy for Internet sales letters and marketing sites. Ebook ghostwriters provide clients with full-length books on a variety of topics.

WAHMs who write need to be professional in their online presence. This means spell-checking all writing, including e-mails to clients. It is also a good idea to get an e-mail address that is specifically used for your writing. A personal e-mail address with a goofy handle will make you seem unprofessional. Your first and last name or a combination thereof is a good choice for your web writing e-mail address.

Writing for the Internet has a few differences from writing essays in school or writing for print magazines. Readers online have short attention spans, and you’ll need to keep your sentences short and your paragraphs clear.

The other difference is the use of “keywords” in certain writing assignments. Keywords are words that have been selected by your client to be used in the article. These words have been selected because they are Internet search terms and your client wants their website to show up for those search terms. Keyword articles will need you to use the word or phrase a specific number of times in the article. Sometimes it can be difficult to use the words without making it sound forced. Experienced web writers have developed ways to make the keywords flow naturally into their articles.

Once you’ve gotten a few web writing assignments under your belt, you can decide what type of web writing suits you best. You can find work on writing message boards, freelance writing job sites and classified ad sites like Craigslist. Whenever you apply for a job, make sure to include your contact information and a few well-selected writing samples.

Happy Holidays

Dr. Ande,
Host of Writers’ Radio & Writerstopia Presents IVA Writes Now eRadio
Associate editor of Writerstopia Magazine for Self-Published Authors & Independent Publishers
Contributing writer for CENTRE Digest the Publication for Consultants & Entrepreneurs
Owner of Dr. Ande Online Ltd.
Producer of Dr. Ande Radio