Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Another Sample Press Release

As promised, here is the press release that several local newspapers used as is for a little story about my book launch last year. With the release, I included a head shot, picture of my book cover, and a one-page sheet with more details about the book, a few review snippets, and a longer bio.

At the top of the release I had the contact information as well as: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. That was flush left on the page under the letterhead. For this release I used the art center letterhead, but for other releases I use my own.

It is important to give your release a title that the newspaper can use as a headline:


Winnsboro, TX – (July - 2008) On Saturday, July 26th at 2:00pm, the Trails Country Centre For the Arts (TCCA) in Winnsboro will host the official book launch of Maryann Miller’s latest book, and 20% of sales that day will be donated to the Centre. Miller, who lives just north of town, has been a long-time supporter of TCCA and is pleased that the event will be held there. “I saw the first production of one of my plays there, so it is especially significant to have the first signing of my latest book there, as well.”

Miller’s book, One Small Victory, was just released in hardcover from Five Star/Gale/Cengage. The story centers on a woman who infiltrates a drug ring and helps bring down the main distributor in her small Texas town.

“This is a fictionalized true story that I found captivating when I read the small news item a number of years ago,” Miller says. “The difficulties this woman faced came from the dangers of the work she was involved in, as well as the problems it caused because she couldn’t tell anyone what she was doing. I thought it was particularly courageous of her to channel her grief over losing her son into being so proactive about the drug problems in her town. So often we talk about the problems around us, but how many have the guts to step out and do something?”

Miller has been a volunteer at TCCA for six years, served on the Board for three years, and was President for a year and a half. The center has always been a place that supports all forms of artistic expression, and that is another reason Miller is thrilled to have the signing event there, as well as donate part of the proceeds.

“As far as I know there is not another arts organization in this area of East Texas that promotes visual, performance, and literary arts,” she says. “And I am happy to give part of my proceeds to help keep the doors of such an important community resource open.”

The author is available to speak at civic and community organizations’ meetings. She can be contacted via her Web site at, or by phone: 903-365-7585

About Maryann Miller

A diverse writer of columns, feature stories, short fiction, novels, screenplays and stage plays, Maryann Miller has won numerous awards including being a semi-finalist at the Sundance Institute for her screenplay, "A Question of Honor". Publishing credits include work for regional and national newspapers and magazines: She has published nine non-fiction books for teens, including the award-winning Coping With Weapons And Violence: In Your School and on Your Streets released by The Rosen Publishing Group in New York. She is currently the Managing Editor and writer for an online community magazine,, and does book reviews for ForeWord Magazine and


That is the end of the press release. It is important to include the "About" section, as reporters will often pull from that to do their lead for the story.


Visit Maryann's Web site for information about her books and her editing services. If you have a good book, she can help you make it better. When she is not working, Maryann loves to play "farmer" on her little ranch in the beautiful Piney Woods of East Texas.

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  1. Yes, it's been my experience that journalists will often pull good "sound bites" from your own press release to slam together an article. Those quotations you made are especially helpful. Essentially, you write your own article, and this is a good thing because it gives you tremendous control. It also makes you noticed the next time around because the reporter will remember how you made their job easier.;)

    Good series this week!


  2. Thanks Dani. As managing editor of a small publication, I know I appreciate getting releases that are essentially the story. Make it easy for me and I will more than likely run your promo piece. Make me work for it and no go.

  3. I always learn so much from this blog! Thanks for sharing all of this information :)

  4. Thanks again. This information is invaluable. I'll keep hoping to use it one day.

  5. Thanks for sharing your press release sample. It helps to have a sample to look at.

    Straight From Hel

  6. I want to thank Sunny Frazier for sharing her expertise and experience as a journalist and a PR rep. It was a post she made to a marketing group that started this series on press releases. I am really glad that so many visitors have found it helpful.

  7. Great example. Thanks for sharing it.

  8. Great example, thanks for sharing. But what if there was no book launch but just a book release? What sort of angle can attract local newspapers' interest?

    Steamy Darcy

  9. Enid, most of the time newspapers won't do a story on just the release of a new book. There are hundreds of releases almost daily so that is not news. What you have to do is come up with some topic within your book that is newsworthy and try to connect it to something local. For instance, my book deals with drugs in rural areas, so later releases I did for signing events included something about the drug problems and mentioned local groups combating the problem.

    Another "angle" is to donate part of your proceeds to some charity. For every event I do, I donate part of my proceeds to a local woman's rehab center. The press, especially small town press, will generally run something that is charitable in nature.

  10. This is a good example for those of us who write our own press releases to follow! They can be tricky for folks like me. I appreciate all the help I can get!

  11. Thank you Dani for sharing this information :) The information is indeed valuable.

    Keep up the good work.


The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice.