It is a truth universally acknowledged that a proud indie author about to publish a masterpiece must be in want of getting the word out there. Publicity is necessary, or where would you find your readers?
As you write, you can bore your potential audience rigid by talking about your book on social media or by blogging about it (as I do, but one word of warning: if you market through Twitter don’t do it when there’s a football match on or you’ll be tweeting to yourself!). Then, when your book is finished, edited, published and ready to sell, you can think about publishing your press release – or even better, getting the press release out before you publish. A press release is not only necessary, it’s mandatory! An online press release on a site gives you free publicity and you never know where it could lead.
Most authors, musicians and other artists want to find free press release sites. Why pay for it when you can get it for free? The problem is, I’ve noticed over the years that it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to find mainly free sites, especially in the UK; however, there are a few I’ve used that remain free for basic news items, but which do charge for premium ads that can be distributed in the media more widely, so these are also worth considering if you can afford it. Releases are often subject to approval before publication and some sites limit word count and the number of days they will keep a release. The down side for authors is that most of their releases can be lost in the Arts and Entertainment sections; not many have dedicated Book categories, but on the plus side many sites are now tweeting releases and sharing on Facebook, offer global media distribution and your release will almost always show up on the front page for a time.
So here are my ten of the best free press release sites:
Briefingwire – searchable with immediate publication
eNewsWire UK – starts with a note of advice about submitting a press release already submitted through other channels. Searchable via a monthly archive
Free Press Release Center – Covers a comprehensive list of topics
FreePRNow – simply laid out; account required, but completely free
NewsSides – US and Canada distribution only
OnlinePRNews – free and paid; releases are live for 90 days
Press Release Place – looks great on the face of it, but for authors and other artists there are no specific sections and there doesn’t appear to be a way to search for a release
Pressbox – simply laid out; this site doesn’t require an account to submit a release, but once submitted you can’t edit
PR Fire – a searchable free press release service covering a wide range of topics; prfire.com is the paid service
PRLog – nicely designed site with a search engine optimised web page
Read my press release for Big Brother published on Free Press Release Center.