Hold the Presses

No, really.  Could you just hold them for a bit?  At least until I figure out how to write a press release.  It’s harder than it looks.

I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m not too great with publicity.  I don’t have a magical, magnetic, sparkling personality that people flock to without effort.  I keep to myself, assume that my work or accomplishments will stand on their own merits, and kind of just hope that someday, with very little effort on my part, a parade of celebrities will knock on my door and vow to endorse me for the rest of time.

And honestly, I’m as puzzled as you are as to why this hasn’t happened yet.  My annoying neighbors leave the interior doors unlocked sometimes – it’s not like they couldn’t just walk in (but please don’t freak me out by doing this).

Throughout this process, I’ve slowly started to come to a better understanding of marketing.  Mostly I’ve learned how difficult it is, and that I’m rubbish at it.  You tend to think of PR people as all flashy, smarmy, shallow, insincere, Armani suits looking to screw you out of your hard-earned money, but (wait for the “but”, PR people) the thing is, they’re not.  Well, not all of them.  They just have that kind of intelligence that allows them to operate on a people-friendly, and it’s one that I lack.  It’s valuable, and it shouldn’t be discounted by us introverted, friendless, chocolate-munching, tea-drinking, hair-pulling, shriveled and sunless creative types, to whom it is often a mystery.

Introverts can be powerful people, of course, and I don’t think that needing quiet or space represents a character flaw, as many extroverts tend to.  But waiting around awkwardly in the corner, hoping someone might come over to say hello is counterproductive when you’re trying to get your name out there.   So we need them, probably more than they need us.

And I’ve always admired extroverts.  They make it seem so easy.  I’m sure someone’s done this already, but I’d love to see some sort of chart comparing introvert/extrovert authors with their writing style and characters.  Do extroverted authors tend towards action or thriller plots?  Are introverts more natural writers, because they’re more used to living in make-believe land in their own head?  I don’t know.  My main characters tend to be contemplative, cautious, and slower to action, because that’s how I think.  The ones who aren’t, even though I like them, tend to get themselves into trouble and screw everything up for everyone else because they didn’t plan ahead.  Gee, I wonder if that’s telling about my personal history, or something.

Anyway.  I looked at a bunch of examples and came up with something resembling a passable article to send to newspapers and such.  I’m not sure why I’m being hesitant about sharing it, considering it is, after all, a press release.  You can read it here.

What do you think?  Decent?  Horrible?  Too long?  Too short?  I don’t know.  It’s a different kind of writing, and one I haven’t spent much time trying to learn.  It always sounds so fake and annoying when I try, probably because I don’t typically like reading what is basically a commercial.  I’d be very happy to take suggestions and tips from people who have more experience than I do.  I only imagine releasing it to a couple of local papers and websites, nothing major.

Also, a big thanks to everyone who grabbed a copy of TLDTC on Monday.  Please let me know what you think, either on Amazon, on here, on Facebook, by carrier pigeon, semaphore – anything.

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6 thoughts on “Hold the Presses

  1. I like your press release, Jen (check paragraph 3 – you have “word” instead of “world”). I intend to let you know about the book as soon as I have a chance to read it; it looks exciting, and if I like it I’ll review it on my own blog. I have no experience writing press releases, but I do have a couple of generic thoughts that could help with this sort of this. The first is (and this is hard) to completely disassociate yourself from your book. Find books by other authors, be they famous or unknown, and review them, even for yourself. Write the blurb for the back cover. Write a press release for each of them. Once you’ve had the experience of writing this material for other people’s work, turn your attention back to your own – you may find it a lot easier.

    Let me know if you’d like me to provide specific feedback on your press release; I can’t comment as an expert, but my job requires me to know how to deliver constructive feedback, so I could certainly let you know in more detail.

    And by the way – congratulations!

    • Oh dear, how embarrassing – thanks for the typo alert. That’s a good idea, except that I don’t think I’d be able to wrap my brain around trying to do something for someone else’s work that I’m not comfortable doing for my own, even if it’s just an exercise. But I’ll give it a try and see how it goes.

  2. Okay, here’s my 2 cents….

    You have no reason to say this is your first novel. “…has just released an epic fantasy novel….” might be better. You don’t want to sound at all apologetic.

    Second, try to go with the active voice. “The popularity of Fantasy grows every year…”, or something like that, is a little more striking.

    Third, brevity has impact – especially when the reader is not settling down for a read! “…a world that has been consumed in bitter civil war…” might have more impact without the “for seven hundred years”. Little things like that.

    But what do I know? Best of luck to you!

    • Thanks for the input! I actually scrapped this version a while ago, now that I know more about the business and what a press release should be.

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