Ever thought about building your own media contact list? The idea can be overwhelming but your efforts can made a difference. Start with where you live. Make a list of every magazine, radio station, local internet and cable show around. Where do you get your local news? Now, try to find the contact person for each item on your list. Confirm the information you find. Remove those who ask not to be contacted again (that's only polite). Tackle one resource a day. It takes time, but the end result--your own media list to contact for events and news--will be worth it.
Opportunities will find you. Bloggers will invite you to guest post, conferences will ask you to moderate panels, volunteer organizations will encourage you to join the board. Say yes. Every little thing builds your reputation and helps you in the long run.
If you are a published author, or if you're planning to have a book out in the next year, you should ask yourself this question every day. Yep, every day, you should do something to let people know about your book, because you do not know which one of those contacts is going to mean something. You also need to brainstorm often because we all tend to shy away from the crazy ideas, but it's only after we've exhausted the usual ones that our brains are warmed up and we start seeing things that are outside of the box.
Every day: what have I done for my book today?
Keep your press release to one page. Include the following elements:
Press releases should be sent when you have something important to say. What's the story behind the story? Not "New Book," but rather "Former Designer Publishes Children's Book," or "Former Fashion Buyer Publishes Tenth Book." Identify the story behind the story to entice the media.