Posted by: nancycurteman | April 29, 2012

How to write a Press Release for Your Mystery Novel

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After you’ve spent time and effort to write an excellent mystery novel your work doesn’t end. It changes. Now you must begin the difficult task of marketing your book.  A press release is an important part of your marketing effort. You will send it to local newspapers and radio stations. Here is what you should include in your press release.

• Open your press release with a brief list of basic details: John Smith announces the release of his new novel, “Murder in Silence” on April 4, 2012 available on in both print and ebook formats.

• Provide a brief summary of your story in the second paragraph. Remember, brief means brief: “Murder in Silence” is the story of a deaf woman who ends up a witness to murder. She now must catch the killer before the killer catches her.

• State why you think this book is worth reading: The novel highlights the struggles faced by a deaf woman in achieving a profession and a successful, independent life. This book will provide the reader with insight and understanding of the challenges of the hearing impaired.

• If possible, include a couple of one-sentence rave reviews about you and your book.

• Last, provide the name of the publisher, ISBN and the price of the book.

Tuck a picture of your book cover and a 5×7 photo of yourself in the envelope with the press release along with a short bio page.

That’s it. Now all you have to do is mail or drop it off at the newspaper office and watch your book sales soar.

More Marketing Tips:

14 Suggestions for Creating a Marketing Plan

How to Create an Author’s Platform

How to Create a Press Kit



  1. Rather than just sending the release to the newspaper, I’d try to target a specific editor if possible. Check the staff box. With weeklies, I’d try the editor. Smaller papers might be more interested in doing a feature story if there’s an interesting local angle. I just read one about an 86-year-old man who is re-inventing himself as a novelist. With larger papers, look for the book editor. If it’s a hometown paper, I’d send a copy of the book. Is there a local TV station? Add it to the list. You never know.


    • Art, Great suggestions. Sending to an editor is an excellent idea. I know you were a journalist, so here are a few questions: How do you find out if a newspaper would be willing to do a feature story? Could you drop your press release with a book at a local newspaper office? If so, to whom would you drop it? The editor?
      At 86 re-inventing oneself is admirable but definitely doable these days. Thanks for the comment.


  2. Great tips, NC!


  3. Pretty powerful stuff going on for Lysi as she approaches Rowdley Road in your Murder Down Under mystery novel. Good show! I will have to stay away from that little section of town next time I’m wandering around Sidney at night.


    • Hey Richard, Thanks for reading my novel. I had so much fun writing it. Now I’m in the middle of my next novel set in Cape Town, South Africa.


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