Free press release services are a good place to start. Having a "professional" write your press release can cost you over a hundred dollars, so therein lies a motivation to write your own.
Type in “How to Write a Press Release” in your search engine, and you’ll find dozens of articles full of samples and tips. That being the case, I am not going to repeat how to write a press release.
However, if you’re looking for a place to get started, I’d like to recommend an article I found helpful when writing my first press release. In her post on The Writer’s Edge blog called “The Nuts and Bolts of Writing a Press Release,” Paula Margulies outlines key points for writing a good press release for your book.
To summarize, your press release should contain the following:
1. First line: Your press release should begin with the words “For Immediate Release,” followed by the full date (month, day, year).
2. Headline: Think of the headline as the title of your press release. It should state in as few words as possible what is most interesting or exciting about your book.
3. First Paragraph: Begin with the city and state where the content of your release is taking place, followed by the author's name, "hook" for your book and ISBN. Use active voice, and answer the 5 W’s. In short, give people a reason to want to keep reading.
4. Informational paragraph: Provide a general summary and setting for your book.
5. Quote (optional)
6. Brief biography
There are dozens of free distribution sites available, but the one I’ve found easy to use is Free-Press-Release.com.
You simply have to create a user name and password to set up your account and opt for the “free” service. (Of course, you can upgrade for a fee.) Once you have submitted your press release, it is easy and painless to edit it and view the number of hits.
So far, I’ve used this service to submit two press releases on my book Wings of the Dawn, Book 1. If you’re looking for some press release samples, you might be interested in these two:
1. Kristen Hogrefe Combines Adventure with a Story of Faith and Decision in Wings of the Dawn, Book 1: Captive Beneath the Bahamian Sky
2. Fiction for the Whole Family: Wings of the Dawn, Book 1: Captive Beneath the Bahamian Sky by Kristen Hogrefe
If you are willing to invest some time and thought, you'll be able to write your own press release and use services like Free-Press-Release.com to self-promote your book without spending a dime.