Using Press Releases to Promote Your eBooks

When you are an eBook author, there is no book publisher publicity department to handle this promotional effort for you. You have two options: handle your own press releases, or have professionals do it for you. If you choose the latter, be sure to shop around for a good publicity service that meets your needs, but is eminently affordable. Unless one or more of your books go viral, you may wind up losing a lot of money on the deal.

If, however, you, a member of your family, or a good friend are ready, willing and blessed with the experience, knowledge and skills necessary to write and circulate press releases to the right markets, you have a definite head start on the task. Since you know your book better than any publisher’s publicist, you may also may be able better to publicize your books effectively.

As part of my e-mail campaign to publicize my first-published eBook, I created a list of editors of 131 Catholic newspapers, local diocesan and independent national editions, to reach the millions of American Catholics who subscribed to their print or online editions. Each editor received an attached copy of a single-page press release and a thumbnail of a color image of the book’s front cover.

I wrote twelve versions of the press release: eleven for those dioceses, where I had lived and one generic version for all those places where I had not lived. In the first eleven, I mentioned the specific parishes in which we had been members and the Catholic elementary and/or high schools, in which I or our children had gone to school. In the generic version, I eliminated that paragraph.

Below is a copy of the generic version:


New eBook Urges Catholics to Help Jesus’ Less Fortunate

For Immediate Release:

INNSBROOK, MO — These times of disastrous economic conditions and events spawned by global geological and climactic changes call for more Catholics to do something for those unfortunate ones who suffer most their consequences.

So says John O’Neill, who has published his first eBook, Jesus’ Six Keys to a More Perfect You. In the book, he classifies Jesus’ instructions to His disciples into six keys designed to transform ordinary Catholics into extraordinary people, dedicated to imitating Christ by serving others, especially the poor and suffering, whom Jesus called His “least ones”. The book also suggests practical ways in which the reader can do these corporal and spiritual works of mercy through various charitable organizations in his or her community.

The electronic book is available on (Kindle), Barnes and Noble (Nook) and, publishers and distributors of eBooks in all formats. “I chose these three publishers for their retailing success,” said Mr. O’Neill, “and for their ability to format and download books for PC and Mac computers and Kindle, Kobo, Nook and Sony eReaders, as well as on such mobile devices as Blackberry, iPad, Android, iPod touch and netbook, a valuable aid in spreading Jesus’ teachings to the large market of Millennial and Post-Vatican II generations of Catholics nationwide.”

John, a seminary-educated Catholic layman, with a degree in Thomistic philosophy and a year of post-graduate theological studies at Catholic University of America, continues to write manuscripts which he hopes will become future eBooks in the Catholic religion and spirituality or self-help genres.

Copies for sale at $4.99; you can find a free preview sample of Jesus’ Six Keys to a More Perfect You,  at the publishers’ websites listed below: [Search on title name] [Search on title name] [Search on John O’Neill]

For more information or for a book review copy:

Contact John O’Neill at, or by phone at 636-295-0449 or 636-745-7861.



The E-Mail Campaign for an eBook

One of the best publicity resources for any author’s book marketing campaign is his/her email address book. Currently, I maintain a gmail address book of more than 270 names, grouped into fifteen different categories, including immediate and extended family members, Catholic magazine editors, Catholic newspaper editors, friends and acquaintances at our church, friends and neighbors within our community, friends in former parishes and communities, previous eBook buyers, etc. These categories enable me to segment my list in order to tailor my e-mail message according to our particular releationship or their particular function (e.g., as editors of or bloggers in Catholic media or reviewers of Catholic books).

The specific type of eBook genre that I write (Catholic/Christian religious books) dictates the make-up of my target market segment. If I later switch to writing in another genre, I’ll have to gather and add new e-mail address groups related to that particular genre interest.

An important promotional tool of each e-mail message in each campaign is the author’s unique signature, which includes my name, my occupation (eBook author/publisher) and the links to my various e-Book pages and my pertinent blogs. Here is an example:

John O’Neill
eBook Author/Publisher

My Author/Book Pages

My Blog:

REMEMBER: your email message to any of your groups should always be a soft-sell invitation to read, review or publicize your eBook. No hard-sell. No unwanted spam.

Obviously, I’ve included examples taken from my personal experiences in my particular genre market. Based on the types of eBooks that you are, or will be, writing, your market segments might be altogether different. If so, be sure that you have researched your book market thoroughly, and have built your e-mail address book accordingly.

Know the print and online media in your target market. Research the influential newspapers, magazines, blogs, websites and social media reaching your target readership. Categorize them into groups within your e-mail address book. Then, as you publish each new eBook invite them to read and review your book.

In the case of potential book reviewers, offer them a free review copy of your book. If you publish on (Kindle) and (Nook), they will permit you to lend potential reviewers a copy of your eBook for a 14-day period. has a coupon program, which enables you to send to selected reviewers a coupon code that will allow them to acquire a review copy of your book at no cost.

The object of all publicity and promotion is to get people to seek more information about each of your eBooks so that they’ll want to buy, read and/or review them and recommend them to others.

Your e-mail address book and e-mail signature can be very valuable tools for achieving those goals.

Looking for Unbiased Book Reviewers

I am looking for unbiased book reviewers to publish their honest opinion of one or both of my two eBooks published in January and April of this year. If you are interested, I am enclosing below a free coupon code to be redeemed for one or both of my books on the Smashwords eBook sites hyperlinked below.

My eBook pages on are:

For Jesus’ Six Keys to a More Perfect You:

At the end of the order cycle, enter your free coupon code code: BL99U


Book Contents Description:

Jesus’ Six Keys to a More Perfect You presents Jesus’ teachings on the six keys to living an active, relational spirituality through merciful service to needy others in this time and place. Each key demonstrates how to transform yourself, step-by-step, into the effective agent for positive change in this world that your Creator designed you to be.

Developed and taught by the greatest authority on positive world-change, Jesus’ Way will inspire you, as it has inspired untold billions over the past twenty centuries, to grow in Christ-likeness for the betterment of humankind and the extension of His Father’s kingdom on earth.

Additional features of this book include practical ways in which you can serve the less fortunate right in your own community, contact information for specific charitable organizations and suggestions about further readings on these six keys to your own spiritual perfection.

For A Sign Contradicted: Essays on the Life of Christ:

At the end of the order cycle, enter your free coupon code: JH83G

Book Contents Description:

The whole point of this collection of twenty-two essays on the life of Jesus is to give the reader more information, not mentioned in the four gospels so that you might more readily experience, in your readings and reflections on these events, something of what others who were actually there with Jesus saw, heard and felt during each event. I use information from historical, archeological, medical and theological sources to “flesh out” these narratives, hoping to recapture a sense of being there with Jesus as He ministered to the people in first-century Palestine, accomplishing, through the horrors of His suffering and death, infinite expiation to His Father for our sins.

I’ve arranged the essays into four parts. The two essays of the first part depict the period from Jesus’ miraculous conception in His mother’s womb, through the joyful and perilous circumstances of His’ birth, early infancy and pre-adolescent life.

The twelve essays of the second part take us on six jouneys with Jesus though many of the significant events of His three-year public ministry throughout all of Palestine. Each essay strives to add all the more realism to the story by including details not contained in the gospels narratives, but literally were unearthed in later centuries.

The five essays in the powerful third part trace the horrors inflicted on Jesus during the solemn three days of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday: His Last Seder; His agony, betrayal and arrest in the garden of Gethsemane; His late-night trial before the Sanhedrin and subsequent beatings by the palace guards; His trial and sentencing by Pilate; His even crueler torture at the hands of Pilate’s Roman guards before carrying His crossbeam to the summit of Golgotha; His extremely cruel crucifixion and excruciating death; and, finally, the hasty interment of His body in a nearby tomb.

The fourth and final part concludes Jesus’ gospel story with three essays, which give a fuller explanation of the evangelists’ sketchy accounts about His resurrection, His post-resurrection appearances to His disciples, and His ascension to His Father.

If you have any problems acquiring these coupons, please call me at 636-745-7861.

Thank you for your consideration,

John O’Neill

eBook Author/Publisher