So, you've finished your novel, comic, film, whatever that's wonderful. What needs to happen next is to let people know about it. Sending out a press release is the next step. Yes, you can spread the word via Facebook and Twitter. But to reach those who aren't jacked in to social media, you'll need a traditional press release.
The great thing about press releases in the internet age is the potential reach your release can achieve. How far your release can go and who it will reach depends on how you distribute it. Now if you go it alone and effectively toss it to the wind in the hopes it will reach your audience, good luck with that. If you don't have your own publicist on staff, then you need to get access to someone who is experienced in writing press releases to at minimum edit your release if they don't write it themselves. Take their critiques of what you've written seriously and follow up on their suggestions>
Once you've got the release crafted for release, then you need to pick a press release service. There are many, many firms out there but the two I've used consistently with good penetration are PRWEB and Black PR. Now recognize when you use a service, you're going to have to pay them. They aren't going to write your release for you (and you don't want them to), but they'll make sure it's put into play to a degree you couldn't hope to achieve on your own. Now, the good news is; it's not terribly expensive for a basic release. Bad news; the deeper and larger penetration you want, the more it's going to cost. Still though it's not terribly expensive unless you're planning sustained penetration.
Bottom line: you want people to know about your work's availability? A press release must be part of your arsenal to get the word out.
I just rewrote the release for the second installation of the Darkside Trilogy for sending out locally here in Chicago and handing out at random; I always have fifty or so in my bag when I'm out and about.
As a stand-alone piece it seems to work well, and sending it out via email (etc) as a PDF ensures that the formatting I put together remains intact. I was also advised that any release be kept down to one page where possible, mine is printed on both sides of the paper.
I would be interested in hearing other opinions of the release I have attached...