You've created your very professional press release now. What should you do next? Yes you need to contact the local press. However, don't just send the press release to everyone you can think of. They get hundreds of these a day. A phone call or a personalised e-mail works better.
Build yourself a database
Keep a list of any contacts you've found and of which information was sent where. Build up your personal contacts within the media. Look out for networking opportunities. Read your local press and note which other authors they feature. Look for a by-line on the feature to find the name of the journalist. Consider pooling information with other writers you know.
You may be more successful starting off small. Is there a local online publication or even a blog? Sometimes such publications welcome you writing your own copy. If you do it really well you may even be asked to contribute regularly. Take care that that is what you really want, though, and that it doesn't take up too much of your writing time.
Your unique selling point
Journalists always want a human story. What is special about you that can also be related to your book? It may be there in your press release but you should emphasize this when you approach the press.
Back to the all-important press release
Yes it is still important to have this as polished and as professionally presented as possible. As soon as one of your contacts bites, you need to be able to give them all of the information they need in a form they will recognise.