I was asked to give some information about a press kit/media kit. A press kit or media kit (same thing) is one of the most vital items an author must have online (and optionally in hard copy). The press kit is an introduction of you and your work to the media. The main purpose of the press kit for authors is to introduce the media to your work and to gain viable attention for your new release.
It contains all the information in one place that a media representative will need when preparing an interview or writing a story. A full media kit will include at least:
1. An author bio: In the bio for the media kit, you want to clearly state something about the author’s background and accomplishments that is relevant for this book and its readers (about 100 to 500 words).There are two common mistakes in writing an author bio for a Web site or a media kit. The first is saying too much, and the second is saying too little.
2. Author photo(s): Professional pictures not a picture you took of yourself in the bathroom with your camera phone. Make sure the picture you include in your kit is a professional business picture. It’s useful to make available several different headshots and other photos for journalists. Be sure the photographer supplies you with a high-resolution JPG file of all photos (at least 300 DPI) that will be adequate for all print uses.
3. Book cover photo: The book cover speaks volumes for your book and you. Most people decide to read a book based on the cover so please please please use a graphic artist to design your book cover. The media will know if your book cover is home grown/made.
4. Fact sheet on book include: a. the book title b. author c. publication date d. ISBN e. number of pages f. retail availability g. testimonials
5. Press release(s): A press release should be short—a page or two at most, with a provocative headline that grabs the reader’s attention. In press releases, include a quote from the author, and testimonials about the author when possible. Always include a brief author bio and all the relevant book information and ordering information, such as the ISBN, publication date, publisher, web site and contact information. It’s important to optimize key words in your press release. Any words that the media might search on to find your subject should be repeated as often as possible in the release.
6. Three major message points in the book
7. At least ten questions the author is prepared to answer in an interview (with the answers)
8. Clippings from previous media interviews, audio, video, and articles. If you do not have any of the items listed in #8, you need to get busy. Interviews are easy….research those that has their own magazine, TV, or radio show. Send them a plug about you and your book and ask for the interview. If it’s a printed interview, copy the interview and place on your website. If it’s an audio, download the mp3 onto your website. There are so many blog talk radio shows that there is no excuse today not to have an interview or some recording of you talking about your latest and greatest writing. (Check this site, I requested guests to be on my show).
Also, you should be writing articles. This is the fastest way to gain creditability. There are so many sites that are looking for guests writers, research them and write an article. Then place this article on your site.
These items should be made available online via your website. Your press kit should be in PDF format, except your picture, and you can make different links for each item and also have a complete press kit link on your site.
Make sure you have a hardcopy of your press kit available as well. The press kit should be in an attractive folder with your book cover on the outside. This is the most inexpensive thing you can do to get your press kit in the hands of the media. Buy school folders from Wal-Mart, Kmart, or Target. Purchase the folders without the prongs. It would be good to purchase folders that are the colors of your brand (more about branding in another post) and place a picture of your book cover on the outside of the folder. Include everything we listed above including your business card.
Plan to make this media kit available before publication. The media won’t wait until you’ve had a chance to put this together, so if it isn’t completed beforehand, they will go to the next story. If you need any assistance writing and constructing your press kit, contact me at CMB Virtual Assistants and I would be glad to help. We offer this service at a reasonable price.