Writing a book is just the beginning. Having written it, you need people to buy and read it, and that means creating a marketing strategy. A super important part of the advertising jigsaw is your author press kit. You can keep it to hand for when you talk to reviewers or journalists, or you can make it available on your author website.
Don’t have one yet or don’t know what should be in it? Don’t worry, it is pretty straightforward!
An author press kit (also known as a book media kit when it’s for a single book) is a one- or two-page sheet with all the information a member of the media may need. Below, you’ll find a list of what they typically include – you can also use all these points as a template to follow for your own author press kit.
1. Contact Information
Okay, so this is a no-brainer but make sure it is clear and up-to-date.
Make sure this is all relevant information. Don’t provide a link to your personal Facebook page if all that contains is pictures of your pets and kids. Whether you’ve published one book or dozens, always project professionalism.
This should be direct and concise, but it is a chance for you to present yourself as you would like to be known. You’re looking for around 150 words that tell your story and your life as a writer. Look at it as a writing exercise. To produce an interesting resume in 150 words is something of an art. Don’t forget to make it pertinent to your book in some way. You can also use one that is similar/the same as the one on your Author Central account.
3. Interview sheet
The trick behind a good interview is to have it mapped out beforehand. Journalists are busy people and may not even spare the time to actually read your book. Help them out. Provide a series of questions together with sample answers that will give them topics to cover in an interview and a good idea of what your book is about. You know the sort of thing: why you became a writer, who are your influences, how you write, what you are working on now.
Hardly anyone likes having their picture taken but make sure your pictures are high quality. This is a very visual age; people will want to know what you look like. Provide a small selection of downloadable jpegs in both hi and low-res versions. It may be worth paying a pro to make certain the images show the real you.
5. Title page and book details
Covers are so vital in today’s book market and generally genre-specific. The one in your press kit needs to be large enough so that all the words are legible and have all the book’s details listed below it:
6. Book excerpt
You just want to give a flavor of your book’s style and content, so include the first few pages or opening chapter. You want just enough to pique their interest, and that’s usually part of the purpose of the beginning of any book, to hook the reader and make them want to read on.
7. Media reviews
As your book(s) get reviewed, include favorable ones in your press kit. They show that your work is being taken seriously and selling well. Journalists and reviewers will take notice of other media coverage and may even be guided by previous interviews. This is marketing, after all. The more exposure your book gets, the wider your readership will be.
That’s your free press kit template in seven easy steps! Not that hard, is it? It should only take you a few hours to complete, but a good press kit will play a big role in getting your book talked about and read. And that’s what it’s all about: Having done the hard work of writing it and publishing it, you want people to read and enjoy it!