Monday, June 11, 2012

Assembling a Media Kit

One of the things you need to market your book, in addition to a web site and a book trailer, is a media kit.  The purpose of the kit is to help members of the media learn about your book so they can report on it, which helps you get the word out.  Unlike the web site and the book trailer that showcase your book, the media kit is more about you and what you are offering.

Since every writer and novel combination is different, the specifics of each media kit will be different, but here are a few highlights to ensure you've got the basics:

  • Press release announcing the book is coming.  Then a press release about the book launch and any events associated with the launch.  
  • Two paragraphs of your biography.  You may already have this because typical such things go in the back of your book.  The biography should include the things you've published, your educational background, what you are currently working on.  The idea here is to explain why you are the perfect person to have written your book.
  • Photos of yourself and the book.  The photos of you should be head shots.  Again, you may have this already, as a photo of the author is included in most books.  If at all possible have the photos of you taken by a professional photographer.  The candid photo of you at last year's barbecue belongs in the family album, not in your media kit.
  • Reviews of your work.  You'll want to collect all reviews of your work and put the best one in your media kit to show how great your book is.
  • Interviews.  You'll want to collect all interviews of you for the same reason.  If you've not been interviewed, come up with sample questions of your own and answer them.
  • A list of published work.  Include a brief summary of what every item is about, the ISBN, and the sales of each item.  You'll want to date this so you know how recent the sales figures are.
  • A summary of your book.  This will help give members of the press a sense of your book without having to slog through it.  They won't have time for that; they've got a deadline.  On the other hand, you might pick up a reader or two this way.
  • Target demographics.  You probably already know who you are writing for since this is one of the cardinal rules of writing: know your audience.  No?  You just sat down and began writing.  Me too.  But I had a general idea and I discovered a target demographic after I was done.  It was pointed out by several friends who read and reviewed the draft at the time.

There are other things you can include:
  • A business card or even several.
  • Any important URLs that might not be covered elsewhere.  For example, if your business card has the web address of your publisher and you, you might want to include the URL to the book trailer and your blog.
  • Other promotional material you might have.  For example, I like to make 4x6 postcards with the cover image on one side and the book's back cover text on the other.  It makes for a nice giveaway.
And that's it.  Hope this has been helpful.

Keep writing everyone.

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