Published: February 8, 2024
Spreading the word about your book through media outlets is a very effective and low-cost way to reach new readers. Most authors don’t realize that podcast hosts, magazine and newspaper writers and editors, and bloggers are always looking for new content and possible guests that are of interest to their audience.
If your book or area of expertise is a good fit for that audience, you should make it as easy as possible for the content creators to consider spotlighting you in one way or another. An online press kit is the easiest and most effective tool to provide content in a professional way.
Being featured by a news outlet rarely happens by accident. Occasionally, someone may stumble across your book or your website, but more often than not, you will have to reach out to make them aware of you and your book. A well-crafted introductory letter is a good first start. But the real magic in presenting yourself as a potential subject is found in a complete media kit, available either as an easily delivered file or a link on your website.
Building a media kit requires a little time, but it’s a great investment as it doesn’t require much maintenance. Of course, you want to keep it up-to-date and add new awards and appearances, but the basic elements are usually good for years.
A good media kit should be crafted to fit any type of media. The minimum content required is somewhat generic and includes:
- Book cover JPGs (sized to be suitable for either print or web)
- Author headshot (same format as cover)
- Author bio
- Contact information
- One sheet (also called a Sell sheet) with information about your book and where it can be purchased
- Book description
- Blurbs and/or press mentions.
Where a press kit really shines, though, is in the unique information you can provide to tantalize a journalist, reviewer, or blogger to consider covering you and your book.
This content will take a little more time to craft, but will be worth the effort. This information may include any or all of the following:
- Print Q&A or tip sheet
- Audio file (either following the Q&A script or another type of interview)
- Book excerpt and/or review copy
The idea is to provide the content creator with ready-made, or close to ready-to-use content. Most interviewers will not read your whole book, but if you can provide them with material of interest to their audience that is ready to use, it will make their job easier, and thus make them more likely to choose you to feature through their site.
Here are things to consider for each:
- Q&A or tip sheet—Keep it focused on topics related to your book. Try to think of what your ideal reader would be interested in hearing more about. If you conducted any research or had a unique experience that you drew from to create scenes in your book, mention this. It may be just the thing that sparks a content creator’s interest in featuring you. The idea with a Q&A is to be as specific about topics as you can, rather than offering generic ideas.
- Audio files—This is a wonderfully versatile component that adds a personal touch to your press kit. Audio files can include a reading of a passage from your book, an audio format Q&A, or a short, conversational talk about a topic related to your book, just to name a few possibilities.
- Book excerpt—This allows creators to get a sense of your writing style and whether it suits their audience.
The press kit is invaluable for helping you introduce yourself as a professional author and land interviews, guest appearances, or features online or in other traditional media formats. Generating publicity may take some time, but a press kit is your best tool for providing the information content creators expect from an author.
If you have published with us, we can help you create a professional press kit that will make you and your book stand out.