Media kits or press kits are an easy, free tool no author should be without.
Traditionally, media kits were packets of prepared information that authors would send to radio and TV stations, magazines and newspapers prior to interviews. These were printed materials, including a glossy author photo, and could be quite costly to produce. Today’s media kits can be created virtually free of charge, and updated immediately. They can be used in many different ways to promote an author and his or her books.
Downloadable media kits can be offered directly from a website, where anyone who is interested can copy and paste the materials he or she chooses. It also makes sense to offer media kits as downloads in a variety of digital formats such as PDF, Word files and plain text documents. High-resolution images and logos can be including right in the kit with most file formats, or authors can include a link to them as separate downloads, keeping the original file size conveniently small. It’s even possible to include links to videos. The only limit is creativity.
A media kit should include the basics
- A low resolution image of the book’s cover for online use, and a high resolution (300 dpi) for use in print.
- A professional author photo, also in both high and low resolutions. Make sure this is a professional image. A stack of dirty dishes or an unsightly yard is not a good backdrop. A few different shots can be included, from the typical head shot, to photos of book signings or more casual photos that might reflect the book’s content. For instance, if the book is about long-distance bike riding, an author could include a photo of herself riding a bike.
- A kick-butt synopsis of the book, complete with reviews, if available.
- An author biography.
- A link to the author’s site.
- Previous media coverage and any positives remarks interviewers and hosts have made in the past.
There’s no need to stop there, though. Media kits can also include a table of contents; suggestions for interview topics and questions; a list of facts or statistics concerning the book’s subject; quizzes that could be used for print media and online; articles written by the author; press releases and any other materials the public might be interested in seeing.
A Google search of media kits will yield other ideas for items authors can include, as well as suggestions on ways media kits can be used garner media interest.
Make sure the top of each page includes the standard information: Name of book, author name, contact information.
Not every author is going to be courted by the media, but that doesn’t mean those with niche markets or books that seem to be getting lost in the crowd, can’t benefit.
If authors make their media kits available online for anyone to use, there are many sites, newsletters and people creating presentations who would happily use your materials.
For samples of media kits visit:
https://www.cathymaxwell.com (you’ll see a press kit link to the left)
You can even find a media kit for the well-known National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo) HERE. See how merely having a media kit available online has just brought some publicity to those people?
Cathi Stevenson has been in the printing and publishing business since 1981. After eight years with a major newspaper, she became a successful freelance writer. Cathi now designs book covers from her home in Nova Scotia, which she shares with her husband, two teenage children, two large, incorrigible dogs and several rabbits. Visit Cathi’s website at https://www.bookcoverexpress.com.