You're ready to get your book out there and promote your new work, but before you can attract the attention of press reporters and reviewers alike, you'll need to create a media kit.
A media kit is a collection of information that is collated and sent to press contacts who you'll want to promote yourself as an author or your work. An author media kit should include your author bio, professional headshot of yourself, latest book synopsis and cover, links to where this book can be brought, sample interview questions, previous work and more.
Here's what you'll need to collate in a folder...
Your Author Bio, Contact Details and a Headshot
Your Media Kit needs to start with who you are as an an author and how best the press can contact you should they want to take you on.
• Author Bio - This should include your background story, any previous best sellers and any credentials that add to your overall knowing as an author.
• Contact Details - This should include your email, website and social media handles. You could also add your business phone number but if you do not have this do not use a personal one, just stick to email. If you have a literary agent then ask to use their contact details instead of your own.
• Headshot - Your headshot should ideally be taken by a professional photographer or using a professional camera, there should be not obstructing items in the background and it should ideally be taken in front of a plain coloured wall. This should be a high-resolution image and you should include a link allowing press to download it.
Book Synopsis, Cover and Product Details
Next, you have to gather your book information. This should be for the book you are wishing to promote with the press. Choose one book, do not choose a series and gather the following:
Book Synopsis - This should be filed as a word document and as a PDF, and should tell the readers the main conflict of the story and highlight any main characters. This should be brief and should also highlight the genre your book falls into.
Book Cover - You should attach a high-resolution image of both the front and back of your book cover. They should be separate files and should be either a PNG or JPEG with no background/transparent background.
Product Details - These include your full book title, ISBN number, page count, publisher (if traditionally or hybrid published), date it was (or will be) published, price, available formats (Hard Back, Paper Back or E-Book) and where it can be brought with links.
Sample Excerpt (Optional) - If you'd like, you could also include a short excerpt from your work, just make sure you choose an enticing moment that isn't too pivotal to the story. If you're sending your media kit to reviewers who will want to see the full book then you could direct them to contact you.
Include a press release in your media kit. A press release should include the most important parts in the first few paragraphs and should include contact information, links to your website, and links to where your book can be brought at the end. When writing your press release (if you haven't got one already) remember that hundreds of new books are available to buy every day, what you need to highlight is what makes yours different and most importantly, what makes you different as a marketable author.
You should also include a brief FAQ sheet which displays some example interview questions and answers. This shouldn't include anything exclusive, but should be questions where most answers could be found on your website. Some example question can include; Where did you grow up? What made you want to become a writer? What inspired you to write your book? If you could go back in time and tell your young writer self anything, what would it be?
Ways to Display your Media Kit
Your media kit should be digital. It's how the world runs these days and it's an easier form of communicating. There are many ways in which you could display your media kit but here are the top three:
As a ZIP folder on your computer - Start by creating a folder on your computer called '[Author Name] - Media Kit' and then within that folder create new folders labelled 'About [Author Name]', 'Book Information', 'Headshot', 'Press Release'. You'll then add your word documents, PDF's, pictures and so on into the relevant folder. Afterwards, you'll be able to package the folder up into a ZIP folder and send this as an attachment when emailing your press contacts.
Another way to display your media kit is as a tab on your website - I'll be using Gretchen Rubin's website as an example. On Gretchen's website, under her 'About' section she displays a 'For The Press' section which displays her media kit. Here she has her author bio, links that lead to downloadable high-resolution book cover images, high-resolution headshots, previous work and more.
Using and Sending Your Media Kit
Now that you've created your media kit, the last thing to do is send it and make the most of it. Here are a few examples of who you should be sending it to:
Press Contacts - You should definitely send your media kit to press contacts who could then feature you on their radio stations, website or newspaper. Find these contacts by going to their website and looking for their 'contact' tab, they should then provide either a contact form or an email. This should be sent 1 month before the release date.
Book Bloggers and Reviewers - Similarly to press contacts, send your media kit to book bloggers and reviewers who will want a free version of your book to then review and post to their blog or social media. This should be sent at least 1 - 2 months before the release date.
Interviewers - Send your press kit to people who might want to interview you. This could be other authors who have their own writing blog or magazines that fall into your genre sector. For example, if you've written a children's book you could get in touch with Mummy and Me groups who would like to interview you for their website or social media. This can be sent at any time.