In my last post I talked about what to do after you have finished your first book. If you have not already prepared a media kit (sometimes called a press kit) for yourself and your book, I suggest you do so. You can do these on your own, but I purchased templates from Joan Stewart that simplified the process.
Show your professionalism with well-crafted bios. If possible, have the documents edited—you only have one chance to make a good first impression.
Look your best. Hire a professional photographer for head shots. In the same fashion, have professional-looking book covers.
Once you’ve created the files, upload PDF versions onto your Website. To make it easy for reporters, interviewers, etc. to find your media kit, place it under the ABOUT tab or where it can easily be found. Include a link to the media kit whenever you write to request an interview, guest post, and press release.
Media Kit for yourself
Author’s bios: The media has various needs. Accommodate them by creating a tweetable bio (140 characters or less), and short (50 words), medium (100 words), and long versions.
Write the bio in the third person. Start by introducing yourself. For example, Jane Doe, author of XYZ series. Provide pertinent information, but remember this is not a resume. A bio is an overview that highlights your most important achievements. Be personable. In the long version, include five to ten fun facts about yourself. At the end, give your contact information.
Interview questions: Prepare questions that radio or TV hosts can ask you. This makes it easy for interviewers who may not have read your book, and helps you direct the interview to pinpoint the information you want to get out.
Contact Information Sheet: List all contact information, including social media, email, and blog URL.
Speaker/Author One-sheet: A one-page document that describes you and your qualifications, your books (brief description), and the topics that you speak about. Use a professional head shot. List testimonials and endorsements for both your book and topics that you speak on. Don’t forget to provide your contact information or that of your agent.
Photos sized and formatted for online (72 dpi) and print (300 dpi). Also create a black and white version. For example, offer the following sizes formatted:
- Small Color Headshot (2.0 x 2.5 )
- Medium Color Headshot (4.75 x 5.5)
- Large Color Headshot (8.5 x 11)
- Small Black and White Headshot (2.0 x 2.5 )
- Medium Black and White Headshot (4.75 x 5.5)
- Large Black and White Headshot (8.5 x 11)
Media kit for your book
Book synopsis: As with the bio, create a tweetable blurb (140 characters or less), and short (50 words), medium (100 words), and long book synopsis.
Book Review Excerpts: Create a document listing praise for your book. Include a cover photo, name of the book, author, ISBNs, price, and where it can be purchased.
Book Interview Questions: Prepare questions that interviews can ask about your book. Include an About the Author section, book details, Web page, and contact information.
Book One Sheet: Write a powerful pitch that shows your book’s uniqueness. Hook the reader with two to three short sentences. Add a short author bio and contact information. Showcase a photo of the cover. Include the following book details: genre, BISAC subjects, page count, ISBNs, Amazon ASIN and other unique identifying numbers.
For an example of a book one sheet, see the one I create for Hadrian’s Wall Path: Walking into History.
Book Sample Chapter: Select a chapter, or parts of several chapters, that will appeal to your readers, and then export it to a PDF document. Include the table of contents and perhaps an explanation of why you chose that chapter or samples.
Book Tip Cheat Sheet: Newspaper and magazines use tips to fill in space, by radio and TV personnel as snippets of advice, and by bloggers as basis for posts. To create a tip sheet, start with a grabbing headline and then offer five to ten “tips” about the subject in a numbered or bulleted list. The purpose is to help the reader overcome a problem. For example, Feeling like a Single Parent? Five Ways to Get Your Spouse to Help with the Kids. As a fiction writer, you can create a tip page about the location, how you developed the story, or the research you did,
Book Cover Photos: As with the author headshots, offer your book cover pics in color and blank and white and scaled for print and online.
- Book Front Cover (72 dpi)
- Book Front Cover (300 dpi)
Other documents to prepare
Consider preparing the following documents to have ready, but not as part of the media kit.
Press releases: Though not necessarily part of the media kit, press releases are what instigate interest in you and your books.
Cover letters for reviewers, etc.: You want to research and individualize the cover letter, but you can create a template with the basic information.
In the individualized portion should state why you have chosen the reviewer, agency, or publication house. Mention contacts, referrals, anything that might create a personal connection with the recipient.
As a “template,” prepare a brief description (one or two sentences) of what you are sending: a memoir, a manuscript, a novel, etc. Mention the intended audience and endorsements, if you have them. Attach a synopsis, a one-page bio, and perhaps a marketing plan.
The About Page: Prepare a good About Page. Write good content in your own voice. Tell your readers who you are and what you write about. Include testimonials, awards, and other kudos you’ve received. And don’t forget your photo.
Use this text for your author author’s page and where you need to describe yourself.
Invoices: Create a template for your invoices that includes your name, address, and phone number. If you have a logo, add it to the template.
Take time in preparing these documents. Reread and edit. Show that you are a professional.
Have you prepared a media kit? Do you include documents other than those stated here? Please comment.