You’ve finished your book and you’re exhausted.
Who wouldn’t be after all that time you spent writing it? But that’s no excuse for slapping together a sloppy, incomplete media kit.
Even if you’re an indie author who can’t afford a publicist, you need to pay special attention to this most important package of marketing materials. It brands you. It brands your book. And it helps others promote you.
You have a dizzying choice of what to include in the kit. Aside from the staples like an author bio, book synopsis, contact sheet, reviews and an order form, you can include extras like interview questions, little known facts about you, even short bios of your fictional characters.
As you decide, keep in mind seven important audiences. I’ll discuss them all during the free webinar “The Indie Author’s Guide to Creating a Killer Media Kit” from 6 to 7 p.m. Eastern Time today—Thursday, May 19—with book publishing expert Joel Friedlander. We’ll go into full detail on exactly which materials you should include in your kit. Until then, start thinking about these audiences and what they need.
Your media kit must please all of them.
These include print reporters who will want high-resolution photos (300 dots per inch) that will reproduce well.
If they’re on deadline, they’ll want to find within the kit copy they can cut and paste into an article quickly. That’s why your press release should be written like a news story. Your book synopsis should let writers choose from several different lengths, depending on how space they have to fill.
You can be sure most radio hosts who interview you won’t have time to read your book. They’ll welcome—and even expect—a list of interview questions.
They might want to review your book, write about you or feature a guest post from you. Or they might be on the fence about whether to write anything at all.
That’s where the Book Review Samples sheet comes in handy. It’s one page that includes an image of your book cover, pertinent information like pricing and ISBN number, and snippets from the best reviews you’ve received so far. You should be soliciting pre-publication reviews. But if you don’t have any reviews yet and you’re book is launching, you can add this piece later.
Many authors don’t get book reviews unless they ask for them. That’s why Joel Friedlander and I will be discussing the importance of writing letters to individual reviewers asking that they review your book.
What if they review it?
They’re busy too, especially the Amazon top reviewers. They’ll want easy-to-find information like links to places where readers can buy your books.
Some of the big retailers like Walmart and Costco will tell you that they don’t carry self-published books. But I’ve found books from indie authors (the preferred term) at both chains, so there’s an exception to every rule.
You’ll need a “sell sheet” for the decision-makers who will ultimately decide if your book deserves a spot on their shelves. One of the most important items on the sell sheet is the long list of what you’re doing to market your book. Before they take a chance on you, they need to know you’re already working your butt off and making it easy for them to sell those books!
You can list things like book signings, blog tours, national media campaigns, outreach to librarians, and even videos you’re uploading to your YouTube channel.
5. Individual Buyers
This is the one group on this list that will have the least need for a Media Kit. But you never know when one of those buyers might also be a blogger who suddenly decides, after seeing your kit, that you’re worth an interview.
Some buyers turn into super fans who want to read every word written by and about the author. So they might peek inside your media kit and love those “5 Fun Facts You Didn’t Know About Me.”
6. Event Planners
These include the people who plan industry conferences, hire speakers for conventions, and recruit experts to sit on panels and lead workshops. These are all opportunities that will help your publicity efforts, and you’ll want to give them exactly what they need. That means having a “speaker introduction” inside your media kit, ready to go.
These busy event planners won’t have the time to plow through a long, 500-word bio and pluck out 50 words that will appear on the bio. They’ll love finding your author bio in a variety of sizes.
7. Anyone Who Wants to Promote Your Book
These include people who host Google Hangouts, Blabs and their own shows on Periscope and want to invite you to do an interview. They might include podcasters who have a ready-made audience that’s perfect for you. Or an ezine editor who needs a quick list of tips from your non-fiction book for this week’s issue. Where to find those tips? In your press release, of course, if you’ve written it the way we recommend.
As you can see, you have a lot of different people to keep happy. Joel Friedlander and I will show you exactly how to do that, the drop-dead easy way, during today’s webinar. Click on the ticket below to claim your seat: