This past week, while cleaning out e-mail and reading writing newsletters I subscribe to, I ran across an article in a newsletter that nearly made me gasp. I have moved into book-promotion-land with Perceval’s Secret. I know less about promo than I do marketing — they are related, true, but promo is a function of PR while marketing is a function of advertising and sales. I’d found a possible place for an ad online at a reasonable price for the novel, but I was struggling with the PR part.
Then my eyes rested on a newsletter article entitled “7 Must-Have Items for Your Author Media Kit” by Joan Stewart, publicity expert and author of 10 books. Exactly what I needed and didn’t know it! In the article, Stewart lists the items to include in a media kit and describes them. She has also developed templates for a media kit which is available at BookDesignTemplates(dot)com under the Specialty section. I’ve bought the templates.
Why create a media kit? When you send your book to a book reviewer, or you want attention from a magazine or newspaper book editor, or you want a bookstore to stock your book, you need to give them a bundle of information about your novel that includes synopses (in different lengths), book cover photo, maybe some point-of-sale materials, e.g. bookmarks, and information about you. You can mail them the kit initially, or you can hand it to them in the store. But it is a wonderful informational tool for your book publicity.
Media Kit Example from Debarholdings.com
With the information in a media kit, your promo target will have the information he or she needs to promote you or your book intelligently whether it’s for an interview or a review. In the newsletter article, Stewart lists the seven critical items that must be in an author media kit. They are:
- Cheat Sheet for Book Reviewers
- Sell Sheet for Retailers
- “How to Order” Form for Readers
- Press Release with a High-Res Cover Image
- Interview Topics or Questions
- Author Bio for Events
- Introduction for Events and Speaking Engagements
I’ve been creating a list of book reviewers that I want to send a kit to along with an invitation to read and review my book. This will probably be my primary use of the media kit. It’ll be on my computer, so I can also send it to any bloggers who may be targets for reviews. I can also send it to bloggers when I approach them about doing a guest blog for them. Oh, and you can send a media kit to book clubs who want you to attend one of their meetings. Other uses include sending a kit to any bookstores you plan to visit, to organizations or schools who have invited you to come speak, and anyone else who requests the information.
Right now, I’m thinking that serendipitous article may have saved me a lot of embarrassment and helped me to be the professional indie writer I am. With a media kit, I stand a better chance of getting the attention that I want for my novel, and perhaps insuring that reviewers will review it.
So, you never know when subscribing to a writing newsletter will be just what you need…..