You published a great book—now it’s time to spread the word. One of the best places to start is with a press kit, which positions you with the media, with retailers, and with readers. In this excerpt from the forthcoming book Publicity for Authors: 7 Steps to Get Media Coverage Without Hiring a Marketing Team (DIY Author Press), author and media expert Chris Well outlines what your author press kit should include.
BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN YOU AND MEDIA INFLUENCERS
Imagine this scenario: What if you were recognized as an expert or an authority in your field? What if you were in great demand by broadcasters, news editors, reporters, and other influencers who had access to a large audience? What if you became a celebrity in your category or genre?
But here’s the problem: What happens when they show up at your website and you don’t have the right kind of publicity materials?
- Maybe a TV producer was considering you as a guest for a talk show.
- Or a magazine columnist wanted to include you in a roundup of authors in your category.
- Or a podcaster wanted to interview you.
- Maybe a bookseller was thinking about carrying your book.
- Or an event planner thought you might be a great speaker for an upcoming event.
- It might have even been a reader who stumbled across your website and wanted to know more.
The fact is, when any of these people come to your author website, you only have a matter of seconds to show them what they’re looking for—who you are as an author, what you write, and why you write it—before that person just bounces off your website and goes to find another author instead.
And you won’t even know they were ever there.
Most people won’t go to the trouble of contacting you for more information. They don’t have time to waste tracking down the simple details you should have posted on your website. And they’ll have no problem finding an author who did post what they needed.
Think about where you are now as an author and where all those other people are. Does it seem like there’s this huge chasm between you and influencers?
What if you can build a bridge between yourself and…
- that TV producer?
- or that bookseller?
- or that event planner?
- or that reader?
An author press kit can be that bridge. It positions you with the media, with retailers, and with readers. It establishes your credibility. It explains who you are as an author, what you write, and why you write it. It convinces them that you are worth interviewing, worth writing about, worth carrying on their shelves, worth reading.
THE 3 CATEGORIES FOR YOUR AUTHOR PRESS KIT
So, what are the most important elements of an author press kit? Let me outline the three key categories for you right here:
#1) Author Info
First—you need to create a series of materials that explain who you are. This category includes:
- Author bios
- Interview materials
- Contact information
#2) Book Info
Second—you need to create a series of materials that explain your book and why it’s important. This category includes:
- Book announcement
The third category is images. Your digital press kit should include:
- At least one strong author photo that’s simple, clear, and has lots of room around your head and shoulders
- An image of your book cover that is pure and unfiltered
- Both of these images need to be available in hi-res (high-resolution) and lo-res (low-resolution) formats
After you have all your publicity materials, they need to be gathered in one place on your website and presented in such a way that it’s easy for busy people to come to your website and find what they need or download what they need in a matter of seconds.
You need to be ready to declare who you are, and you need the right publicity materials in place before the media hears about you.
TAKEAWAYS FOR THIS CHAPTER
- You need an author press kit on your website.
- You need to include information about yourself as an author and about your current or upcoming book.
- You need to include at least one image of yourself and one image of your book cover.