Short Answer: YES. Being discoverable, approachable, and professional will help you draw more attention to your book and yourself. Generating publicity for your books using a press kit / media kit is essential, even if it’s only one page. You will be much more attractive as an interviewee, event participant or having your book reviewed when your press kit can be downloaded by anyone who takes an interest.
A media kit, or a press kit for authors is a kind of portfolio for their books and themselves as writers – distributed to members of the media for promotional use and to get reviews or interviews. They can also be used to prepare news conferences, blog tours, marketing campaigns, and more. Press kits are often sent out together with ARC’s (advanced review copies) several months before the book’s launch.
Great Marketing Tool.
The goal of the press kit is the same as of all other marketing tools: It should grab the reader’s attention, and provide the recipient with information and images in a variety of sizes and formats. It needs to answer questions clearly and are presented professionally. First of all: Add a Press or Media page to your website and create a link to easily download your documents – set up as a PDF or ZIP file.
Publishing guru Porter Anderson explained for whom your press kit is useful too:
- Conference organizers who are considering inviting you to speak, or—having invited you already—are looking for a fast bio and headshot of you for their programs;
- Book bloggers who have come across some of your work and want to write about it; and
- Readers who want to know more about authors they like and share that information about them with friends.
Basic Content of a Media Kit:
- Your press release, the same one you write for the book’s launch
- Your Author bio, including previous publications and qualifications to write the book
- Your author’s platform and social media information
- Author photo, in high-resolution for print and low-resolution for digital use
- Images of your books (high- and low resolution)
You might also add:
- Sample Interview questions
- Photos that can be used in a story about the book or its subject
- A sample book review or testimonials from early readers with authority or celebrity
- Reprints of reviews about the book
- Book Awards you received in the past
- Background info: If you have masters in literature and you are writing a book, mention it too.
- Media appearances (such as radio, television, speeches etc.) will be relevant to both professionals and fans.
- Include a synopsis of your book, a query / blurb, and two or three sample chapters.
- Your press kit can also include audio and video files of radio or TV interviews, speeches, podcasts, performances and any other media-covered event.
More Tips on How to Create a Media Kit.
If you are providing an email address, use a link and encode it, so you don’t attract a lot of spam. Don’t forget to show links to your social media profiles, including Google+, Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Westbow Press advices in an article: “News directors and editors get many, many press kits a day; and they may only give a few seconds of attention to each one. They don’t have time to read long, flowery sentences or irrelevant facts. Press kits need to be short, sweet and to-the-point. Tailor your press release to what the news directors at specific organizations would be most interested in hearing.”
“To better your chances at media spotlight, be a perfectionist with grammar and spelling. One grammar mistake or typo can make a news editor send your press release to the trash can in an instant.”
Check out these author websites and their media kits:
Carla Phillips, Stephen King, Aliette de Bodard, or Andy Andrews.