As an author, you put a lot of thought into every word in order to tell your story in the most effective way. So what happens when it’s time to promote your work through marketing and events? Well, it’s important to present yourself and your work with the same level of detail and care. One of the most important tools at your disposal in making sure you’re represented in a way that feels authentic to you is a media kit. This kit will act as a blueprint for event planners, marketers, and journalists who you might work with. You can even use your media kit to pitch event ideas to local bookstores and businesses.
Never put a media kit together before? Don’t worry about it. As a marketer and event coordinator myself, I’m here to help! Here are the different elements you need to have in your media kit:
Your media kit needs to include a great photo of you! This is important because it’s your chance to show your readers a glimpse of your personality. I recommend getting some portraits taken professionally if you can. However, camera phones are getting better every day, so you could ask a loved one for help as well. Consider asking someone to capture some traditional headshots, as well as some images of you participating in a hobby that you love. Use good natural lighting, an uncluttered background, and have them take as many shots as it takes to get a decent photograph – and you’ll have a much better photo than many headshots we see online. Remember to upload these in high resolution. I’d recommend not reducing your image to less than 1Mb. This way it can be used even for full page printed pages, banners, etc.
Once you have your leading portrait, it can be helpful to have a selection of additional images that connect you to your work. Try to capture the special moments in your writing career. Receiving your first copy of the finished piece? Take a photo with it. Signing books or speaking at an event? Ask friends or colleagues to take some photos of you in action. These extra photos are great for event promoters and journalists to use, and you can even use them to support your own website and social media presence.
The dreaded bio! How much is too much…or too little? When you provide biographical information in a press or media kit you’re able to maintain more control over your own narrative. I’d suggest including a short and sweet bio that gets right to the points that you want your readers to know. If there’s even more that you’d like to say, you could include a short bio and a longer bio in your kit. This way, when someone needs a short blurb about you they won’t have to paraphrase and chop up your biography, potentially leaving out your favorite parts of your story, because you’ve given them long and short options to choose from!
Most Recent Releases
The next thing you want to include in your kit is your most recent release. Be sure to include a title, cover image, release date, genre details, publisher, price, ISBN, where to buy, and a short summary of the piece. If you choose to highlight more than one publication, only include a summary with your most recent one or two works. You don’t want this kit to get so lengthy that information gets lost!
The Piece You’re Best Known For
Not everyone will be familiar with all of your work, and that’s even more true if you’ve written quite a lot. Create a section in your media kit that says “Best known for….” followed by your most popular title. This might help to catch someone’s eye and convince them to host your event or write about your newest work.
If you have any positive reviews or comments on your work, a media kit is the perfect place to celebrate those. The rest of your media kit gives them a full picture of who you are and how you want to be seen, but the positive reviews seal the deal by showing how others see your work as well. If you don’t have any reviews yet, that’s ok. You can always add these comments and reviews to your kit at a later date.
Social Media Channels
Easy access to your social media channels will go a long way. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve tried to promote an author event and struggled to find their social media channels. You want to make this extremely obvious. If marketers and journalists don’t have to dig for this information, there’s a much higher chance they’ll include the correct links in their posts and tag you to drive traffic right to your pages. The goal is to make things as clear as possible.
Sometimes when a blogger or journalist is doing an article about you, they will want to get in touch with you really quickly to double check some facts or ask a question. You may have a contact page on your website, but it’s also a great idea to add the best way to contact you on this page. It may be a link to a Facebook messenger chat, an email address, or even a link to your contact page if that’s a good way to get in touch.
Creating a media kit does take some time and thought, but in the long run it will save you a lot of headaches going back and forth with photos, bios, and other information. It streamlines the process, communicates key information clearly, and makes collaboration much easier. Do you want to know the best part? You’ll come across as an experienced professional who knows exactly what you’re doing, even if you’re new to events and publicity!
Something else totally new I’m learning from this website today. I would have never thought of adding a press kit to my website and yet it seems now like such an obvious thing to do. Thank you for sharing this.