Last week, I started a short series on the extra “goodies” you can use to promote your book. As I said last week and will continue to say, a well-written, well-edited book with a well-designed cover is your primary marketing tool, but a little extra marketing bling can be a big boost to get people to notice your book.
This week I want to cover the media kit. Not only does creating a media kit make you feel quite savvy in the world of promotion, it’s a great tool for book reviewers, bookstore owners and curious readers to get to know more about what you’ve written beyond your concise book description.
What To Put in Your Media Kit
Anything you want…within reason. A media kit is your way of giving an in-depth look into your book and to provide the media with the resources they need should they happen to want to write an article about your book. Think of your media kit as providing almost all the information that a reporter might want to know. This not only saves them time as they try to meet tight deadlines, but can also guide them toward what YOU want them to say about your book.
At its minimum your media kit should have…
- Book cover images – both front and back
- Your book stats – ISBN, formats (ebook, audiobook, paperback, full color, black & white, etc), length (for paperbacks), genre and price.
- Where your book is available – include online retailers as well as book distributors.
- Your book description – try to include both a long and short description
- Your bio – try to keep it to about 100 words
- Your contact information – duh!
The above would create a very basic media kit, but to make your kit more useful, you may also want to add…
- Review excerpts – Even if you only have reader reviews, add excerpts from the best ones. I say “excerpts” because people (especially if they really like your book) can get long-winded in a review. Hone it down to the best two or three sentences to keep your media kit from getting bogged down. When you take your excerpts DO NOT change what reviewers have said except for clarification.
- Author photo – always good to have one on hand for reporters.
- Author Q&A – This is a great way to let people know the story behind your book and, since reporters may not have time to read your book, this gives them an idea of what they could include in their article/review.
Media Kit Q&A Examples
Each of these questions can easily lead into other questions. Try to keep the Q&A section to no more than ten questions.
- Where did the story idea come from?
- Who inspired you to write this story?
- What is your favorite scene in the book?
- What is the message (theme) of the book?
- Who was your favorite character?
- What is your next project?
Creating Your Kit
The simplest way to create your kit is to type it up in Word (or other word processing program) and then to convert it into PDF format. PDFs allow you to send out or post your media kit in a format that can be read on most devices and computers.
What to Do with Your Media Kit
At minimum, your media kit should be included on your book’s page on your website. You may also want to add it to your About Me page and Contact page if you have these (which you should).
Your media kit is also handy to have when contacting book reviewers, bookstore owners, libraries, and the like when you’re promoting your book. As most people are wary of opening attachments from unknown parties, do not attach your media kit to your emails. Instead, let your contacts know you have a media kit and that you would be glad to send it to them if they’re interested.
You can also print out your media kit to have on hand if you’re visiting bookstores and asking them to carry your book. A professional-looking media kit shows you’re not just some hack and that you are taking your work seriously. However, as media kits can run to several pages and can be expensive to print if yours is in full color, you may want to consider a mini-media kit, aka “the sell sheet.”
The Sell Sheet
Think of the sell sheet as a one-page version of your media kit. On it, you’ll want your book cover image, book stats (see above), a very short description (if you have a one-sentence description, this is the place to use it), snippets from a handful (3 or 4) of your best reviews, and your contact info (a QR code that links to your book’s page is a handy addition). Format this onto one eye-catching sheet and you have an easy and inexpensive marketing tool to hand out.
Here are examples of my media kits and sell sheet. As I haven’t yet started gathering reviews for The Voyage: Book Two of the Osteria Chronicles, I simply borrowed the reviews from The Trials of Hercules: Book One of the Osteria Chronicles, to let everyone know how well the first book was received by my readers. As reviews start coming in, I’ll simply update my media kit.
Thanks for reading everyone and have a great weekend!
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TAMMIE PAINTER IS THE AUTHOR OF THE TRIALS OF HERCULES: BOOK ONE OF THE OSTERIA CHRONICLES AND AN ARTIST WHO DEDICATES HERSELF TO THE TEDIUM OF CREATING IMAGES WITH COLORED PENCILS.