- Wednesday, December 17, 2014

How to Prepare a Media Kit for your Book

Media kits are a marketing tool many people use for their business or project, including books. They are a large piece of work and not something you should throw together last second, and they are always a work in progress. I have compiled some information from the web on how to prepare a media kit. 

Media Kit | How To | Press Kit | Press Pack | Press Page | Ideas | Design


Joan Stewart, the Publicity Hound, has provided a free webinar on putting together a media kit for your book. I'll be touching on key aspects of the webinar for those who do not feel like watching a powerpoint presentation. Templates are also available for sale from the providers of this free webinar. 


Media kits are prepared for a wide variety of audiences. You will have to decide the type of people who will be viewing your media kit and pick and choose information relevant to that audience. For most businesses, their primary audience will be investors and clients; however, for books, Joan Stewart explains that all these people will be seeing your media kit:

1. Journalists
2. Bloggers
3. Reviewers
4. Retailers
5. Individual Buyers
6. Event Planners
7. Anyone who wants to promote you or your book

The primary purpose of a media kit is to inform, not promote. This is a place for journalists and bloggers to find information and quotes to write a story about your book. There is no right way or wrong way to really put together a media kit; however, there are methods that have proven to be more successful than others. 

Joan Stewart's Components of a Media Kit


1. AUTHOR BIOS


These should be written like a news story, where the story goes from most important information to least important information. Do not just inform, but entertain with this as some bios can be pretty boring to read. You should also provide different lengths including:
  • 2-Line Bio (140 characters)
  • Short Bio (50 words)
  • Medium Bio (100 words)
  • Long Bio (400-600 words)
  • Speaker Introduction (250- 300 words)
  • Fun Facts You Didn’t Know About Me 

2. PRESS RELEASE


The press release should include the following information:
  • Contact Info
  • Headline (20 words)
  • Subheadline
  • Date and Place
  • Author Quote within the body of release
  • Call to action (and why)
  • 3 hashtags (at the end of the release to indicate the end, before about the author)
  • About the Author
  • About the Book
  • Review Copies and Media Interviews
Remember you may be sending out press releases without the full media kit, as it's a major faux pas to send unsolicited media kits to people. What you may consider doing is making sure you provide a link to your online media kit at the end of the press release somewhere under the hash tags for journalists to use as a reference.

For more information on press releases, check out the following:


For Fiction, focus the release on the following:

Key character
Emotional Angle
Target Audience

For Non-Fiction, focus the release on the following:

Problem Solution
Excerpt 3-7 tips
Emotional Angle
Target Audience

In addition to a regular press release, many have started offering a social media press release with sample tweets and Facebook statuses that they can use. 


3. BOOK SYNOPSIS


Jane Friedman, co-founder of Scratch Magazine, says, "The synopsis conveys the narrative arc of your novel; it shows what happens and who changes, from beginning to end." The book synopsis is the most important information on one sheet, which is great for scanners. Stewart says this should provide 5 points of interest (such as characters, plot, geographic location). It should also supply book details and purchase information. Written in 3rd person, the synopsis is a non-wordy narrative that describes the plot and conflict: meaning it provides both a summary of the story as well as the emotional components.  

For more information on Book Synopsis:

Writer's Digest Articles


4. SAMPLE CHAPTER


The sample chapter should provide the following pieces of information:

Cover Image
Title
Sample Chapter
The Book's Table of Contents
Link to Amazon Reviews (if available)
Where to buy (links)


5. SAMPLE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS


This is more of a FAQ of the media kit. Ask yourself questions as if you were a journalist and answer them.

6. BOOK REVIEW EXCERPTS


Every media kit should contain some form of "testimonials," and in the book world, that's book reviews. You may decide instead of offering an entire review, just offer a blurb, the best of the review, and provide a link to the entire review.

7. CONTACT INFORMATION SHEET


This should include EVERY METHOD to contact the appropriate people. Your email, address, phone number, social media links...


8. PHOTOS


Definitely include a photo of the book cover, but also other photos of authors and anything you may think a journalist could use. Imagine yourself being a blogger wanting to promote your book without knowing you or your book. Every blogger knows images matter in a blog post, especially when it comes to sharing on social media including pinterest. Provide what they need to write the story about your book.

I suggest providing the following:


  • The book cover.
  • Facebook friendly photo that acts as a poster to the book, like how you would advertise it on facebook aiming for shares and likes. Be funny. Be creative.  (720 x 480 pixels at 72ppi)
  • Square photo of you. (720 x 720 pixels at 72 ppi) 
  • Square picture stating basics of a book (like a blog button). (720 x 720 pixels at 72 ppi)
  • Pinterest worthy picture. You want something like the title on the graphic that promotes a DIY angle if possible. If there is no DIY aspect, focus on something that people will have a board to pin it to. Also, do an odd shape for it, like a really long picture, so that it stands out on pinterest. 
  • A large picture to be used for print. This should be a photograph based picture as opposed to illustration, and it should be at least 3 inches by 5 inches at 300 ppi. Provide a thumbnail for the media kit, and let them know the original dimensions are available via email. If you save as any picture on the internet, it saves at 72 ppi no matter the original. You have to actually download the file from an email or drive (i.e. google drive). 
  • Anything you can think of that the people you are sending information to can use. If you are submitting to a large website, provide a graphic that is in the dimensions of most of their graphics of the type as their graphics are. A lot of blogs like to use a wordless photograph that is somewhat related to the post, and you may decide if you are going to a lot of bloggers to provide one you own the copyright to. 


Other components to many media kits:


Fact Sheet


"A fact sheet can be a great addition to a press kit because it details features, benefits and other specific information in a way that educates the reporter or editor about your company and/or products with quick hits of info. Fact sheets can be used for product launches, press kits about new hires, news conferences and other areas where you want to give the editor key bits of facts that they may want to use word for word."

This might be a good place to provide some demographics or charts of your current readership. You can also define your target market.

From AboutMoney

Past Press Coverage


This includes any articles, video and podcasts that covered your product. You can choose to either list the media outlets who have covered you in the past with links to the articles, or you can decide to display the entire article in the kit. Of course, you don't want to go overboard. You will have to update this as new information occurs. 

Letter of Introduction


Imagine a corporate portfolio that begins with a letter from the CEO. "Sometimes referred to as the pitch letter, this first impression item is where you will grab or lose the reader's interest. Tell them upfront why they should care about what you're telling them. Provide a table of contents or a brief description of the items enclosed in the actual press kit. Let them know you are available for follow-up interviews and questions. Also make sure to include your contact information in this letter." From Entrepreneur 

Stats


"If you’re offering a service where your stats are of particular importance, include your blog / site numbers along with social media stats. If you can go one step further and do a reader / customer survey and include the best findings from that as well, it will add to your credibility." From We Are Branch


For more information: