Monday, February 10, 2014

MAKING A PRESS KIT FOR AUTHORS


A press kit is an informational packet to market yourself and your books.The goal of a press kit is to effectively explain who you are and what you are promoting (your books, booksignings, appearances, speaking engagements). It should be designed to be presented to media or others in a hard copy or electronic format.

Contents of a press kit. A press kit can include a comprehensive resume, copies of articles about you, publication credits and awards, press releases, a CD/flash drive or PDF file of your work including blurbs and professional digital photo of you, your covers, promotional materials, and anything else you wish to showcase. For the hard copy press kits that are created for personal meetings or mailing also include a business card, post cards, professional hard copy photo, and a freebie in a folder.

Your cover letter or email. Whether a cover letter to include in a folder or for an email, a cover letter is the first thing the recipient will see. It should be short, personalized, and tailored for the recipient. Save the cover letter file in your computer and edit it for the intended recipient. Be sure to include the recipient’s name and mention their organization. Mention what is included on your CD or attached file. Personally sign it if it’s a hard copy. Include contact info here also.

Your resume. You probably aren’t applying for a job, so the resume should address your writing credentials/publication credits, related education, awards, recognition, and related history (for example, speaking or presentation engagements). Include your name, website, and contact information at the top. A brief bio at the top can also be useful. If you are speaking to a group or meeting with someone, your contact /host can easily pick up an overview of who you are.

Your CD or file. Your CD/Flash drive or file (for attachment in an email) is your opportunity to showcase your work. The CD/file should not be too busy. Make sure that you include in your cover letter what is on the CD/file. You can include your resume in the CD, a professional photo, and a sample press release to help an editor to cut and paste (A complete article is more likely to make it to print.). Check out my post on how to write a sample press release HERE. You can include a sample of your work, if they’re interested. I developed a mini-book in a PDF format with a full short story that includes the covers, blurbs and first chapters of all my books which I would include. Check out my how-to post for a mini-book HERE . The actual mini-book can be downloaded from there also.

Your business card. For a hard copy press release folder, your business cards define who you are. Don’t skimp on the quality of the paper or the printing. Include your logo (if you have one), tagline, where to buy your books (link to your Amazon page, if you have multiple publishers) and contact info. A two-sided format allows you to feature your books and publishers.

A freebie and a thank you. Whether by email or in person, when someone has written a nice review, hosted a booksigning, or invited you to speak, a thank you note is always in order. A freebie would also be appreciated. If it’s a useful freebie, all the better.

Sure to Fail. If you’re heavy on fancy and light on content, you aren’t helping yourself. Submitting so much that the recipient is swimming in extraneous info can land your folder or file in the trash. Remember, just the facts. DON’T ever offer your press kit at a conference during a pitch to a publisher/editor. They don’t want it and can’t take a load of stuff on a plane. It will likely end up in the trash.

Note: I usually post on technical topics. This month I (who would never tell anyone how to write because I believe the process is intensely personal) am posting a series on Building a Series or Story at Worlds of the Imagination, my group blog. Throughout February, I'm featuring my personal how-to as I develop a Greek mythology-based erotic romance series. This week: Setting the Theme. Check it out HERE

Next month, Promoting & Posting on Yahoo Groups 
 
Visit Rita Bay at Rita Bay's Webpage & Blog
 
 

 


 

 

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