For more on media kits, check out Start Your Media Kit Today: Mini Workbook.
Anytime you request an interview, you use it.
Anytime you contact a blogger, you use it.
Anytime you solicit a review, you use it.
Anytime you create an online dating profile, you use it.
Okay, maybe that last one was a stretch…but the first three and a long list of others are all situations in which you will need an updated, well designed, engaging media kit. When properly executed, your media kit should work for you like a hired Hollywood publicist, promoting you and your books. It should leave potential interviewers, reviewers, and bloggers impressed by and interested in your work.
So the question is, does your media kit get the job done?
If the answer is no, you’re not alone. Upon conducting an honest review of their media kits, most authors find that their promotional package is not actually promoting them very well. Why? Well, there are a number of reasons, but in most cases we authors struggle to answer two critical questions about our media kits:
1. What in the world do I put in it?
2. How am I supposed to use it?
Does that strike a familiar chord with you? If so, I have good news. By the end of this blog post you will have the answers to both of those questions and access to a detailed sample of what a good media kit looks like, which will put you well on your way to creating a successful media kit.
So let’s get down to it. Here are Duolit’s three easy steps for building a media kit that rocks!
Step One: Include the right items.
Every media kit should include the following items — I’m going to repeat that, because I think it bears repeating — EVERY MEDIA KIT should include the following items:
- Target Market Information
- Book Summary
- Press Release
- Book Reviews
- Short (emphasis on SHORT) author bio
- High Resolution Book Cover
- High Resolution Author Headshot
- Author Contact Information (you’d be surprised how often this is overlooked!)
You can also include an author Q&A, overall marketing goals and if your book is non-fiction, it’s recommended that you add a complete outline of your book and an overview of your research.
Step Two: Keep it updated.
Once you have put together your media kit with the above items, you must keep it updated! Make time in your busy schedule to look over it often (at least once a month for the first six months or so after your book launch). Update it more often if you have exciting news to share. For example, if you get a new review from a popular blogger, add it to your media kit right away. If your eBook sales soar, write a new press release. If you receive an award or accolade for your work, by all means add it to the credentials in your bio.
Essentially, if your media kit is doing its job, you should be updating it all the time!
Step Three: Have it ready.
I’m a big fan of Timothy Olyphant’s character Raylan Givens in the FX show Justified, which sadly concluded its third season last night, leaving my life devoid of gun-slinging Kentucky lawmen for the foreseeable future. Among Raylan’s many talents, being ready to quick-draw on an armed suspect is at the top of the list. Just like Raylan, you should be ready to draw out your media kit on a moment’s notice. That means not only having a digital version prepared to attach in an email, but a printed version that can be dropped in the mail.
One other quick note on the mailed media kit: Though it probably won’t happen often, if you do get a request for a printed media kit, be sure that you print it on a good printer, on good paper, print a nice label and use a full size envelope so you don’t have to fold anything. Think of sending out your media kit like sending out a resume for a job. You want to come across as professional as possible, so spring for printing at your local Staples or Office Max and put your best foot forward.
There you have it! All you need to know to get started on your rock star media kit! What are you waiting for? Go!
Discussion: What’s in your media kit?
Did we leave anything out? Do you have some advice for other authors based on your experience with media kits? Are you a reviewer or blogger who receives media kits? If so, what do you look for when you review someone’s media kit?