Thursday, 29 June 2017

Why Every Author Needs a Media Kit

When I self published my first book, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. Thanks to the internet, I found some good articles and advice books and made a start on publicity. You can’t do everything at once, so I started slowly. When I talk to people now about my social media platform for example, their eyes glaze over with panic because it sounds so complicated. It is quite complex – now – but I have been building this for five years.

I was better at publicity when I launched my second book – been there, done that – but there was still so much to learn. When I dealt with the media, I didn’t have a media kit. I didn’t even have a press release. I just rang people up or emailed them and said, 'I’ve just published a book, can you help me?'

Sometimes I got lucky, but mostly I was ignored.

I got lucky enough that my books were quite successful locally, because they are stories from local history, but I have learned so much more since then. One important thing I’ve learned about is a media kit. I was lucky enough to buy a set of media kit templates, and have used them ever since. If you search the internet you can find all sorts of examples, many only one page. But if you’re an author, you’re going to need more than a single page, because as well as your details you need the details of each of your books.

Here are 7 reasons why you need a media kit:
  1. A Media Kit, also referred to as a press kit, is the major marketing piece that represents you and your book.
  2. Anyone interested in any aspect of your book can find everything in one place. Your audiences include journalists, bloggers, reviewers, retailers, individual buyers, event planners, librarians and anyone who wants to promote your book.
  3. A Media Kit serves as a crutch for busy journalists. They can cut and paste entire paragraphs from your press release, synopsis and author bio into stories they are writing (and so can you).
  4. Magazine and newspaper editors can find your high-resolution book cover inside the kit. They don’t have to email you with a special request 'because the photo you provided won’t reproduce well.'
  5. A tidy “sell sheet” can double as a printed order form at live events like speaking engagements and book signings. No need to give people two pieces of paper: One that describes the book and another they can use to order.
  6. Most radio and TV talk show hosts who will interview you don’t have time to read your book. They will appreciate a list of interview questions. Another big benefit: You can choose the questions you want to answer.
  7. The kit includes a variety of ways people can contact you: by phone, email, Skype, and on the social media sites. This information is so important that it deserves its own document. Don’t bury it at the bottom of your author profile!
So you can get started, here is a list of the main things that should be in your media kit:
  1. Author Biography Page (several different lengths)
  2. Book Synopsis Page (several different lengths) plus links to find it on every retailer
  3. Contact Information Sheet with links to all my social media sites, my website and my mailing list
  4. Press Release
  5. Sample Chapter
  6. Sample Interview Questions
  7. Book Review Excerpts
  8. Selection of High Quality Author Photos
  9. High Quality Images of the Book Cover
Mine is available as a zip file via email, but I plan to make downloadable from my website when it’s upgraded. You will find your media kit useful to you too. It’s so much easier to talk to people when you’re prepared, and you never have to fuss around to find a description or a link.

Ann Marie Thomas is the author of three medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, is out now. Follow her at

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