Publicity is one of the best ways to get the word out about your book. The media can help you get your message out to a lot of people. But before you approach the media, you need to have your information ready in a form that is easily accessible to a journalist. If you can make a reporter’s job easier, it might just be that little extra push that puts your name in the story instead of someone else’s.
These days, a press kit doesn’t have to be a big fancy folder filled with dozens of pieces of paper. In fact, because most reporters rely so heavily on online communication, an online press kit is a better way to offer information about your book and your expertise. You can see examples of online press kits on our book sites: Vegan Success, Web Business Success, Happy Hound, and Happy Tabby.
Although they may vary to some degree, your online press kit should include the following items:
1. Summary information about your book. Include the title, ISBN, LCCN/CIP information, price, distributor information, and where it can be purchased retail.
2. Information about the author. Include a complete bio and all your credentials.
3. Quotations from the book, excerpts, and suggested interview questions. Remember, the goal of the online media kit is to make the reporter’s job easier. If someone wants to do an interview with you, it’s a lot easier if you provide the questions. The reality is that many interviewers never actually read the books they talk about on the air. Similarly, if you provide pithy quotes from your book, a reporter can easily grab one and add them to a story when he needs an “expert opinion.”
4. High resolution images (300 dpi). Be sure to include images of your book cover and a decent author photo. If you don’t know how to create a press quality image, get help from a graphic designer.
5. Media mentions and reviews. If you have great reviews of your book, be sure to put them on your web site. Even if you get a so-so review, you almost always can find a snippet of information that is complimentary. Most reviewers try to say something positive first, even in a basically critical review. If you have done a bunch of radio interviews about your book or have garnered a lot of articles, be sure to list them.
6. A list of all the press releases you have done in reverse chronological order.
If you do any live or virtual events related to the topic of your book, include a calendar with those event dates and links to the associated press releases in your list.
Many people also create a PDF version of their press kit, which they can email reporters. However, please be aware that many people do not appreciate receiving this type of attachment, so only send it out to reporters who specifically ask for it.
An online press kit is a key marketing element, so give it the attention it deserves. You might just be rewarded with more media exposure for your book.