What’s In Your Media Kit?

vintage suitcase

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For All Indie Authors
I thought I’d mention again the need for an indie author to have a media kit to properly position their writing. It works equally well for fiction or non-fiction … and these days it’s virtually a necessity, if you really want to do justice to your promotion efforts.

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A media kit helps establish the brand of an indie author … and, like any brand identity, it’s biggest benefit comes in helping others promote you and your book(s) the way you want them to. I talked about it last year in a blog entitled I Need A What?

The obvious items to include are your author bio, a book synopsis, contact information, any reviews you’ve received and a link to places to order your book(s).

You can also include extras like interview questions, or little known personal facts. There are even some indie authors who include short bios of their fictional characters.

Keep in mind the important audiences you want to reach. Your media kit should include something for all of them.

1. Journalists
Reporters, particularly those from community publications, are fabulous resources to help promote your work. You can do an online search to find the right contact at your local papers.

They will want high-resolution photos (300 dots per inch) that reproduce well. You can post and link to high resolution images on photo-sharing sites like flickr.

Since most journalists are usually working on a deadline, they will also want copy they can cut-and-paste into an article. That’s why your press information should be written like a news story, with the most important information first.

And, if you’re hoping to land an interview from a radio host, it’s almost a given they won’t have time to read your book. They’ll welcome … and even expect … a list of interview questions.

2. Bloggers
Even assuming they know about you or your books, bloggers might be on the fence about whether to write anything about you at all.

That’s where a page that includes an image of your book cover(s), pertinent information like pricing and ISBN numbers, and snippets from the best reviews you’ve received so far comes in handy.

Bloggers might also appreciate a quirky little feature within your author bio called “Fun Facts You Didn’t Know About Me.”

For instance, here are some of mine:

    1. I have walked on the Great Wall of China.
    2. My ancestry includes a full-blooded Cherokee Indian.
    3. There are 200+ old film cameras in my camera collection.
    4. I have traveled in sixteen different countries.
    5. My earliest known ancestor arrived in Virginia in 1635.

3. Reviewers
Most reviewers don’t look at a book unless they’re asked. So, write letters to indie-reviewers asking that they review your book.

Keep in mind reviewers are generally busy people, especially the Amazon top reviewers. They’ll want easy-to-find information like links to places where readers can buy your books.

4. Retailers
Some big retailers will tell you that they don’t carry self-published books. But there are books from indie authors (the preferred term) at my local Costco, so there’s an exception to every rule.

You’ll certainly need a “sell sheet” for the decision-makers who will ultimately decide if your book deserves a spot on their shelves. One of the most important items is a (preferably) already long list of what you’re already doing to market your book.

Before they take a chance on you, a retailer needs to know you’re already working hard to sell your own books. You can list things like book signings, blog tours, media campaigns, outreach to librarians, and even videos you’re uploading to your YouTube channel.

5. Event Planners
These include the people who plan writer’s conferences, hire speakers for conventions, and recruit experts to sit on panels and lead workshops. These are all opportunities in your publicity efforts, and you’ll want to have a “speaker introduction” inside your media kit, ready to go, to give them exactly what they need to introduce you to their audience.

Individual Buyers?
This is probably the one group with the least need for a Media Kit. But you never know when one of them might host a Google Hangouts page and want to invite you to do an interview seen by hundreds of people, and all word-of-mouth publicity is good.

Well, that’s it for today. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have pain meds to take so I can type a few more words on my next novel. See you again soon.

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You can find my books as eBooks or paperback on Amazon, or at Barnes & Noble. You’re also invited to visit my web site, BROKEN GLASS, or like my Book of Face page. You can also follow my shorter ramblings on The Twitter…and, just for the hell of it, check out my Media Kit and let me know how I’m doing.

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