Press kits for authors help to get important information out about your project to prospective buyers, radio and television stations and people who would like to interview you. If you haven't considered preparing a media press kit yet, read on to learn how to do this and get a leg-up on the competition.
How to Create Press Kits for Authors
First, you need to know what a media press kit can do for you in order to know what to put into it. You want a media professional, such as a person who wants to interview you, to be able to write an article or promotional spot with the information you have provided in your kit. A professional-looking and effective media kit will include the following:
- A heavy-duty folder, preferably in a bold color and made from glossy cardstock with your logo or name on the front of it - quality stickers are okay
- A cover letter printed on letterhead with your name at the top
- A business card attached to the cover letter
- CD Rom with photos of your book cover and a professional photo of yourself
- Book outline or story pitch
- Information on other media coverage, endorsements and awards
- Contact information including phone number, address and Web address
Media Kit Folder
Manila folders are not okay. This is your chance to make a great impression, so it had better be a professional and eye-catching one. Bright colors always get people's attention as opposed to navy blue and hunter green. If you can get folders with your name or business logo on it, all the better. Gold foil stickers can be just as effective.
Your cover letter should be printed on professional letterhead, not plain copier paper. Invest a little in yourself for your media kit and buy professionally printed letterhead. A cover letter should introduce you to the reader. Include information such as what your latest project is, why it is important and even a story-pitch, if that is the purpose of the media kit. Be sure to address your cover letter to a real person, not just Sir or Madam.
This is not the time to print off your own business cards. Pay to have professional business cards made out of heavy cardstock and attach them with a paper clip to your cover letter.
A CD Rom can be helpful for several reasons: you can provide high quality photos and for the truly creative, a PowerPoint presentation. Only send professional-quality photos. A bad photo can turn off your audience. Remember, this photo may be splashed across media outlets.
Book Outline or Story Pitch
Keep your book outline or story pitch to one page. Make the information short and to the point; your audience may not have time to sift through anything more. If you are describing a book, write a short synopsis of why it is unique. A story pitch should include why you think your angle is unique and why it would be perfect for this particular audience.
If you have made media appearances, such interviews on national television, radio shows or prominent newspapers, include this information on a separate page. You may even want to include copies of any newspaper articles featuring you in your media kit as well.
Include as much contact information as possible, even media sources to make it easier for people to check your stories (and they will). Don't forget to include your phone number, fax number, IM identification, cell phone number and email address. It is important to make yourself accessible if you want media coverage.
PDF Media Kit
It can be helpful to create a PDF file of your media kit to distribute instantly upon demand. PDF files can be created by using Adobe Acrobat and documents that you have created with Microsoft Word.
Don't Waste Your Media Kit
Get your press kit to the right people. If your goal is to pitch a story to a magazine, make sure you understand what the magazine is about. In other words, know exactly whom you are sending a media kit to. Media kits for authors are expensive to mail; only send them to people who have the potential to give you media coverage or provide you with a job offer.