Blueprint For An Author Press Kit. Guest Blog by Sydney Scrogham

Blueprint For An Author Press Kit

 

If you’re an author, you need a press kit.  I know, I know, we’re all introverts (mostly) and don’t want to toot our own horns, but people are going to come to your website to learn more about you.  And if they’re fancy people (ready to give you publicity), you need to have a landing place for them.

Hence, the “press” tab.

What the heck do you put there?

First, let’s look at you…

1) Your author head shot.  Make sure it’s professionally done, or at the very least not “selfie” status.  I’m sure you have a friend, grandma, or dog who can take a picture of you.

2) Have an author bio (yes, your bio) ready to go.  Don’t have any idea what that should look like?  Check this out.  (P.S. I’m so guilty of struggling with bios – mine’s getting some TLC soon – so you are no alone!  I feel the same way about my own bio as I do about a synopsis…)

3)  Got interviews?  Excellent.  Include them.  If you don’t, google some sample interview questions (here’s a ton to pick from), write out your answers in 3-5 sentences, and post that in your press page.

4) Press release.  Okay, take a deep breath.  You can do this.  This is the real-life story of you and your book.  Don’t think you’ve got anything interesting there?  That’s a lie.  You’ve got a story, and it matters to you – your book is important!  So it’s time to give it some bones and skin.

What goes into a good press release?

You could cheat and use this free template…  You’ll also find some great press release tips in that template offer from Stand Out Books.

Here’s another great list of tips on what to write for your press release.

If you’re writing fiction, think of the press release as your personal memoir reflecting on your publishing journey.  This is your nonfiction story – this is about your real life, who you are, and how you book fits into the mix.

Here is a GREAT sample press release.  See, it doesn’t have to be long and scary.  You’ve totally got this.  Don’t believe me?  Here’s another sample.

Oooookaaaay, are you still with me?  Now let’s look at the information for your BOOK.

5)  The cover. (Duh, right?)  Even better if you’ve got a high quality photo.

6) Blurb.  Nowadays also known as the back cover copy.  You could also have a one-sentence description.  Tricky, but doable.  Think Twitter pitch.

7)  All the nitty gritty book details like ISBN, publisher, distributor, page count, genre, release date – and any other fine points you can think of.  What are the details you’d want to know?

8)  Have you gotten any awesome reviews?  Comments on your book?  Share them – quotes, paragraphs – but keep it clean and looking neat.

9)  Find what makes your book stand out and highlight that.  Did you write it to grieve your kid dying from cancer?  (Sorry, that was the first thing that came to my mind.)  The more you can set yourself and your work apart, the better.

10)  Have your first chapter ready to be downloaded from your website.  That’s what they get anyway on Amazon, right?

From the Creative Penn: “You may also include things like: editorial reviews, testimonials, links to relevant media content like audio and video, any awards you’ve won, etc. Remember, a press kit doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy. Nowadays, most people prefer to receive a PDF version of press kits.”

You’ve now been empowered to go create your own press kit.  Even if you don’t have all the things mentioned (and more), get started anyway!  Something is better than nothing when agents, editors, reporters… the president… come snooping by your website.  If you start now, you’ll be prepared and professional.

Have you decided to add something else to your press kit that I missed?  Let me know!  I love to hear your ideas.

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