An Author Media Kit – What Is It and Do I Need One? by Rebecca Heflin

527555_10636681When it comes to doing promo for your book, certain to be on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists, you want to be prepared when hordes of reporters come calling. That’s where your author media or press kit comes in handy. Back in the day, before we did just about everything on the internet, a press kit was a paper file of documents you mailed to interested reporters. And you can still do that. But an online media kit puts all your important info at the fingertips of those clamoring for it, making their lives, and yours, much easier. A media kit even comes in handy for bloggers, event planners, retailers, etc. It’s all about streamlining the research process, and helping the media promote you.

So, now that you’re convinced, what goes in it, you ask. Well, I’ll tell you what’s in mine.

  1. Biography. Include a short (think Tweet) bio. But also include a mid-length (think Amazon) bio, and then a long bio with lots of detail. Don’t forget to make the bio interesting, and share something that might surprise your audience and make you stand out
  2. Awards, reviews, or bestseller status. This is not the place to be modest. Brag about your accomplishments for all they’re worth. List your awards, your reviews, books that have hit the bestsellers lists, etc.
  3. Press releases. Include links to recent press releases. The media can pull more information from your press releases, which also provide a story angle for their article, like a recent new release, again making their jobs easier.
  4. Downloadable photos. Have your author headshots or other photos and your cover art easily accessible, so that with a click, the media can download them for their article or blog post.
  5. Interview questions. Not a must, but definitely helpful. Include the standard questions and answers, like “what inspires you to write?” and “what’s your writing routine?” But take it up a notch or two and include questions that reveal more about who you are as a person, and answer in your voice, to give folks a taste of what your writing style is like.
  6. Social Media. Include links to all your social media sites.
  7. Media Coverage. Provide links to any previous media coverage that you’ve received. Be sure to include links to any video or audio interviews you’ve done.

You likely have much of this information other places on your website, but pulling it all together in one place keeps things simple for the media. For some of the information already available on your site, you can provide a link, instead of repeating it. For instance, I have a frequently asked questions page on my website, so I linked to that from the media page.

Other things you can include: Upcoming speaking engagements or events, speaking topics, and if you have a publicist or agent, their contact information. Finally, make it easy to find your media page. I have mine under “About,” but you could put it under “Books” or give it a button all its own on your menu.

Once you’ve created your online media kit, don’t forget to keep it updated. We all want as much exposure for our work as we can get. Making it easy on the media goes a long way in gaining that exposure.

So, what about it? Do you have a media page or kit? What’s in yours?

 

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About Rebecca Heflin

I've dreamed of writing romantic fiction since I was fifteen and my older sister snuck a copy of Kathleen Woodiwiss' Shanna to me and told me to read it. Now I write women's fiction and contemporary romance under the name Rebecca Heflin. In case you're wondering, Rebecca Heflin is an abbreviated version of my great-great grandmother's name: Sarah Anne Rebecca Heflin Apple Smith. Whew! And you wondered why I shortened it. When not passionately pursuing my dream, I am busy with my day-job at a large state university or running the non-profit cancer organization my husband and I founded. I'm a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Florida Romance Writers, RWA Contemporary Romance, Savvy Authors, and Florida Writers Association. My mountain-climbing husband and I live at sea level in sunny Florida.
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8 Responses to An Author Media Kit – What Is It and Do I Need One? by Rebecca Heflin

  1. Karen Rossi says:

    I don’t have a media kit but I thank you sincerely for all the tips included in this blog! THANK YOU, Rebecca!

  2. Barbara Mealer says:

    This is a great hint for those of us who are starting out as it will give me a way of keeping things organized and in one place. It’s little things like this that help newbies along with the more experienced writers.

  3. Very helpful, Rebecca! As you said, I have stuff all over, and it would be so smart to pull it together. Plus, your ideas about a FAQ with links to material is brilliant! Thanks! –katie o’boyle

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