In part 1 of this guide, I defined what an author media kit is and why you need one. I also covered what it’s used for and detailed the essential components of your media kit.
In today’s post, I will show you how to take the information you gathered in part 1 and organize it into a professional media kit that will propel you to the top of the interview list and blow away your competition.
Laying the groundwork:
The purposes of this post will be to show you how to create an author media kit in document (PDF) form. Once you’ve done this, you can use the same tips and strategies to create a great press page on your author website. As a bonus, I will provide links to great examples of author press pages you can use to spark your imagination.
Keep in mind that having your media kit available as a PDF and a webpage covers all your bases. You can easily email the PDF along with a link to your website press page to anyone requesting it or to anyone you are soliciting an interview from.
There is a lot of different software available today for creating high quality documents. I am not recommending any particular product over another. However, for my own needs, I find Adobe InDesign to be a great solution. My suggestion is to use whatever you are comfortable with and understand the benefits and limitations of your chosen software. As such, the design information that follows will be somewhat general in nature such that it can be applied across multiple applications.
Let’s get started:
By way of demonstration, I will be building a media kit for Sheila Mathison, our best-selling author of 2 books: Essential Oils and Aromatherapy Basics and Essential Oils and Aromatherapy Recipes. The first book will be used in this example.
When starting out, you will need to decide on a base color scheme for your media kit. It is highly advisable to use a consistent theme from page to page. For this demonstration I will be using the reds, oranges, and browns from Sheila’s book cover to build her media kit. For the background, I have chosen a gradient color scheme with orange as the primary color. Depending on the software you are using, you can probably ask Google for free pre-formatted templates to choose from.
You may consider using colors that are pulled from the theme of your website. Overall, I like to choose colors that compliment the book cover that will be featured. Want to know more about choosing colors? Get my free Tutorial on Creating Outstanding Book Covers That Sell. It has an entire section devoted to color choices.
At this stage, it is also a good idea to choose 2-3 font styles that work well together. For the media kit in this example, I am using Calibri for the main text and Garamond as an accent font. Click HERE for a great article on choosing fonts.
First Things First
The first page of the media kit should include a 3D version of the book cover along with the basic info about the book and a table of contents. I also usually include a suitable header image that complements the book cover and color scheme. Here’s what my opening page looks like:
As you can see, the text is of consistent size and color. It is also easily readable and tells the audience exactly what they are looking at – a Media Kit. The 3D cover image appears to jump off the page and includes all of the base information about the book itself. The table of contents explains what is to follow, and the header image pulls colors and other elements from the book cover.
All About the Author
The second page of your media kit is all about you, the author. Include the author bio write-up you created in Part 1 of this post. You may need to edit for space. Include what you can, but don’t use a font so small that it’s difficult to read. Be concise, but interesting and leave the reader wanting to know more about you. Add a professional headshot and your name. Here is Sheila’s Author Bio page:
Again, I have used the orange gradient background and header text matching that from the first page. The main bio text is legible and justified left to right for a nice, clean appearance. Sheila’s picture is professional as well as warm and inviting. You may even add frames or shadows to your picture if it suits.
Pitch Your Book
Page 3 of the media kit will be all about your book. Give your best sales pitch here and leave the reader wanting to know more. Once again, include a 3D image of the book cover. Include pertinent data about the book including the ISBN and links to where it can be purchased. I usually include the pricing information as well.
Bonus Tip: Leverage the power of affiliate links! Within your media kit, the name of your book will be mention a number of times. Having these as affiliate links can earn you a bit of extra cash on the back end. Learn more about affiliate links in this post: 8 Essential Elements for Your Author Website.
Great Reviews Help You Sell
The testimonials page is where you share what others have said about your book. If at all possible, include endorsements from recognizable names within the genre of your book. Having raving reviews will give you what is known as “social proof” – aka: credibility. This is highly important for sales and garnering additional reviews. You should include a 3D image of your book on this page as on previous pages. I usually keep it much smaller, however. If you can get them, it’s great to have pictures of those who reviewed your book along with their testimonial. Be sure to get their permission for use!
Who Should Read Your Book?
The Target Audience page will explain who the book is written for. In other words, who is the ideal reader for this new release? Don’t be too narrow in who should read your book. Think “outside the box” for those who may have a crossover interest.
Depending on your genre, you may include base demographics such as: age, gender, ethnicity, education level, specific interests, location, and income. Since this information is usually a short, bulleted list, I also like to include reader benefits. What will someone learn by reading your book? What advantage does your book have over others in your category? In this example I have again included the 3D cover image as well as a complimentary image.
Tease Them with an Excerpt
Everyone loves something for free. This old adage is true of books as well. Including a short selection from your new release is a great way to tease your audience and build interest. Include just enough to give a taste and leave the audience wanting more. As with the previous pages, keep the font size legible and justified. And, once again, include a small 3D image of your cover.
Set Yourself Up for an Interview
The sole purpose of your media kit is to get exposure for your new release. Some interviews, however, miss the mark. This is the main reason I like to include sample questions. They give an interviewer direction as well as get the most important information about your book out to your audience. This can be crucial in situations where you are being interviewed by someone unfamiliar with your genre or book topic. Omitting the 3D cover image on this page is fine.
Great Story Ideas
Want a journalist to review your book and write a great piece about it? Give them a hand by providing excellent story ideas. Consider pulling concepts from the interview questions you prepared previously. Perhaps there is an interesting background story on you that lead to you writing the book. What makes your book unique from others in the same category? Is there exclusive content or insider information a journalist could use to write a compelling story about you or your book?
One last thing. I like to break the cycle here and use a 2D image of the cover on this page. I also include another headshot. It can be the same one used on the author bio page or one from the same shoot.
An Image is Worth a 1,000 Words
Every media kit should have a number of images journalists, bloggers, and interviewers can use. Headshots should be professional and available in high and low resolution. Including one in black and white can provide a unique perspective into who you are as an author. Book cover images should also be included. As on Sheila’s page below, I have included high and low-res versions of the 2D and 3D covers. These are excellent for use in print or on the web to grab attention and highlight the new release.
How Can Readers Connect?
The final page of your media kit should include your contact information. Include your full name (and/or pen name), email address, website URL, and social media credentials (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.). Additionally, if you have an agent, manager, or publicist, this is the place to add their information as well. As you can see, I have included one final professional headshot of Sheila and a complimentary photo as a footer on the page.
Would you like to get a FREE copy of Sheila’s Media Kit as featured in today’s post? Click HERE to download it now.
Put Your Media Kit on the Web
Now that you have completed the print version of your media kit, you need to add the same information to your author website “Press Page.” The formatting will most likely be very different as you want it to match the theme of your overall site. Also, instead of multiple pages like in the media kit, your press page will be a single page containing everything from the media kit. You should also have hyperlinks throughout the page for easy navigation.
Want more information on creating your own professional press page? Here’s a great article from Seth Price with 21 Author Website examples. Click on each one for inspiration!
Note that the above is not an all-inclusive list of what goes into a well-prepared media kit. There are other components such as a book trailer and related books you have previously written that can be added. Part 1 covered these items in a bit more detail. This post was mainly meant to show you how to arrange the various components into a professional media kit. I hope that goal was accomplished.
Preparing a professional media kit is one of the best things you can do for your new release. It includes all the information someone would need to feature you in a piece they are working on or in an interview. Having a professional media kit tells everyone you are a serious author and your book deserves their consideration. It’s worth mentioning once again, that once you prepare your media kit, do keep it up to date.
Not computer savvy? Need some assistance building your own media kit? Let Softpress Publishing create a professional media kit for your new release. We’re happy to provide you with a no obligation quote. Contact Us today!
In case you missed it above, click HERE to get a FREE copy of Sheila’s Media Kit as featured in today’s post.