Now that I'm about to put myself out there in a more public way, I figured it was past time to create my press kit. I'd been avoiding it because I knew it would take time to put it all together and I wasn't 100% sure how I wanted it to look. So I took some time last week to really study the format and layout of other author press kits and then plugged away at getting it set up.
So first was figuring out what to put where. I wanted a main page that wasn't just filled with links to other pages, but I wanted the navigation to make sense. I ended up with small info that would give someone a quick look on the main page, with easy to find links to additional information. For example, I made a contact area on the main page with basic contact info for me and my agent. Then, directly under that I added a link to view my full contact page. That page has all the same information in addition to all my social media links and my profile links on Goodreads and Amazon.
Another formatting trick that I picked up from studying other authors' pages is linking back to various spots in the Media Kit. For example, at the end of my long bio, I provide a link to my contact page. That way, a visitor doesn't have to navigate back to the main page and then to my contact page to find me on the internet.
Most of the time, links lead to other places on my website. But that wasn't always possible. For example, to download cover images or my pictures, I link visitors to a Google Drive folder so they can get the actual file and not a bad internet swipe.
As far as what to include, here's everything I put in my kit.
1. Brief intro line
2. Quick contact info
3. Full contact info
4. Short bio (the one on my about me page)
5. Full bio (this was so hard to write)
6. Pictures (headshot in color and B&W and a larger picture)
7. Sample video interview (For this I embedded a youtube video interview I did a while back. It gives media folks an idea of what I'm like on camera. I will probably to in and provide a link to my full YouTube channel at some point)
8. Sample interview questions (I asked myself eight questions and then answered them. Media folks can use these to get an idea of who I am or they can lift them and use them in a story. I also included a link to a downloadable PDF of this so it is easier to print)
9. Book info (Since I only have one book right now this looks a little sparse, but it is what it is)
10. Book one sheet (this is also an easily printable PDF)
11. Cover images (I provided ebook, print and the 3D rendering)
If that looks like a lot, it's because it is. Your media kits needs to have everything that anyone could need to write up a full story on you without even needing to contact you. This kit is far from perfect and I'm sure I'll be updating it as I go, but it's a good start and sometimes that's better than nothing.
Why have one?
A media kit gives people who are considering giving you and your book free exposure what they need. This is a good thing. And that's why we need a media kit that is all encompassing AND easy to use. If your kit is missing info, a reporter will move on. If everything is there, but is tricky to navigate, a reporter will move on.
In addition to making things easier on our media contacts, the media kit provides another, less obvious, benefit. A good kit can show you are a professional. With a well organized, professional kit you set the stage right from the start that you are a serious author. Very few authors ever get to that household name status. For the rest of us, our media kit might be the first time someone sees us. It's crucial that we don't look like some johnny upstart writer who piece together a cover on Microsoft Paint and threw their first draft up on Amazon. A good press kit is more tangible proof that we are among the authors who take our work and ourselves seriously, and are worth media attention.
Yes, a press kit is a lot of work. It took me some serious time to research my options, gather up all my content and get it laid out in a way that didn't make my eyes bleed. But it's worth it. Now I know that I can send out press releases with confidence and know that reporters and producers will find a media page I can be proud of.