Updated: Nov 3, 2022
Your media kit is a core element of your marketing efforts. It’s an excellent timesaver, streamlining your promotions and publicity while giving you extended control over your brand image.
But what does it take to create an effective media kit? We’re here to answer that question.
By the end of this post, you’ll learn:
What an author media kit and its importance;
What you should include;
And how to create one for an effective publicity campaign.
What is the Difference Between a Media Kit and a Press Kit?
Some people use the terms ‘media kit’ and ‘press kit’ interchangeably, but the two terms differ.
A media kit is a general overview of your author brand, while a press kit focuses on recent or ongoing activities, like your book launch, for immediate promotion and marketing.
For this blog, we’ll focus on media kits.
Now that we’ve established the difference, let’s dive into the specifics of your author media kit.
What is an Author Media Kit? (+ Why You Need One)
An author media kit gathers all your writing information and relevant branded graphics in one convenient place for easy sharing. It’s where you’ll direct anyone who wants details about you and your books.
There are two types of media kits every author should have in their arsenal. The first is an author media kit that focuses on you and your career, and the second is different book media kits specifically for a book or series.
Why Media Kits are So Important
Your curated collection of resources has a long list of advantages.
It saves you time from creating a media packet every time someone asks.
It gives you continued control of your brand consistency and builds recognition for your author brand.
It shows you're serious about your author career and always prepared for the opportunities ahead.
It's easier and more convenient for interested parties to share a link to your media kit rather than attaching large files to an email. Book reviewers, bookstores, book bloggers, and interviewers can also select which of the images you provide best suits their purposes.
You can turn the link to your media kit into a scannable QR code and use it on your business card, pop-up banners, fliers, and other offline materials.
Simplified marketing with premade and formatted graphics you can use to sell your books in person and online.
Digital vs. Printed Media Kits
The key feature of a media kit in this technology-driven age is making it digital. You can still offer a print option by including PDFs, but digital is the way to go for flexibility.
Create a dedicated web page on your site and a secondary alternative with a cloud platform like Google Drive or Dropbox. Again, providing options for interested parties to choose from is always a plus.
Media kits are timesavers for the literary contacts you meet. With hundreds of books on their TBR for review, they’ll appreciate the convenience of a well-thought-out media kit that summarizes all the relevant information.
Additional bonus—media kits have a stamp of professionalism that will distinguish you from your competition.
How to Create an Author Media Kit
Your author media kit is a package of information about you and your career (accomplishments, experiences, awards, etc.).
Elements of Your Author Media Kit
~ Basic Information ~
1. Author Bio
Summarize your brand story, writing background, and other relevant details in 100-200 words. Be specific with the information so interviewers and reviewers can accurately represent you.
Consult the vision statement you created when defining the vision in your brand strategy.
As a P.S., note that you’re open to interviews and speaking engagements if interested.
2. Author Photo
Include several author photo options. Add your official high-resolution headshots and photos of you interacting with readers at events. Add a description of the name, date, and purpose for event-related images in the caption.
Make the images downloadable with proper file names. For example:
“Author X_XX Book Signing_2022.”
It’s little touches like these that leave a memorable impression.
3. Contact Info + Social Media Links
Always note where readers and literary contacts can find and reach you. Only add the contact info of platforms, emails, and numbers you use and check regularly.
Interviewers, retailers, and book reviewers appreciate quick responses as they plan their schedules.
If applicable, include your agent’s name and contacts.
4. Social Proof
Include reviews that are more author specific. These are praises from readers that highlight you as a writer rather than a particular book of yours they read.
Something like: “Author X knows how to tug at the heartstrings with her amazing storytelling skills. I can’t get enough!”
It’s a bonus if the reviews highlight your unique selling point. You saying you’re fantastic because of X reason is less influential than praises from your readers.
5. Works Catalog
Create a comprehensive catalog of all your books. For specific details on each, direct readers to the relevant book media kit.
~ Publicity & Marketing Materials ~
6. List of Interview Questions
Interviewers like to prep before their discussions—make it easier for them. Provide a tip sheet with a variety of conversation topics and questions. Think about the talking points you’re most comfortable with and those related to your book or event.
This tip sheet is a helpful guide, as interviewers will only sometimes get the chance to read your books. Even for book bloggers who do, your guidance is still valuable. Choose 5-10 questions.
Preparing beforehand will help alleviate any nerves (or most of them), as you already know what to expect.
Example of sample questions:
Why did you choose self-publishing?
What can readers expect when they pick up one of your books?
What inspires your writing?
What kind of audience are you hoping to reach with your stories?
7. Link to Press Kit
Provide a link to the press kit covering your book release or event. This page should have updates for current news about your book releases, signings, and other events on this page.
8. Calendar Scheduler
Make it easier for interviewers and reviewers to book time with you. Start with a free appointment scheduler like Calendly or Koalendar that links with your Google Calendar.
Add a calendar scheduler link as a QR code on your offline materials, like your fliers, printed media, and press kits.
~ Sales Information ~
9. Sell Sheet
Book buyers require basic information about your books. From the title, author, genre, price, and the number of pages. It helps them determine your saleable and where you fit on their shelves. Together, the one-page document is what we call a sell sheet.
Make your sell sheet concise and professional. If designing isn’t one of your strengths, hire a graphic designer.
Pin the checklist below as a reference for what you need to create a brilliant sell sheet.
Designing Your Author Media Kit
On Your Website
Always use professional, high-resolution photos and graphics. If a newspaper article or popular online magazine features you and your books, you want to present the best impression possible.
While on the other hand, if the images fall below standard, the interviewer or reviewer may refrain from using them and opt for generic, off-brand alternatives. They also have a reputation for quality to maintain.
Create a printable version of your media kit as a printable. Link where interested parties can download relevant images. Remember your branding elements (logos, color scheme, etc.). Your author media kit is an extension of your branding. Make it cohesive.
In the Cloud
Create a Dropbox or Google Drive folder with the same elements you put on your media kit webpage. Adjust the share settings so anyone with the link can only view and download but not change the content inside the folder.
How to Create a Book Media Kit
Your book media kit is a collection of book promotion elements—text, images, and videos.
Elements of Your Book Media Kit
1. High-Resolution Images + Videos
Opt for mockups and a flat cover image of your covers, and a book banner image. If you have a book trailer, that would be a bonus, especially if your interview or review is in a video format.
2. Blurb + Book Excerpts/Samples
Add the official blurb for the book. Include an excerpt as an additional teaser for readers. This sample is usually from your opening chapter, as the strength of your opening pages means the difference between a purchase and a pass.
3. Release information + Available Locations
Let reviewers, readers, and interviewers know where they can buy your books. Provide links with a note on the formats available.
Mention previous installments if the one book is part of an ongoing series. Or other similar books in your catalog they might like.
4. Book Reviews
A good review can go a long way. Include 1-2 reader reviews specific to each book, so other interested readers can understand what to expect.
Designing Your Book Media Kit
When you order a book cover design, ask the designer about the files you’ll receive. Some offer the simplified project file at an additional cost. You won’t be able to modify the design itself, but you’ll be able to export each rasterized element for other use.
If the designer doesn’t offer project files, ask for the png of the typography separate from the cover design.
Individual files allow you to manipulate the images later and create marketing materials and graphics for your media kit.
Like your author media kit, create two digital versions. On your website and in the cloud with Google or Dropbox.
Need professional, on-brand images for your marketing?
Your author and book media kits are extended versions of your resume as an author. They outline your writing experience and skills as a storyteller, summarizing your vital information for readers, reviewers, and retailers.
As a self-published/indie author, marketing and selling your books is your sole responsibility. Save time by creating your media kits and noting the direct link on your offline materials for seamless integration.
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