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Vicki M. Taylor
June 13th, 2008, 09:45 AM
Press Kits

This leads into putting together a press kit

A press kit doesn’t have to be anything more than a 2 pocket folder containing anything and everything about you and your book

You send it out to local newspapers, radio stations, magazines, and anyone else you think can help promote you and your book

Every sheet of paper in the press kit should have your name, phone number, and e-mail address. This way, if any of the papers get separated from the press kit, they can be easily identified.

Your letterhead should include the title, author name, publisher, price, page count, ISBN, URL, and contact information. – use a PO box. Don’t use your actual address – be cautious. If you can’t afford a PO box, see if you can go in on one with several authors.

Besides the press release, the press kit should contain:

A black & white (you can use color but it can get expensive and newspapers need black and white) photo of your (approx 5 x 7) – not just any ol’ picture, either. A professional head shot. Check out the pictures of authors in books and on author websites.

It doesn't have to be expensive. If you have a friend who's a good photographer great. You can go to Glamour shots. They don’t just do the boudoir shots, they do great professional shots. If you know of a reputable photo studio, work with them for professional shots. Get the rights to the photos you want to use for your book and on your website.

Other items to include in your Press Kit

Sales information
Publisher information
Interview questions / answers
Flyers from past book signings
Articles you’ve written
Schedule of future book signings/speaking engagements
Pitch letter (cover letter)
And, if you want to, any novelty item that ties into your book (for example, if your hero/heroine has a cat that features prominently in the story, (cozy mysteries) you can put in a cat shaped note pad)

Also put in your press kit any of the other promo items that you may have chosen to purchase or make

Business cards

Use annoying fonts
Use outrageous colors on the folder or the paper – NO NEON

TIP – make sure to convert everything you create for your press kit to HTML so you can put it on your website.

Give your press kit to local book stores & libraries
Contact the Friends of the Library and see if you can speak at the next meeting, donate a book

TIP – travel on a regular basis? Check out the local libraries and book stores on your route. Stop and give them a press kit. You might be able to schedule a book signing at one of them! See if they’ll stock your book or donate a book to the library.

Vicki M. Taylor
June 18th, 2008, 08:13 AM
Putting Together a Press or Media Kit

***This is the second article in a series covering the elements of effective public relations.

When attempting to garner attention for your book, it is important to market your title in a way that is relevant to the audience. Many audiences will request that you send a media kit (often referred to as a press kit). Media kits are collections of material about you and your book which you package and send to representatives of the media. The media kit should promote both you and your book by including news, marketing materials, and background information. A typical media kit might include:

* A cover letter, personalized for the recipient. Your cover letter should introduce you and your book and very briefly explain the purpose of this contact; you might be writing to ask for a book review or to arrange for an interview, for example. Your cover letter should specifically highlight the unique benefit of your book for readers and for the audience of the media outlet youíre contacting. You can supplement this with a personalized Post-it note with a short, personal message to the recipient, stuck in a conspicuous place in or on the kit.

* Relevant press releases and press clippings about you and your book. If youíve published articles or interviews, be certain to include copies of those as well.

* An author bio sheet that contains interesting and engaging information about your background and experiences; again, you can customize this information to appeal to specific markets.

* Sample questions and answers, particularly if youíre writing to request an interview about your book.

* A fact sheet about your book that lists its basic information, including the bookís title, publisher, ISBN number, page count, publication date, and price.

* Flyers, bookmarks, clipsheets of artwork from the book, or other marketing materials used to promote your book.

* A schedule of appearances, book signings, and events.

* Author portrait photo or photos taken of you during appearances at events.

* Review copy of your book, when appropriate; otherwise, a sample chapter or excerpt, along with cover art. Only send review copies to contacts that can result in news stories or other media coverage. Sending review copies to bookstores, libraries, schools, and other non-media sources wonít generate media coverage, and therefore isnít an efficient use of your marketing resources.

* If you arenít certain the recipient will be interested in a review copy of your book, you instead can include a review copy request card; recipients can return the card to you or call the number on the card to request a review copy of your book.

As you collect news clippings and quotes about your book, you can copy these and include them in your media kit. Put your kit in a simple but nice folder, and pack the information in a way that makes the material easy to look through and the smaller marketing pieces easy to find. And again, be prepared to customize the contents of your media kit to match the market into which youíre sending it.

***Adapted from Your Voice in Demand: The AuthorHouse Guide to Marketing and Promoting Your Book (AuthorHouse, 2005)

Vicki M. Taylor
June 27th, 2008, 04:06 PM
So, you send out your press kit, what if you get a call for an interview?

Be Prepared.

Everything you say is on the record

Anticipate questions and have the answers prepared

Commonly asked questions:

i.When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
ii.What books have influenced your writing?
iii.How did your childhood influence your writing?
iv.Who is your favorite author?
v.What do you do for fun?
vi.Why do you write?
vii.What is your professional background?
viii.Have you won any awards?
ix.Where has your writing been published?
x.Is there another person to speak to about your writing? Ė make sure to get that personís permission!
xi.How did you get the idea for this book?
xii.Whatís next?
xiii.Have you considered how your life may change if the book makes it big?

Leave out the negative; be professional

Present yourself as an interesting, talented, and professional writer

Think of some anecdotes you can use that relate to your writing life.

If you are being interviewed in person, on TV, or on radio, your clothes and setting project the image you want to portray.

If youíre being interviewed in person, try to memorize your answers and have only a few notes on cards to help you stay on track

If the interview is over the telephone you can use all the notes you want, keep your resume in front of you, they canít see it.

Spell out anything that can be misconstrued.

If youíve been offered an opportunity to be interviewed on radio or TV, you might be able to get a list of questions ahead of time to prepare, just ask!

TIP Ė always send a thank you to the interviewer. ALWAYS