To effectively market your book, you’ll need a media kit. This is a collection of materials that you send to newspapers, radio and television stations, magazines, bloggers and just about anyone else who might in some way mention your book. Sometimes it’s referred to as a press kit.
A media kit provides reporters, bloggers and reviewers with basic information they need to write about the book and you. In some cases, the media and bloggers will do nothing more than reprint your material. Sometimes they may edit it a little, other times they may write something based on the information you provided. The best response is when your media kit generates enough interest that a reporter or a blogger contacts you for an interview, because it probably means publicity that gets better play in their publication, broadcast or website.
The media kit generally consists of three elements:
• Press release – This is a 1-2 page article that announces the publication of your book or any other newsy event involving it, such as an award it’s received or your planned appearance for a book reading.
• Photographs – You should include at least two pictures – of yourself and of the book cover – that the media or bloggers can reprint. As pictures often grab attention more quickly than a headline, getting photos of your book cover and of you printed or posted is vital.
• Book samples – You’ll want to send a sample chapter, probably as a pdf, so that the media and bloggers can get a better sense of what you’re writing. Sometimes sending a pdf of the entire book is a good idea. Some media – especially book reviewers and daily newspaper reporters – will request an actual copy of the book before they’ll write anything.
A website promoting your book can supplement your media kit by offering text, audio and video interviews of you, additional photographs, and a biography. You’ll almost certainly mention your website on the press release. But to get that initial glance from the press and blogosphere, don’t rely solely on the website to do your work for them. You need to first attract their attention, and the media kit – like a good smile, handshake and hello – is the best way to accomplish that.
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