Organizing a media kit about your book or event is only half of the process in promoting yourself. The other half is distributing it.
Your distribution philosophy should be simple: Get the media kits in the hands of editors and writers who’ll be most interested in giving you or your book coverage.
Begin by compiling a list of who might be interested. Among those people are:
• Media (newspapers, magazines, radio station and television news reporters, bloggers, websites) that cover community in which you live
• Media in communities where you used to live/work
• Media in communities that cover where you attended school (both high school and college)
• Media in communities mentioned in the book
• Media that cover topics addressed in your book (such as outdoors magazines if the book is about rock climbing)
• Clubs interested in topics addressed in your book
• Press release distributors (Many companies will post your press release for free online; type “free press release distribution” into a search engine for a current list of distributors.)
If your press release is about an event, focus exclusively on media that cover the area where the event will be held.
When sending the media kit, try to find names and email of a specific reporter or editor who deals with the topics or covers the geographical area related to your address.
Also, for each media kit sent, you likely will need to rewrite the press release’s lede (its opening paragraph) or a closing paragraph, connecting the press release to the geographical area or the topic that you had in mind when sending it.
Send the media kit at least a week before any upcoming event. If announcing the results of an event (such as the publication of your book or the receipt of an award), send the media kit immediately after – usually within a day – of the event.
Finding email and snail mail addresses of media and clubs interested in covering you or your book will take some time. For mainstream media, begin by typing “media contact list” into a search engine, You can purchase media contact lists, but to keep your expenses low, simply use them as a starting point and go directly to the media outlet’s website. You’ll have to dig around, but usually there’s a list of staff with contact information on the website.
For blogs (and non-mainstream media websites), type “blogs” or “websites” plus a keyword that describes what your book is about. For example, if you’ve written a hiking book, type “hiking blogs” or “hiking websites” into a search engine. You’ll probably have to go to several different blogs and websites to find the ones that would be most interested.
For clubs, type “clubs” plus that descriptive keyword into a search engine. You’ll likely have to visit a variety of websites and dig around to find contact information.
While doing this groundwork, begin compiling a list of media contacts that you can use for sending out future media kits. Remember that these lists will have to be periodically updated as staff members change, blogs go defunct, and clubs elect new officers.
Sending out the media kit is fairly easy. Simply email it, with the press release as the body text of your email and the other materials, such as photographs, as attachments. Be forewarned that some media will not open attachments, and a few who are interested will want you to send paper copies of your book.
My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.