An author press kit is a package of information about a particular writer, sent out to editors, retailers, readers, media influencers and book bloggers; basically anyone who might take an interest in you as an author.
Today -with the explosion of social media, blogs and podcasts- there are thousands of reviewers who have access to a very active audience, and a well crafted press kit may be a precious tool in helping them understand what you have to offer to their audience, and give them the appropriate context to follow up with you.
If it is true that your press material won’t necessarily turn a negative review into a positive one, it is also true that a good reviewer wants to review your book in context, knowing all the background information that can help them understand who you are and what you write. Approaching book bloggers and reviewers (read more here) with a well crafted e-mail and an effective press kit will sure help you making a positive impression.
Press kits vary in context, complexity, and appearance and for the #IndieCorner I would like to focus on the digital version, as it’s easier to handle and gives instant access to photos and/or videos that can be downloaded and used immediately.
The easiest way to make your press kit available is to put all the documents into a PDF or a ZIP file and attach a download link to the file to the e-mail requesting in your e-mail and on your book’s Press or Media page.
What’s in an author press kit?
Contents of a press kit are determined by a number of factors, including target recipients and -of course, your budget. However all include a list of three essentials items that you should never miss: author info, book info and images.
- AUTHOR BIO
Take some time to think about your readers, and what you want them to think about you. A short bio -usually 200-250 words- should include all the infos that make you sound interesting especially to the specific audience to whom you’re marketing. Use the narrative form but be creative, a bit of humor and some curious information can tell a lot about your personality.
- CONTACT INFORMATION
Never forget your contact details: e-mail, socials, website (such as book/author page).
- INTERVIEW MATERIAL
A list of interview questions (and of course, responses) it’s a useful and ready-to-use content for reviewers and bloggers that want to help you promote your book. My suggestion is to be original, you can include questions about your background, your inspiration for writing this book, your experience with self-publishing, future projects, etc.
- ONE SHEET
One sheet will enable you to quickly market yourself and your book, and many authors just use it as a “review request sheet” alone. This is something you could craft on your own using your creativity, or you could look for online templates (you can choose from a wide range of free to download, or pay for custom templates) and start creating the perfect one.
One sheets should include a short bio (100 words) and basic info such as your name, your place of birth or where you currently live, what you do (or used to do) for a living, what you’ve written, perhaps your education, your hobbies and your contact information. Basically, anything that will make you stand out.
Add some information about the book; like the full title, your name, publisher, date published, ISBN and a short synopsis. Include a picture of the cover to add visual interest. You could also include reviews, press releases and endorsements -anything that makes you more attractive to potential readers and buyers.
- REVIEWS & NOTABLE MEDIA MENTIONS
A good way to generate interest in your book is including testimonials from satisfied readers, positive reviews and notable media mentions. If available, include a few clips of past reviews (or media coverage) to showcase what others have said about you and your work.
This is optional but -sometimes- you may be asked to send in excerpts of your book. Just put the first two or three chapters together into a sample PDF, a sneak peek that showcases your talent and the tone of the book.
- AUTHOR PICTURE
A good picture does visual interest and add a level of personalization. Better if a professional-looking headshot in hi-resolution format.
- BOOK COVER
Always add the front (and back) cover picture in hi-resolution format.
The point of an Author Press Kit -especially for Indie Authors- is to catch the eye of influencers, bloggers and reviewers and make them want to write an article about you and your book. Do not underestimate the importance of using it when hunting for reviews, it’s a great tool for sending out information quickly and effectively.
Are you an Indie Author? Feel free to join and discuss the importance of the Author Press Kit down in the comments.