Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Author Media Kits -- A Breakdown of the What, the Why, and the How

Hello, indies! My plan, as I began to prepare this post, was to share about how to prepare for a (live) author interview. We get so used to doing things online--through emails, or other posts that allow us to think about our answers before making them final--that we aren't always prepared to have immediate, answer-giving conversations. (Or is this just me? Example of recent phone interview: Newspaper guy: "Do you have any other hobbies?" Me: "Uh... duh..." *crickets*) Once I began to research common Q & A sessions, however, I realized that if you're going to prepare yourself for an interview, you might as well prepare your author media kit at the same time. This is something we have to prepare ourselves anyway more often than not (being indies and all), so I figured, why not share all of the info in one post? 

Whether it's for something local (like a newspaper article), a bookstore event, book blog tour, or simply generating buzz for upcoming release, media kits are a beneficial, professional way to get the word out there about your work. (Keep in mind that you don't have to do *everything* listed in the kits, only the things you feel comfortable with--including money--don't ever spend more than you feel comfortable spending). Are you ready? Here we go!

** A few months ago, The Alliance of Independent Authors blog had a series called 50 Ways to Reach Your Reader, and one of the posts, Media Kit for Indie Authors (by guest Shannon O' Neil of Duolit) was quite informative (link). In the article, Shannon answers not only the question of what a media kit consists of, but how we can use one. And, the part about an author bio and author Q & A lists some of those frequently-asked interview questions (working on them whilst preparing your media kit will help you recall them later during live interviews). 

** Last April, Joanna Penn (of The Creative Penn) featured a guest post by Tolulope Popoola, who shared similar information in a post called Creating Your Author Press Kit (link). Toluope included two actual author press kit examples, and stressed the fact that the kits don't have to be complicated or fancy.

** The CreateSpace community blog holds many helpful articles about all things self-published, including a post by Richard Ridley regarding not only The Author Press Kit (link), but also how to construct an effective author bio.

** Max Nomad of Bohemian Griot Publishing (a "small, Virginia-based Creative Boutique that specializes in Graphic Design, Branding and Custom Publishing") has a quite detailed and informative post about media kits, included the best size for photos, and a cost breakdown of costs if you choose to purchase software in an article titled, The Ambitious Author's Press Kit: Guerrilla-Style Tips for Starting you Self-Published Book Promotional Campaign the Right Way (link)

** If you're like me, the more simple things are, the better. Shannon O'Neil of Duolit also has a post called Start Your Media Kit Today: Mini Workbook (link) in which she says she can help you knock out five essential pieces of your media kit in only fifteen minutes.

I asked fellow Indie Ignites member Nazarea Andrews what she makes sure to include in her media kit, and it's pretty much what I've included in mine:

-- Bio
-- Author photo
-- Links (website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, Goodreads)
-- Synopsis
-- Cover
-- Buy links

Nazarea also made a very good point, and I think this is a great idea no matter what kind of media kit you use: "I always make one as soon as I can. I keep it in my file for that manuscript--titled BOOK TITLE--base post; because it goes along with my blog tour posts." She also went on to say that if she were sending a physical version of this kit, she'd add a cover letter and swag to go along with the book promotion.

And there you have it. A few step-by-step guides on what an author media kit is, why you should have one, and how to prepare it. If anyone has anything to add about their own media kits, we'd love to hear about it!

No comments:

Post a Comment