Virtually every writer today, from bestselling authors to indies publishing their first book, has to spend some of each day marketing his work. Newsletters, blogs, and other online venues make it relatively simple to create a solid base for your book marketing plans, but the truly successful writer also makes a point of publicizing himself and his work offline. Meeting readers face-to-face and contacting librarians and bookstore owners is a higher level of literary advertisement, one which can pay off in rabidly loyal fans.
Finding people to view your work and making appointments to see them is one hurdle, but once you're there, what can you show them? Giving out copies of your book is fine, but it can be expensive and many people won't take the time to read an entire book before making a decision about supporting you. What you need is a compact collection of promotional materials that talk about you, your latest book and your compelling story: the modern media kit.
What's in Your Media Kit?
You want the contents of your media kit to give enough information to people to tempt them to read your book, but not so much that they feel like it's work to go through the package. Some of the most common items in a media kit are:
- A one-page synopsis of your book, including unique details on main characters, setting, facts or anything else that might resonate with local buyers.
- A short autobiography, including a list of past fiction or non-fiction works and all contact information
- An author Q & A, to save journalists time when they want to cover your book release
- A copy of the book cover, as well as head shots and other author photos
Where to Use a Media Kit?
A media kit might seem like advanced marketing materials, but it can come in handy in more situations than you might imagine. Create a virtual/digital version as well as a physical one, and send it to multiple book review blogs, in an effort to increase the number of reviews your book has.
Physical media kits are useful as you go around towns talking to bookstore owners who might hold book readings for you. Handing over a media kit makes you look more professional and reliable, which makes you much more likely to be the author they call for the next appointment.
Up your advertising quotient by contacting reviewers for local and college newspapers. With a solid synopsis, an author Q & A, and camera-ready artwork, you've done most of the work for them. If they're looking for a book to review, yours should be the front runner.
Mail a copy of your media kit to convention organizers when you'd like to be considered as a panel member. If your book is in the right niche and you look like you're put together and reliable, most convention leads will be happy to schedule you, which can mean massive sales for your current and past books.
Keep the Faith and may the Force Be With You!