Before you start reaching out to bloggers, podcasters, or anyone else who might feature your books, you should create an author press kit. This is a one-page resource where people can find all of the information they need to decide if they’re going to feature you.
In this guide, I’ll explain the different elements of an author press kit. By the time you’re finished, you’ll have the knowledge to pull your press kit together in a few minutes.
What goes into an author press kit
Your press kit should contain everything a journalist or blogger needs to write a short feature about you. This includes a tagline, contact information, your author bio, headshot, book covers, favorable review quotes, and prior appearances.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these components.
1. Tagline + contact information
The first area of your press kit should look something like this:
There are three things here. First is the tagline, a sentence that describes me and my work. You’ll note that I include where I’m from, what genre I write in, and the overarching theme of my work (overcoming trauma). This allows the journalist or blogger visiting my page to decide whether or not I’m the author they need with a glance.
The second thing I’ve included is a small author photo. This is to give visitors a sense of who I am. There’s a larger version of this headshot further down for use on other media pages.
Finally, I’ve included two methods of contact. The first is my email address, with spaces around the @ to protect myself from spam bots. The second is my Twitter, which is also my primary social media account. This makes it possible for visitors to contact me or learn more about my platform.
All in all, the first section of your press kit should tell who you are, what you do, and how they can contact you.
2. Author bio(s)
The next section of your press kit is your author bios. In fact, you should list three versions of your author bio here:
- Short – 50-75 words
- Medium – 100-150 words
- Long – 250 words
Remember that a good bio includes a mix of information about your work and your personal life. You can also infuse your bio with your writing style to give it a branded feel.
If you don’t have an author bio yet, check out my guide to writing your author bio(s).
Next, you want to share your author headshot. This should be a large, high quality image that can be imported directly onto other media sites.
Many media professionals also recommend including a grayscale version of your headshot. You can use a free online grayscale converter to create this version of your image.
4. Book covers
This is pretty straight forward: images of all of your book covers. If you have several books, you’ll want to display these in small formats so they can be condensed into one row, like the book covers on Cait Gordon’s press kit.
Make sure that these link to the media files of large-scale images that can be used on other media sites.
5. Words of praise
These are quotes from favorable reviews of your books. Reviews from publications carry more weight, but you can also use quotes from reviews on Amazon or Goodreads.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind when choosing your quotes:
- Length. Each quote should only be 2-3 sentences long. You don’t want to overwhelm your visitor!
- Language. Look for well-written reviews that are unequivocally positive about your work. Reviews that mention specific aspects of your books, such as character development, are particularly powerful.
Aim to have 2-4 review quotes on your page. Most website builders have specialized quote blocks that you can use to emphasize these words of praise:
6. Prior appearances
These are interviews, spotlights, guest articles, and other appearances on blogs, media sites, and podcasts. Visitors can use these links to find out more about you and/or to grab quotes for their media pieces.
When you’re starting out, you’ll want to include every appearance on your page. However, as you make more media appearances, you’ll want to start curating them to emphasize your most prestigious appearances. This establishes you as a sought-after author.
Bonus: awards and nominations
If your work has ever been nominated for and/or won an award, make a section for this in your press kit! Even little-known awards establish you as a professional writer.
An author press kit makes it easy for journalists and bloggers to grab the information they need to do interviews, spotlights, and other pieces about you and your work. You can build an effective author kit in six parts:
- Tagline + contact information
- Author bio(s)
- Book covers
- Quotes from your reviews
- Prior appearances
Professional accomplishments such as awards and membership in professional associations may also be worth mentioning.
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