Your primary goal in producing your media kit is to make a media person’s job easier. Accordingly, your kit should include the information the media will need to write stories or conduct interviews. They should be able to find what they want easily.
Because the media are constantly inundated with materials, you want to make yours stand out from the rest and look as professional as possible.
Assembling a media kit can seem an intimidating task if you aren’t familiar with what each page should present. Here’s a checklist of what to include and why.
This is the most important element of your publicity and promotions campaign. The news release is the initial piece you will send to the media and the one you use to grab their attention and persuade them to do a story about you. No doubt you know that your news release must have a “hook,” something that captures the reader’s attention and convinces them to want to learn more. A news release should offer a potential story to the media. When you write it, you should not simply announce the release of your new book, you should express the benefits of the book for the reader.
Kit Table of Contents
People in the media are extremely busy and most often under strict deadlines. They receive piles of information every day. A Table of Contents will help them identify the specific information they need quickly and easily, without having to search through stacks of paper.
What Makes Your Book Unique
This information is vital so that media people can tell their audiences what differentiates your book from others in the market. This is your opportunity to express the significant benefits of your book, your chance to explain how the book fills a need that you perceived. In doing this, you should identify your target market or markets, explaining who will benefit most from what your book provides.
This is the story of the writer, the writer’s background, and how this book came to be. Often the media are interested in “the story behind the story,” so self-publishers shouldn’t be shy about their accomplishments, abilities, knowledge, and talents. Bios should be written in the third person, even if the author is also the publisher.
List all of the pertinent details and facts about your book. You should include the following information:
Title: (Also give the subtitle if the book has one.)
Publisher: (Provide the name and contact information.)
Number of Pages:
Photographs: (Say how many and whether or not they are in color.)
Size, Type of Binding & Width of the Spine: (Give the book’s size in inches, e.g. 7″ X 9″.)
Barcoded: (Yes or No. Books without barcodes seem unprofessional and will be virtually impossible to sell through retail outlets.)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Design questions that you would like the media to ask you, with answers that explain what your book is all about and why someone would want to buy it. Be sure your questions will give you the opportunity to describe the benefits of your book because some reviewers and interviewers may pick material up from your FAQs. A few sample questions are: “Why did you write this book?” “Who is your intended audience?” “How does this book benefit the reader?”
This is where you have the chance to give your book some credibility. Endorsements from high-profile individuals and those with strong relevant credentials can be extremely effective in sending the message that your book offers reliable, accurate information.
List all your reviews and media appearances in chronological order, starting with the most recent. You can also list any ongoing promotions you are involved in with any media or company, and you should mention any upcoming coverage or bookings too. If any media are planning reviews in the near future, you can incorporate those specifics as well. Attach copies of coverage you have received in print to further the credibility of your book.
The Corporate Kit
If you have several titles and/or other products, you should create a corporate media kit instead of an individual kit for each title. The corporate kit should incorporate everything your company has to offer. Even if you are actively promoting only one title, a corporate media kit can save you a great deal of time and money. You can highlight the title you are currently promoting in your news release while providing information about your company. This allows the media to be as thorough as possible and gives them a variety of different story angles to work with, which can definitely work to your advantage.
Joni Hamilton is V.P. of Marketing for Ink Tree Ltd., a firm that provides authors and publishers with innovative opportunities to maximize success. Hamilton can be reached at 403/295-3898, or via firstname.lastname@example.org and