How to Build an Online Media Room
by Dana Lynn Smith
The goal of an online media room is to make it easy for reviewers, journalists, talk show producers, and other influencers to quickly find everything they need to know about you and what you publish. You might actually call it Media Room, or choose one of the other frequently used labels such as Media Kit, Press Room, or Press Kit, or call it simply Media or Press on your Web site’s navigation menu. (On some sites, the media page is accessed through a link from the About page, but I recommend avoiding this extra step if possible.)
Whatever you call your media room, make sure it’s clearly marked and easy to find from any page on your site.
And remember that it isn’t just for the media. You can link to your media room when introducing yourself to bloggers, potential customers, and potential partners, among others. It’s a great place to showcase credentials and other biographical information about an author and information about your publishing company and its achievements.
Here are some of the most important elements to include on your media room. Some publishers find that they will all fit on one page; others set up several pages and create links to them from the main media room page.
About the author. This might include two bios, one that is two or three sentences long (imagine a radio announcer introducing the author) and another that’s two or three paragraphs long.
About the book. A summary written in the style of a news article, with an emphasis on the benefits the book offers, and without marketing hype.
Praise/endorsements/reviews. Feature any celebrity quotes prominently.
Awards. Information about any awards the book has received and any writing awards received by the author.
Author photos. Provide a high-resolution version for print and a low-resolution version for online use. Include a caption beneath each photo that presents the author’s credentials and/or tagline.
Book covers. Here too, provide a high-resolution version for print and a low-resolution version for online use.
Contact information. Make this easy to find, and include email address, phone number, and mailing address, if applicable.
For a Richer Media Room
Other elements commonly found in author and book media rooms include:
• A complete press kit in the form of one Web page or one PDF document that contains all the information media people will want.
• An “In the Media” area that provides links to previous media coverage. If any major print or broadcast media have covered a book or its author, include their logos prominently.
• Short audio and/or video clips, preferably of the author being interviewed so potential interviewers can get a positive sense of a guest they’re considering. You can also provide a book video trailer or audio trailer.
• A list of interview topics that the author can speak about.
• Sample Q&A; radio producers and hosts, in particular, will appreciate having questions they can use in an interview.
• A list of topics the author can write articles about and/or a list of suggested angles for feature stories. You might even provide prewritten stories or tips for the media to use.
• A fact sheet—a single page with pertinent facts about the book’s topic and/or other resonant elements of it.
• Links to online versions of press releases about the author, the book, or the publisher.
• Media references—quotes from media people who have interviewed the author or you or worked with either of you.
• If the author is a consultant, it might also make sense to post a list of important clients (with their permission) and a few testimonial quotes from them.
Many online media rooms contain downloadable documents in PDF format, but some publicists advise just putting the text of your media materials on a Web page and letting people copy and paste from there.
Even when it’s convenient to copy or download your book publicity materials from your Web site, don’t be surprised if some people still want you to email information to them or even send a printed media kit.
However you deliver your media materials, do your best to make it easy for journalists and others to find everything they need in one convenient spot.
Dana Lynn Smith helps authors and indie publishers learn how to sell more books through her how-to guides, blog, newsletter, and private coaching. This article is derived from her latest book, How to Get Your Book Reviewed (GetBookReviews.net). To learn more: TheSavvyBookMarketer.com, @BookMarketer on Twitter, and facebook.com/SavvyBookMarketer.