An author's press kitby Terry McLaughlin
Once upon a time, when I was Unpublished, I saw an author's press kit. It was a folder filled with wonderful things: cover flats (oooh!), glossy photos (ahhh!), and impressive material about the author. Someday, I thought to myself, I'll have one of those, too...when I'm Published.
I may be Published now, but my press kit is still in the planning stages (darn it). I could have used that press kit many times during the past several years–just a couple of weeks ago, for instance, when a local reporter called to arrange an interview for a feature piece. As soon as I can manage it, I'm going to get my act–and my kit–together.
A press kit is a package of promotional material assembled to inform members of the press about a product (your books) or a person (you, the author). It can be in print form, like the one I saw, or in electronic form, available on a Web site.
A Web-based press kit could include:
• an author's background or bio
• an author's photos (available in several different sizes and resolutions)
• past press coverage and interviews (with links, if possible)
• images of book covers
• current author events (such as upcoming tour dates)
• media contact information (an agent or publicist)
A printed press kit might consist of:
• a folder to hold all the goodies
• a cover sheet listing the kit contents and offering further information
• a press release about a current event
• an author's bio or fact sheet
• author photos
• book cover flats
• promotional materials from the publisher
• copies of past press coverage or interviews
• a media contact information sheet
• an author's business card
Here are some examples of handy press kits on Noodler Web sites:
Do yourself a favor: plan for the incorporation of an electronic press kit as part of your author's Web site design, and begin assembling materials for a few print folders.