While you need a quality press kit to send to reviewers, it’s more and more likely that this press kit will be virtual rather than physical. Journalists â€“ and just about everyone else in the media â€“ prefer to receive digital press kits rather than paper-and-cardboard ones, to save on having to store or file them, and also because electronic press kits can be more useful to today’s journalist and blogger community.
An electronic press kit, like a physical one, is still a promotional package containing a brief biography, author photographs and other information pertinent to your book. Your electronic press kit can be almost as powerful as your book in getting your message across and attracting attention to you.
But the electronic press kit might have a different design. For one thing, its visual impact will depend less on images and more on ease of use. You’ve got make it as simple as possible for a journalist or blogger to scroll through your site and find what’s needed.
- Your electronic galley should be included (either in downloadable e-reader form, or via PDF â€“ give the journalist the option to choose, so have both available).
- You should offer more high-res images. You don’t want to make them too hard to download, so steer journalists (and the journalists’ art department) to a site where such photos can be downloaded, without their hogging up too much server space on the journalist’s computer.
- You might consider an audio element to the press kit â€“ an interview with you that can be excerpted for radio.
- Similarly, you might consider a video interview or a video put together to discuss aspects of your book. You can link to this video, or have a segment of it available for the journalists to see on your site. Keep it short â€“ really short; journalists aren’t patient with such things â€“ and if it’s punchy and informative, it might fin its way onto the journalist’s or blogger’s site.
- Make sure you have a contact number in case the journalist wants to speak with you, set up an interview, schedule a video or simply follow up. Do not hide your contact information â€“ a press kit should not have elements that are in any way obscure or difficult to discover.
- Make your e-press kit tabbed â€“ indicate clearly where everything is so the journalist doesn’t have to hunt for information. The longer a journalist has to look for information the less likely the journalist use that information.
- Your cover letter should be brief, to the point and open-ended. That is, you’re sending the book, which you describe in two or three bullet points, and then you get out of the way. If the journalist wants to speak with you, you’ll hear from the journalist. Don’t pester people. Let your work and your marketing work speak.
Or let others speak for you. In our next post, we’ll look at the tricky subject of getting endorsements for your book.
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