Saturday, November 8, 2014

How To Make your Press Kit Media Friendly #AuthorHelp

Every so often I go on a PSA rant about something on FaceBook. Here is today's advice about creating easy and effective Media Kits. I've also included an example for your enjoyment.

I didn't create this, but I LOVE the person who did!

Dear Author,

If you haven't created a media kit, now is the time to do so. It's very simple. In one document (and I do one for each new book) include: Book title, length, genre, blurb, links for purchase, and a short excerpt or two. Also include your bio/information and links. Lastly, clear the formatting (you can do that in the upper right hand corner on Word "Home" page (click styles.)

Put it in a Word folder with your book cover, teasers, and author pic so it's all easy to find and send at a moment's notice.

This is the professional thing to send to bloggers and reviewers who want to spotlight your book. We don't want 6 documents with written information on each, plus links in an email and a link to your website so we can "go get whatever else we need." I know you're a busy author. But guess what? So am I. Those who make my life easier get another blog spot.

Love, Mia.


***It takes less than ten minutes to make a Marketing Kit (or Press Kit, call it what you like.) I did an example one below with information found here on my blog (except for one thing that I had to hunt for.)***

I have a lot of guests here on the blog. Partly because I like to see what others are reading/publishing. Partly because I like to help out authors. Partly because I want blog activity and sometimes I'm too busy to post stuff all the time.

What is your goal as an author? 
To give the blogger/reviewer everything he/she needs so it's easy for them. I try to lay out my Marketing Page a lot like I lay out my blog so it's easy for them. Word will do Hyperlinks for your Author and Book links. Pictures do not usually carry over to a blog post (sometimes they do, sometimes they don't) so you can have those handy to send along, too.

Maybe you think I'm being picky. Honestly, I've done enough guest posts now to truly appreciate an author with their act together. It's not fair to ask a blogger to take time from his/her busy life to gather your materials so you can get back to writing. In my case, I'm taking time from MY writing to do your job. Not fair.

Here is a behind the scene look at what it takes to compile blog posts:
  • It takes me about 20-30 minutes to load and format a well-organized post. 
  • It can take up to an hour or more if I have to hunt for things on the Internet. 
  • It takes time to download and then load book covers, teasers, pictures. 
  • It takes time to position your cover, teasers, banners, and pictures nicely. 
  • Often, your written post will need formatting (which is easy if it's all in one document.)
  • I always activate links if needed and make sure they go where they should.
  • Sending the blogger on a hunt for information means they need to find it, download or cut/copy it, format it, and place it in the blog. Depending on the hunt, it can add up to a half hour or more.

What to include in your Media Kit (in detail)
  • Book title (I've had authors just send me a post with no mention of the book title at all)
  • Length (gives the host/hostess something to mention)
  • Genre (because sometimes it's not clear from the blurb if a book is erotic, contemporary, New Adult...)
  • Some possible hashtags or tags (Optional but helpful)
  • Some possible teaser or tweet lines (Optional but helpful)
  • Fun fact/mention--I have authors include this because it might be something interesting to add in the intro. Is it a first book? Won awards? Best seller? Over 200 5-star reviews? 
  • Blurb (check for ERRORS! If I had a nickel for every error in a blurb, I'd be rich.)
  • Excerpt (Choose something PG-13 if you're unsure of the blog heat level, or ask the hostess. DO NOT choose something really controversial or gory. Readers like the first meet or first kiss with a little dialogue. Start and end with a hook.)
  • Purchase links (quickly check and make sure they work)
  • Short excerpt or two (proof these, too!)
  • Author Bio (short!)
  • Author contact links (again, make sure they work)
Quick Tip:
ou'll notice below that I mention the title in my blurb and bxcerpt title lines. Hopefully, the host/hostess will use this. The more your name or your book is mentioned without being obnoxious, the better the chances of search engines finding the post. This is called Search Engine Optimization. There is a formula for it, but all you need to know is to get your name/title in there as much as possible without being obvious. So don't refer to yourself in third person. LOL


Example Marketing Page by Mia Downing...
Book Name: Switching Leads from Campus Cravings M/M Bundle
Book Length: 29K
Book Genre: M/M. Some of the stories in the anthology are NA, all college-set.
Book Tags: #MM #LGBT #NA #NewAdult #College #Contemporary
Book Teaser for a Tweet: He’s used to taking the reins…for love will he switch leads? (12 Words)

Blurb for Switching Leads (Campus Cravings M/M Bundle)
Coach John Graham needs a new assistant for Cathia U's equestrian team. The last person he expects to get the job walks into the barn and stops his heart. How is he supposed to focus on the team when his ex-lover—sexy horse trainer Finn Parker—wants back into his life…and into his bed?

Blurb for Campus Cravings M/M Book Bundle
School is in session! Nine of today's hottest gay romance authors have crafted brand-new interrelated novellas celebrating everything wonderful about college, with over 200,000 words featuring sophisticated professors, sexy teaching assistants, ambitious grad students, and spirited undergraduates, all looking for the same thing: an A+ in true love.

Excerpt From Switching Leads...
A soft knock rattled the door. John pushed away just as it opened and Finn shoved his head in.
“Oh, hey. Can I talk to you?”

“Busy,” John managed, his throat tight, choking down any other words that wanted to come out. Of course, it had to be Finn. He strode over to the desk and shuffled papers through his trembling hands, hoping it all looked natural. Just close the door and go away.

“You okay?” Finn slid through the small gap and shut the door behind him.

Was he? His hand froze on the note Rob had left him earlier, reminding him about Finn starting today, knowing John rarely checked email on the weekend. “Fine.”

“You have to talk to me at some point.” Finn cocked his head. “It’s just a matter of time.”

John whirled and leaned against the desk, his heart racing. Talking wasn’t good. If he was already seeking Finn’s approval, how long would it be before Finn coaxed him into bed? March? February? Hell, next week? Did he have that much will power? How long before his heart would be trampled again?

Campus Cravings is Available At...
Smashwords (all formats)
Kobo (all formats)
ARe (all formats)


About Mia Downing...
Mia Downing started creating heroes at age four, but her heroes back then rode ponies to rescue the princess and only kissed her on the cheek. Today, Mia's heroes still rescue those in need, but the price of their toys and the expertise of their seduction leads to a lot more than a peck on the cheek. When Mia isn't busy creating new stories for her readers she fills in as an underwear model for a prestigious lingerie company. She also lives in New England with her family and enjoys horses and knitting.

Fun facts: Mia can juggle (poorly,) create balloon animals and face paint. She was the hit entertainment of two family parties. No clown suits were involved.

Find Mia on the Web! 

Questions? Comments? Feel free to ask away! 

Thanks for stopping by! 
(Now go make or update your media kit!)


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! -- Emma Jameson
(Posted as Anonymous because Blogger never accepts my WordPress ID!)

Mia Downing said...

You're welcome, Emma! Thanks for reading and commenting.

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