An Essential Element Every Author Should Have On Their Website
An important element that is overlooked on many author websites is one that is so basic that we often think, "How on earth did I forget that?"
And that essential element is: your online press kit.
What is a press kit, some of you ask? When a book is being pitched for coverage to the media, a publicist (a person who pitches book coverage to the press) sends them a package of key information that tells the journalist everything they need to know about the author and book they are publishing. It has background information, quotes, press releases, samples, and whatever they needed to be "sold" on the idea of writing an article about this particular product to get word out through their publication.
With social media and other online resources, many overlook the importance of an online press kit. Some see this as a form of "old" media practices, but an online press kit brings together all of the basic elements that many look for when looking for information quickly on an author.
So who will actually use a press kit? Here are some examples:
- Media for reviews, features, calendar events, special events, etc.
- Organizations looking for speakers for events, retreats, etc.
- Bloggers and other new media outlets
- Radio for interviews
- …and more!
Below are five basic elements you should include in your online press kit:
1) YOUR BIO
Yes, you should have an "about" page on your website that has your bio information, but you need to make sure that you have your bio in a format that is easy to cut-and-paste is important. You should also have variations of your bio available as well.
Long Form Bio
This holds more detail and information and usually runs no more than 1 to 1 1/2 pages.
Short Form Bio
This is a shorter version of your bio with just the basics and should run 50-100 words. This will be used for calendar editors, events pages, agents who need a quick pitch, and more.
2) HIGH RESOLUTION IMAGES
Having an option to download 2-3 high res images (usually 1-2 publicity shots & one of your book artwork) is very important. If someone writes a review they will need a high quality image of you & your project, so it's essential have that ready and available for them to download easily. They will need to be at least 300 dpi in JPEG or PNG format.
*Quick tip: If you are co-writing a book, please be sure to list who is who in each picture going from left to right (l-r). Making the information as easy to find and use is a huge plus!!
By making two chapters available for download is essential. Have them contact you for a book to be mailed or an ebook link emailed to them.
If you have had other reviews or coverage, this is an excellent place to feature them. If you have fan reviews, be sure to feature them here as well.
5) ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
If you have multiple books be sure to include a list the book titles as well as the years they were released. This gives the viewer an idea of what you have worked on, your past experience, and additional information they will need for your write-up.
This is an easy and effective way to gather up all of the essential information about you, your book or project that makes it easy for the media and other key people looking for information on you to find it.
QUESTION: Do you have an online press kit? How have you used it to help promote your project? Leave us a comment to let us know in the comments below!
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Photo by Andronicus Riyono