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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Creating an Online Press Kit

After noodling around on the Internet to see what other authors do to promote their books, I realized before I invest the time to create a book trailer for The Steiny Road to Operadom. I should first assemble an online press kit. See Press Kit for Karren Alenier.

What should be in an online press kit at minimum is:

(1) A press release that shows at-a-glance at the top of the release information about who to contact by phone or email, publication date, ISBN, Library of Congress number, number of pages in the book, the publisher’s name. It’s best to keep these at one page but two if you must. In the text of the press release be sure to define close to the top what kind of book this is and what it contains. Quoting one or two of your book’s cover blurbs can be useful. Ending with how to buy the book is pro forma.

(2) The author’s photo, perhaps in high and low-resolution jpegs. Use headshots and not full body snapshots.

(3) A narrative biography, possibly two—one that is a paragraph or two and another that is a full page. Start with publication credentials and end with education, other pursuits that are not literary, and family.

Other items that are useful:

(4) Your book cover image in jpeg format.

(5) A sample book chapter.

(6) Comments made by appropriately expert people that could include your cover blurbs and excerpts from a published review.

(7) Interviews of you published on the Internet.

Make this press kit one web page on a site that you have access to or that belong to you. Book blogs are important, but I am not sure if you can create other pages on the blog website. Does anyone know about this?

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2 comments:

C.M. Mayo said...

Hi Karren, Yes, a crucial subject! I've noticed that many writers have a special page or two on their websites especially for media. I don't do that myself--- on www.cmmayo.com or on www.tameme.org (the chapbook press I edit) because I figure all sorts of people, media or not, may want to browse through things. There's the bio (written as for a press kit); contact info (but IMPORTANT: don't list your phone and address on your webpage unless you want the entire world to see it forever... ); etc, etc. I think you've made a pretty good list. The only thing I would add is that it's important to have high res jpegs, which are needed for print publication, on a separate webpage because, for those with a dial-up connection, they take forever and a month to download. Last note: a simple Q & A page about your book is always good--- if someone wants to interview you, it helps orient them a bit. In fact, I just uploaded a Q & A with translator John Oliver Simon, apropos of the forthcoming chapbook with Tameme. Check it out at www.tameme.org/interviews.html Good luck to you!

Karren Alenier said...

Dear Madam Mayo,

Thanks for this feedback.

I agree that one should not put contact info in the bios. From the blog one can contact me through email and that is enough.

Yes, I also understand about the high res photo. It's something I have to work on. Did you think the photo on my press kit page was too large given the problem of those folks who have only dial up?

The question and answer interview on the book that is being promoted is a great idea. I will check out what you have done on tameme.org.