The Media Kit for Authors
I have written on aspects of Guerilla Marketing and how indie authors can use the principles of this technique to their best advantage. I’ve covered pre-publication and post-publication uses of Guerilla Marketing concerning a book’s release and promotion on the internet. The fuller aspect of ‘think globally, act locally’ will be covered here, with the Media Kit, also referred to as a Press Kit.
The simple explanation of the Media Kit has to do with producing local buzz about an author’s book. The Media Kit is a collection of materials representing the author’s book. These include an 11”x14” poster designed to showcase the book. This would include a photo of the book’s cover, title and advertising splash about the book. It can be a simply designed poster, or it can become very sophisticated using a professional designer. For indie authors utilizing Guerilla Marketing principles of doing it yourself, using a standard layout program like Microsoft Publisher, or other program. The idea is ending up with something akin to a movie poster showcasing an upcoming film. I will explain the use of the materials after describing the collection of materials.
This poster should also include an 8”x10” ‘table’ sized equivalent of the poster; just smaller. Also to be included in this kit are book markers, with the same theme as the poster and table top poster. These book markers need only the book cover design, title and author’s name. These can be laid out in a design program, four wide on an 8 ½”x 11” standard sheet, then printed by the author, or affordably printed at a local print shop, then cut at home. Another element of the kit would be an author’s business card, ideally with the author’s logo (brand), and their website address (URL), facebook URL, and contacting email, again, ideally email address for the website. Sample being; email@example.com. This connects prospective readers to you via email, through your website.
The standard procedure for best applying your Media Kit is working to connect to local print media, hence the term Press Kit. The procedure goes like this; contact a local bookstore willing to give you an author’s signing day at their store. Best day to schedule this is on a Saturday, which is noted as the busiest day for bookstore patrons. Two weeks before your signing day, ask he bookstore to post your 11”14” poster in their window, or prominent place to announce your signing day, and give patrons a chance to buy your book ahead of time, and have a chance to come in to have the book signed. When you have a signing day scheduled it is time to get the local media to cover you and your book in the paper’s Arts & Community section. The interview/story should be scheduled to release at or just before your poster is to go up at the bookstore. This informs potential readers of your upcoming author’s signing day, as well as inform readers about you and your book.
On the signing day, the bookstore should offer you a table for your books and Media Kit materials. Remember, your poster should be prominently displayed at the bookstore, preferably in their front window or front of the store. The table top poster of your book should, of course, be on the table, alongside the other elements of the kit. Simply backing the paper to a piece of foam core will allow you to stand it up on a wire stand. Also on the table will be your author’s cards, hopefully in an inexpensive card holder, your book markers, and a stack of your books. The bookmarkers are an excellent reminder of you as an author, and your book, every time the reader uses the bookmark.
The above procedure is a very basic approach to local advertising and book signing. If an author has a budget for marketing, this procedure can become far more elaborate, in designing the poster, table top poster, cards and bookmarks. The procedure I laid out comes under the Guerilla Marketing approach, which conforms to those without a marketing budget, and, those willing and able to do the work themselves.
A good place to begin learning more about the Media Kit is a website focused on this subject; Joel Friedlander ~ The Bookdesigner.com, a Media Kit resource; http://www.bookdesigntemplates.com/mediakit/
There are many other websites offering information and templates for the author to use to put together the best Media Kit available, if the author is willing to research the subject and do the work themselves.