Marketing Basics - Putting together a Press Kit


Once you know who you want to target, you’ll need to gather the tools necessary to market your work. A Press Kit is essential in the early stages.
You will need:

A good quality picture of yourself.
Your author picture is the only visual representation of you that readers see. You want to put your best face forward. The keg stand you did at your college party in 2000 might not be the best photo to use. You want something that is natural and shows you in your best light. Consider getting a few professional shots taken, or, if you’re on a budget, have a friend follow you around with a camera and see what kind of candid shots you can come up with.
Things to consider
Keep it current. You want a photo that’s been taken within the last year or two at most. Outdated photos are not going to be the most accurate representation of you.
Be the focal point of the photo. It might seem cool to go with funky angles or wild backgrounds but ultimately, you want your image to be the centerpiece of the picture. After all, it is your picture.
Show your personality. Just because you are an author, that doesn’t mean you have to show books in your picture. Your photo is a quick visual representation of you. What do you want people to see? Let your outfit, hair, and background all reflect you in some way.
An Author bio
Your author bio gives people a little more information about you, the person behind the book. Make it cute and witty, but keep it short.
Always write your bio in the third person. But give it some personality. Think about who’s going to be reading it. Who’s your target audience? Make it entertaining for them.
Keep it short and sweet. Under 250 words will do. No need for long-winded stories of your life.
If you have any noteworthy achievements, list them. If not, don’t worry about it.
Relate your bio to your work. If you are a paranormal writer, think of how to link the paranormal your life. That may be as simple as stating what drew you to the genre.
Business cards
All professional people use business cards, and as an author, you are a writing professional. It goes without saying that you need one. These are an invaluable resource for promoting yourself and your work.
These little slips of paper are your calling card. You’ll hand them out to everyone you meet and through them, build new contacts and potential readers.
Your business card should have:
Name
Title (use your genre here. Paranormal Romance Author)
Web Address/Blog Address
Email address
Phone Number (optional)
Fax Number (optional)

Promo stuff (bookmarks, flyers, post cards, etc...)
Freebies and giveaways are a way to build good will and can potentially bring people back to your work. Bookmarks are especially handy for this as they are a multi-use item.
And especially with bookmarks, they are a multi-use marketing tool. A bookmark is something we all use. By giving them away to people, you are planting a seed. That person may not buy your book today, but they might just use your bookmark when sitting down to read. Each time they use it, they see your book’s image and your information. That can eventually lead to a sale.
Each bookmark you create should have a few essential items on it:  your book(s) image(s), your name, and a place they can go to find you (Website or Blog).
You can create your own images using photo editing software and then send them to the printer of your choice. Remember to do your homework and find the best price for your printing needs (because chances are, you are just going to give them all away. Don’t break the bank on giveaways). The best bang for your buck I’ve found so-far is http://gotprint.net

A good quality picture of your book cover
This is the digital age; you’ll need some good photos to email as well as ones to hand out to perspective readers! Make sure your photo is 300DPI (Dots per inch) for anything that will be printed. For blogs and websites, you may want to have a variety of smaller sizes available. It’s always best to ask what size is needed before sending pictures off to anyplace.

A summary sheet.
A summary sheet consists of: Genre, publisher, publishing date, author, price, where to buy, and a short summary of the book. This is your handy dandy quick reference guide.

A media release (to announce your book)
There are a variety of outlets you can use to send out notice of your new release. Having one of these prewritten and ready to go is always handy.

Approximately 30 copies of your book for giveaways.
            Thirty is always a good starting number, you’ll probably give away more in your quest o get reviews but make sure you have at least 30 copies (digital & print) to share with potential reviewers.
These are your basic tools to begin your marketing quest.
Read more tips and tricks in my handy dandy little guide.

Available exclusively on Kindle!

Comments

Miss Fletcher said…
This was a nifty collection of advice! Pretty much all of the above can also be placed on a sales sheet too, to sent out to Indie Book stores. Cool! Thanks Katie.