What do you want your image to be?
One way to craft your image as a writer is creating a press kit. Simply, a press kit is a collection of one-page documents that highlights your newest publication, a little bit about yourself, and other related accomplishments.
The book market is fierce. You are your own brand. You are the corporation, so you must think like a CEO. The way you introduce yourself to the market is critical to your success.
While the publishing is changing rapidly, you can still control the information about you to some degree. One of the best ways to do this is with a press kit.
Creating a press kit on your website blog will save you lots of time and money. However, I suggest you might consider having a few hard copies just in case. Sometimes you are invited to a meeting or conference and the opportunity to promote yourself might be more convenient if you can hand them a folder. Even though you write down your website or refer them to the website address listed on your business card, your opportunity may just never get around to looking it up.
Whether online or hard copy, here’s what might go into a press kit.
1. A one page bio covering who you are, your education, your experience (such as teaching and public speaking engagements) and a list of your work. If your publication list is lengthy, create the list on a separate page. Be sure to include a headshot on page one of the bio.
2. Depending your press kit goal, you could include one page of reviews. If they are long, edit it and use quotes with attribution and occupation.
3. Include a postcard or graphic with the promotion of your latest work or clips.
4. A well written resume. It should not be just a laundry list of the positions you have held. In the summary, help steer the reader visualize you as the kind of writer you are by connecting your experiences and your writing skills in the Profile Summary.
5. Don’t forget the well designed business card. Be sure to include all contact information. A tag line, if you think of one. And your URL address.
Presentation is key, so carefully edit and proof every sheet. The folder should be of decent stock, so it looks professional and not like a book report for high school.
If someone is reviewing your book and does not know anything about you, having a press kit available will make it easier for the reviewer to get the information right. It will save them time and it will save you time.
Your press kit available online will help the media find information about you more easily. I recommend the information sheets be in a PDF format, so that the viewer sees the documents exactly as you created them. Different browsers can skew formats and type fonts.
A downloadable photo of you allows the reporter to include it at the last minute.
The easier you make your information and photo available, the easier it is for others to help you spread the word that you are out there with your new book.
When you have completed your press kit, wait a few days and then look at it in its entirety. What dominant image of you as a writer comes to mind? A fresh look at it will let you know where you should tweak it.
Give the press, the reviewer and anyone else that is willing to promote you a reason to support you. Let them get to know your real unique strengths and talents. Let them know your personal story. The personal touch is always more interesting.
Help them help you.