In order to do press releases and get yourself some media attention, you’re going to need a press kit. A press kit must include:
1. press release
2. book tip sheet
It should also include:
5. business card
6. book reviews (which should only be short blurbs excerpted from full book reviews, and can optionally go on the book tip sheet)
8. copy of your book
9. recent newsletter
10. bookmarks and other promotional items
11. pitch letter
We’ll go over a lot of pieces of this in other articles, but to cover the most important aspect of the kit, the press release, I’d like to direct you to a how-to article. (Hey, why am I gonna rewrite what’s already been written by someone who knows what she’s doing a lot better than I do? Hm?) Check out How to Write a Press Release by Luan Aten. Follow it carefully. You’re a writer, so don’t whine about how hard it is to write a press release. You wrote a freaking novel. A press release is nothing. Here’s a word of warning though: Spin it. You’re not writing a release about how your book is coming out. That’s boring. Find an angle. “Local author published in emerging eBook format.” Something like that. Consider your audience. You might have a few different press releases to use, depending on where you’re submitting them.
Your book tip sheet is just a simple one-pager with the following information: title, author’s name, publication date, genre, page count, blurb, reviews. Format it nicely on your letterhead and don’t go over a page in length.
Each press kit will have a different pitch letter. I know, whine whine whine, it requires work, but in order to pitch yourself, you need to be targeting the specific place you’re pitching to. Think of it as a book pitch. Get those hooks and twists in there and think of a unique way to market yourself, beyond “my book is coming out.” I guarantee no one cares that your book is coming out besides maybe your mom.
Once you get everything together for your press kit, I suggest finding a nice way to present it. Since you’re an eBook author, have all of this stuff available (and formatted beautifully on your letterhead) in electronic format. You might even consider presenting the whole kit on a cd, though I would suggest presenting it in print format too for more traditional outlets.
To present it beautifully in print format, find a pocket folder that fits your brand. You don’t have to order custom folders, but consider getting folders in a color that goes with your letterhead. You can find pocket folders with a window in front to let your letterhead show through, or you can even print up stickers with your logo to attach to the front of the folders. Remember, be professional. No pink kitties. Some folders also come with perforations where you can insert a business card.
We’ll talk about where to submit your press releases in another article.