What Your Author Website is Likely Missing

Do you have an author media kit on your Author Website?

Story Empire

BlogHi, SEers. Forgive me for being a hypocrite, but today’s post is going to be a do-as-I-say-and-not-as-I-do post. Remember, I used to work in corporate communications, so I know marketing strategies. (That doesn’t mean I use them myself; it just means I know them.)

Okay… Unless you literally just decided to become an author today, you almost definitely have an author website. Hopefully you’ve included the basics:

  • landing page to advertise news and collect email addresses
  • blog to share content, generate interest, and remain fresh in the minds of your fans
  • book pages so your work is well-defined and easy to find
  • about page to introduce yourself to new visitors
  • social media links so people can find you elsewhere online
  • contact page so your readers can reach you
  • platform-wide cohesion and pleasing design

Many authors stop there. Okay, let’s be honest—many readers fall short in some/most/all of those categories.

  • Their…

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The Author Media Kit: How it Helps Me to Stay Organized

Since I got my butt kicked editing the hard-copy of my author media kit yesterday (the longer one I print out, not the one in the sidebar) I figure it will be the topic of today’s discussion. IT owes me that much!

I have slowed down my writing articles a lot lately so I figure we were due for one. I’ll discuss why I’ve slowed down at a later time. Anywho, the author media kit…

Though “It is always worth it” (See my most recent guest post here), that doesn’t mean it’s not important to focus on putting energy toward the right things (balance is seriously everything!) Energy and time spent directed toward the wrong thing is just as ineffective as no energy toward the work at all. Running into a wall will produce the same thing as standing still. It is insanity, repeating the same thing and expecting a different result. Posting everyday on your blog will not bring more views if you aren’t also networking with others or people can’t even find a follow button on your blog at which to follow your blog (my most serious blog pet peeve!) That is why I have shifted my perspective and started to focus on activities that will give me a return on my time. It is about growth.

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Partial snapshot of the office and my unorganized work-space. Yes, I work from two computers. One is responsible for holding my sticky notes lol

At some point in your writing life, you are going to have to get a bit organized. Whether that is posting sticky notes on your computer as reminders (guilty), keeping a notebook filled with notes you may or may not be able to read (guilty again), or having an author media kit.

I’ve been updating my writing life in more ways than one and have found that being able to go to my author media kit for links has been a great help in getting things done. What is an author media kit anyway?

An Author Media Kit is a collection of marketing material that anyone wishing to know more about you as an author can access and use for articles they may want to write on you, interviews, and other forms of publicity. It is a collection of branded hype-free marketing materials and collateral material for journalists.

The media kit is always a work-in-progress. It is something that must be revisited and added to as you gain more exposure for your work and should be both electronic and hard-copy. (You can find my e-copy on the sidebar of this blog HERE. It’s a little bootleg but I’m working on it). It doesn’t matter where you are in your career, every writer can use a media kit. This means that your “status” as a writer has nothing to do with it. Whether you have twenty book reviews or none, whether you are a Best Seller or novice, whether you’re a Self-Publishing “Pro” or not, whether you are visible in the community or not. All of this has nothing to do with the Author Media Kit. Easy to put together if you invest the time, you do not need any special skill set, training, or experience. In fact, the author media kit can be bought if you have the money and is not something you send out to people in the form of a “Buy my Book” Ad.

“Luck is preparation meeting the moment of opportunity.” – Oprah Winfrey

Look at it as an opportunity to prepare. When the door opens for you to appear on someone’s radio show or your article to be featured in a magazine or whatever you consider “doing it big”, the media kit will come in handy. In fact, the interviewer will refer to the kit for basic information on you as his form of preparation and research.

The Author Media Kit is:

  • A major marketing package
  • Anyone should be able to access it through your website/blog
  • Journalist expect it
  • Ensures accuracy in news stories
  • Helps people to promote you and your book
  • Free publicity – Free publicity beats paid Ads

7 Key Audiences Who Will Access Your Media Kit

  1. Journalist – Broadcasters, Talk Show Hosts
  2. Bloggers – Easy access to photos bloggers can use, social media handles
  3. Reviewers— Amazon reviews in your kit
  4. Retailers
  5. Individual Buyers
  6. Event Planners
  7. Anyone Who Wants to Promote you or Your Book

The primary goal of the media Kit is to make all these people’s job easier. By making their job easy, they are going to promote you and your book.

Caution.
The Author Media Kit is not something you send out to people as a “Buy My Book” Ad. It is something that is offered in the event someone needs more information on you. It is also there in the event someone happens to organically come across your website. All the information they need to know about you is right there. It is not even for you, but for others.

Personally, it helps me to stay organized and cut down on a lot of time. It helps me to:

  • Easily access social media links and photos for guest blog posts
  • Easily update my author website or anything else that may require such info as contact emails and links
  • Copy and paste needed info into emails of inquiry
  • Share across social media in the event someone is looking for more information about me.

I can go on but you get the point. It even helps in the case of Book Reviews! Are you tired of having to send your social media handles out? Author photos? Send the reviewer to your Author Media Kit. There, they can find author photos, social media links, and anything else that they need and so can you.

Not only does the Author Media Kit help others to find you but it helps you too.  My online Media Kit (which needs work itself but that’s the kit for you. It will always need an upgrade!) is working for me right now. I can go to it for my social media links and my bios for the website, cutting down on time I can now spend doing something else.

(Speaking of Bio, it is good to have at least 3 different sized bios in case someone wants to write something on you and they may not have a lot of time. They can copy and paste the short one or the extended one according to their schedule. It is good to have a short bio, a medium length bio, and an extended bio.)

It’s about taking the steps needed so that you do not drown in this sea that is Indie Publishing by making yourself easier to find. Just like genuinely supporting others, by making the job of others easier you naturally become better. (Also, write your bio in 3rd person so people can cut and paste it. Again, the job of the Author Media Kit is to make the job easier for whoever is reaching out to you.)


Yecheilyah Ysrayl is the author of The Stella Trilogy, Blogger, and Poet. She is currently working to release two books in “The Nora White Story” this year–about a young woman who dreams of taking part in The Harlem Renaissance movement and her parents struggle to accept their traumatic past in the Jim Crow south. “Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One)” is due for release July 15, 2017. For updates on this and other projects be sure to follow this blog and to subscribe to Yecheilyah’s email list HERE.

The Author Media Kit and Other Forms of Self-Promo #MayChallengeDay13

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The idea of marketing your work and promoting yourself, to most Self-Publishers, seems a bit daunting. They don’t want to appear prideful, conceited, self-absorbed, and narcissistic if you will. However, Self-Promotion is not the same as being prideful and NO Indie can get by without some level of Self-Promotion and marketing. It is, after all, part of the whole “Self” aspect of Self-Publishing.

The Media Kit

Some time ago I added an Author Media Kit to my blog. The purpose of the kit is to make it easier for editors, book reviewers, and beta readers who are interested in my work to discover more about me without having to Google me. I think its important for every Indie to have both an electronic Media Kit, as well as a hard-copy version for those on the go marketing campaigns and book signings. Why? An Author Media Kit provides your readers with general information about you instantly. You don’t have to write a book, but should include information that is crucial to getting to know who you are. It also establishes you as a serious author who means business and can be step one in getting you used to promoting yourself. Some of what you can find in my media kit is:

Author Photo

This should be a professional head shot of you. Mine is not that professional but it will do for now. I have this picture attached across my social media so that I’m easy to find. All except Good reads which for some reason won’t let me add that particular pic but the one I have up there will do. Its the Author Photo I used before adding the current one. Like I said, it’s not perfect but it will do. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to be organized and professional.

Short Bio

No, not your life story, but enough information to satisfy our need to be nosy. Your full name, origin, and some of your past achievements is good. Any awards you’ve received as an author and your number of published works is also good to list.

Social Networks

Be sure to add links to all of your online social pages, your author website, email and a possible contact number if your feeling really brave. (I usually have people to contact me via email).

Author Website

Once you get going in the wonderful world of writing, I think its important for Indies to have an author website and no, I’m sorry but I do not mean your blog.

The Difference:

A blog is a blog. I don’t know how much simpler this can get. A blog with a domain name is also not necessarily a website; it’s just a blog with a domain name. Blogs are designed as weblogs in which a post is published regularly in chronological order, in which readers can like, comment, or share. Take a look around my site. What do you see? Even though it looks like a website, the regularly updated posts are what make it, not just a website, but a weblog. Technically.

WordPress is actually a great foundation to build an Author Website but make sure its not just another blog. This is my blog but THIS (YES, CLICK HERE) is my Author Website. See the difference? I hope so. It’s not perfect, or as I want it to be just yet,  but I’m sure we get the point here. Benefits of an Author Website are numerous. Primarily, it’s your readers’ introduction and entry into the wonderful world of you, the author. It gives them direct access to your store, where you can sell your product directly from your website. You can also link your blog to your Author Website. There’s a reason I do not sell product on this blog. I have an author website for that. You can surely combine the two if you like or sell from both your blog and Author Website.

Other Ways to Self-Promote. Basic Elements Include:

– Blog

– Facebook Page

– Twitter Account

– LinkedIn

– Author Website

– Bookmarks and Business Cards < Yes Authors. Make sure you have business cards! Or get funky with it and make the Bookmark the business card. This means you need to add your contact info. Otherwise, yea, its just a bookmark.

Everything is a BIG Deal: Let’s Have Some Fun!

Before you stone me, hear me out. First and foremost I’m as introverted as they come. For those who know me personally, I hate attention. OK, hate is a very strong word. Let’s just say I dislike attention very much. I don’t care to stand in the limelight and I’d rather the attention go to someone else. I’m pretty relaxed and laid back. I actually don’t say very much if it’s not something I’m passionate about (obviously I’m passionate about writing). So TRUST ME when I say I completely understand not wanting to do this. BUT, when you find something you love doing and that thing is BIGGER than you, you become more generous in your social interaction. Or at least that’s what happened to me. I’m still very shy (Yes, it’s true), but when I can talk about what I love it’s not so bad. Actually, it’s not bad at all. This next part may only be exclusive to me but I think it’s important: Everything is a Big Deal!

Get people excited about EVERYTHING! My brother has a saying: “If you think like a peasant then a peasant you will be” and I totally agree. What it means is that everything exist in your mindset. You may be poor financially, but you do not have to be poor mentally. Stop thinking less of yourself and think bigger. If you think BIG then you get BIG in return. That’s not being arrogant, its just natural. You are only as strong as your mind is. What you think is what you become.

The thing that I do that may be exclusive to me is that I hype up everything I’m a part of. I want it to be special and I want it to feel special. Every single public interview or appearance, every blog feature, every book cover reveal, everything that may seem small I enlarge so that you are just as excited about it as I am. Why shouldn’t you be? A new book is exciting! Let us FEEL it. A new Book Cover Reveal. That’s exciting! Make it over the top. Don’t just publish it as “Hey, look everyone. Here’s my new book. Its got this really cool cover”. No, build excitement. Set a date and do a count down where your cover will be revealed. Make it sound EXCLUSIVE! And then publish it to ALL your social media pages. That’s right. Make sure EVERYONE knows about this OFFICIAL Book Cover Design to this AMAZING NEW BOOK!

*I mean, don’t be spammy with it. People can tell if you’re being phony. Keep it genuine and have fun. Otherwise, if your not excited about your work forget about it. We don’t care either.*

I mean, its not like you have get all big headed and start to think your King Turd on Boo Boo Mountain or anything, its just about taking advantage of the small things and placing a value on them that SHOULD be there. Don’t sell yourself short people. No one takes the time, sweat, and tears to pour their heart and money into a book they don’t care if anyone reads. If your that shy about it, why write the book? I mean, even if its just family members, I’m sure you do want SOMEONE to read it. Right? OK so hype it up!

Even though this is just me, I think every Indie should take into consideration to make every milestone a special one. Every interview or Author Blog Appearance, every giveaway, every sale, make it sound exciting. When you are preparing to release a new book withhold some of the details. Make everything an exclusive. This makes us readers curious as to what the big deal is. We want to hear you, read about you, and get to know you. Eventually, we want to read your books!

Free Editable Author Media Kit!

You may remember the article I re-blogged from fellow blogger Colleen of Silver Threading when she spoke about the importance of an Author Media Kit. And so yall know I’m always looking for free resources right? I was looking for something completely off this subject and discovered this website filled with tons of information for authors and you won’t believe what I found. That’s right, a free editable author media kit. Of course, not everything that says free truly is free so I checked it out and guess what, it’s FREE!

Just visit this website, and follow these directions:

Free Book Stuff > Free Editable Author Media Kit

Put your email address in and they will send you a free editable word template. Download the zip file and save it to your PC / Mac. (When you open it click “Enable Editing” to replace the information and pictures with your own) I would suggest creating a hard-copy Author Media Kit portfolio. Go to Wal-Mart or the dollar store and purchase a nice thick binder. Edit your free kit and print it out. If you could, get a professional author photo taken sometime in the future and add it to your portfolio.

Do we have time for a story? We do. Briefly, this discovery reminded me of women and nice clothes. I know, but hear me out. I always find it exciting that when I ask other women where they got their shoes or how they decorated their home, their answer tends to include bargain stores. Beautiful homes and lovely attire pieced together between Wal-Mart and the Goodwill. Bedroom sets and living room sets that look like they cost a fortune that somebody got from a garage sale. The moral of the story is that professionalism does not have to cost a lot of money. There are tons of free or extremely inexpensive resources available to help us to increase our professional image in just about every area.

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So anyway, class dismissed. I’m going to get started on my free author media kit.