Hi, 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.
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.
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
Journalist – Broadcasters, Talk Show Hosts
Bloggers – Easy access to photos bloggers can use, social media handles
Reviewers— Amazon reviews in your kit
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.