Sunday, September 28, 2014

Creating an author's media kit

Something came up this week: A blogger/reviewer requested a media (or press) kit to accompany a blog post and left me feeling a bit unprepared. Why? Because I don't have one!

As we have discussed during our monthly meetings, promotion and marketing is a challenge for many of us, and the more prepared and equipped we can be to manage the process the better! This post, then, is intended to help you (and me) create our own media kits.

What is a media kit?
From my experience at the newspaper, a media kit included a spec sheet (with the size of our paper, publication frequency, circulation details, and more number specifics), a copy of the most recent paper and other special publications, and a rate card with our advertising rates. My fellow prologue chapter members added the following wisdom from their own experiences in advertising and publishing: A press release, an author bio and photo, social media links, and an "interview." Additional research indicates we should also include the ISBN and cover photos of our books, testimonials or reviews, and samples of our writing.

All of this indicates we should invest ourselves in a comprehensive package, complete with bookmarks and fliers and business cards, whether we create that package ourselves or hire someone to do it. That package should represent our personal "brand." Back in the day, a publishing house or an agent or a publicist might have done all that for us, but now we have the opportunity to do it for ourselves!

That said, I have a hard time discerning literary themes in books (even my own), much less figuring out my personal identifying theme. One of the only reasons I've never gotten a tattoo is because I can't figure out what word or symbol I want representing me on my body for the rest of my life.

That leads us to another discussion... What's your brand? Do you have a slogan? A logo? A style? How did you come up with it? Does it make you feel trapped, or secure?

I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on the subjects of branding and press kits! We have one more confirmed meeting time this year (October 25th) before we break for the holidays and winter weather. Let's see what we can come up with for press kits and bring them with us to share before our next meeting!

(Here are some resources about creating press/media kits for you:


Niki Turner, ACFW Colorado Coordinator
In Truer Ink
Inkwell Inspirations
Sadie's Gift ~ A Christmas Traditions Novella

Santiago Sol ~ Passport to Romance
Pelican Book Ventures, LLC
Release Date TBA
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Monday, September 15, 2014

The biggest challenge for modern writers...

It's not coming up with a great story idea, or intriguing characters. It's not stringing words together in the best possible form for comprehension and interest. It's not finding an agent or a publisher. It's not even getting your work out there before the masses, since e-books have made that as simple as the push of a button.

What's the challenge? Marketing and promotion.

This would be less uncomfortable...

Whether you are traditionally published or "indie" pubbed, you're going to be required to do a significant amount of promotion and marketing for your book. If you're self-publishing, ALL the responsibilities of promotion fall on your shoulders, which kind of feels like putting on this role...

Writers, in general, tend to be introverted creatures... kind of the opposite of the salesman's personality type. And yet, here we are, needing to find new ways to sell our work to the world. 

At our next meeting, we'll be discussing the following topics:

  • Where do you draw the line between promotion and being a pest?
  • How can you keep up with the demands of promotion and keep writing?'
  • The benefits of establishing groups of beta readers, reviewers, bloggers, and so forth...
  • Blending the personal and the professional

Wherever you are in your writing career, bring your thoughts and opinions and ideas to discuss!

The next ACFW Western Slope Prologue Chapter Meeting is Saturday, Sept. 27, at 10 a.m. at The Artful Cup in Grand Junction, 3090 N. 12th St. Mark your calendars!