So…everyone already has an online presskit on their website right?
Online presskits work. Any author interested in building their career can only benefit from having all their necessary press details gathered in a single easy to navigate location on their website. In fact, not having one makes zero sense. My presskit saves my butt at least once a week, giving media and bloggers access to the necessary specifics with minimal handholding.
As you build your backlist, that online presskit can get pretty crowded. One of the easiest ways to keep those resources available and organized is to split out the book-specific content in a dedicated presskit for each new release. Every time you have to pause your day to answer a cover art request or resend your Rafflecopter code is time spent inefficiently.
All bloggers and journos have basic questions and for anyone trying to flush out a post for you on the fly. Including this information in your launch campaign can flesh out the book’s page for participants in your launch, casual visitors to your site, and future media professionals seeking specific information for articles. Treat your books with care and focus by building a dedicated release presskit for each one.
Truth be told, you probably already have an informal version of this presskit in the form of re-pasted emails and guest blog templates that gather your book’s details into a conveniently repostable format. While your general presskit focuses on your career (and brand) as a whole, your book’s presskit can corral all the niggly bits that folks reference during a release campaign. Those basics include:
- Book title & Series name, if applicable, and information (to reduced degree) about other books in the series as well as links to those release kits.
- Genre /
subgenre of your book so it finds its readers.
- Publisher & Release date(s) so that folks have a sense of your timeline.
- Word count /
page count (include both, so they have what they’ll need)
- Formats (paperback/
hardcover/ ebook/ audio/ translations) and ISBNs for each.
- Tagline (…emotional clickbait that conveys the book’s unique appeal).
- Logline (…a tight, hook-rich summary of the book’s protagonists and narrative conflict in 25 words or less).
- Blurb (…your dazzling back cover copy under 200 words and containing no spoilers. Bonus points for having alternate versions in several lengths).
- Cover Art in several formats and resolutions (give them options! Also include teaser covers if you’re planning a reveal”).
- Buy Links: (include vendors, publisher, and book-related social sites).
- Full names of primary characters (because journalists misspell and misspeak).
- One to three excerpts (500–1000 words each) that highlight different selling points of your book. Don’t default to the opening pages; pick dazzlers! For each include a one sentence intro that sets up the scene and identifies their place in the story.
- Pull quotes, endorsements, reviews, and awards as they come in and post alongside links to the original source for easy reference. (highlight the zingy quotes and create a quick reference source of dazzling sales language praising the book).
Remember: these pages are not for the general public. They should be accessible, organized, comprehensive, and tucked away beneath your general presskit for the media types who will go looking.
The only limitation to this page’s value is how much time you’re willing to invest in the specifics of your book’s selling points. You can also beef out these essentials with additional content designed to help other folks promote your work. Give them more than the basics and they’ll do likewise. You can also offer:
- List of blog post topics/
titles for claiming by bloggers: give them attractive options that fit with your messaging for the release.
- A list of popular tropes/
hooks at play in your book (These can be especially helpful to bloggers trying to build an interview that doesn’t sound generic.)
- Rafflecopter, BookFunnel, or other promotional HTML codes that help you get the word out.
- Schedule of your release campaign with hyperlinks to sites for easy referencing.
- History or background information about the book/
- Future information about the book/
series (other formats, other books)
- Suggested questions for interviews/
teasers to prompt questions.
- Promotional art and banners in several formats and resolutions for both you and your project.
Help folks help you! If a blogger comes looking for answers point them to an easy to access area of your site that makes your book’s fabulous appeal immediately apparent.
One last (related) thought: consider building a blogger/
I used to hate the idea of newsletters, but my friend and cohort Heidi Cullinan changed my mind completely when she taught me how spam-free and friendly a newsletter can be. More significantly, at her behest I’ve started a blogger-specific newsletter which exists solely to get the word out to people when I’m doing a book release. These are bloggers who admire your work and media folks with whom you’ve developed a relationship.
Caveat: you must only use this newsletter to send legitimate updates and opportunities that will appeal to folks looking for genre-related content. If you use this list to spam journos and bloggers, don’t be surprised if they unsubscribe and flee.
Though slow to build, this media-specific newsletter list will become invaluable as you release more titles. The one thing you must promise: no spam, and you will only use this newsletter to provide content-rich updates of interest to people who need behind-the-scenes info about your work and your career. If you DO build a spam-free media newsletter, I encourage you to include links to it on your main presskit and also on every book’s individual presskit page.
Now, some of you may be thinking, “That’s a lot of damn work!” but you’ll already be sending out these elements at every stage of your release campaign; why not streamline and centralize that process. None of this work is wasted, and although most traffic will come before and during a book’s release, these dedicated release pages serve as a fabulous archive of your release campaign and any additional info relevant to the book.
Make your website do its job! As with your general presskit, these book-specific pages will feed the media and bloggers useful content that can anchor campaigns and promotion with little additional input. I have had bloggers build entire posts out of the material from a book’s release presskit without contacting me until the article went live. They get cool content, you get groovy exposure, and your book hits fresh hands. That’s a win-win-win more than worth the time invested.