Why every author needs a press kit
I’d long thought that writers were, well, writers. That whether they worked for newspapers and magazines — as I had for some 20 years at that time — or were authoring books, I presumed writers wrote. That the job of setting up interviews, putting together marketing materials and gaining publicity in general fell to other people. People like publishers or editors or magic fairies.
Boy, was I mistaken.
Now more than ever, writers carry numerous responsibilities beyond the pen (or keyboard). Often, they must act as marketing department, public relations and cheerleader. And here’s the dirty little secret: if they don’t, no one else will. Not even the magic fairy.
No doubt you could outsource the work, but that can be a pricey venture — a venture many authors and entrepreneurs are unable, or unwilling, to fund. Which begs the question: If you have a book, business or cause to offer the world, what tool is indispensable when it comes to your marketing arsenal?
Two words: press kit.
A press kit, whether in digital or print format, contains all the pertinent information about you and your book, business or cause in a central location. It’s one-stop shopping for the influencers and media—journalists, podcasters and bloggers—who can help tell your story.
Everything they need to know about you and your book, business or cause is contained in a single package, from valuable data and statistics to topics for conversation and sample interview questions. In other words, it saves time for the prospective interviewer.
A press kit allows you to package your message clearly and consistently, and is one of the most effective ways I’ve come across for marketing a book, business or cause.
In the years following the publication of my first book, I’ve seen the benefits of a well-crafted press kit in action. A good press kit boosts your confidence and keeps you on message. It sets you up as an expert on your subject, and helps you stand out from the competition. Moreover, it can mean the difference between landing an interview and being passed by.
My good friend Joel Kessel frequently talks about receiving two requests from authors who wanted to be on his podcast. One of them had a well-crafted press kit. The other had nothing more than a press release. Guess who got the interview. (Hint: not the guy who sent Joel a link to a press release.)
Hindsight is 20–20
Looking back, there’s not a doubt in my mind that having a press kit would’ve been a game-changer for my first book—and I hope you're ready to learn from my mistakes. We’re all looking for an edge when it comes to marketing. A press kit is one of the best ways I’ve found.
If getting publicity for your business, book or cause is part of your marketing communications strategy, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.