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6 Media Kit Must-Haves

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Most of the indie authors that I work with are do-it-yourselfers in that they write, publish, and promote their own work. I have participated in some book promotions and giveaways that were being run by authors and their publishers; these promotions had their strengths and their weaknesses, and I wanted to share my perspective about what a media kit must have.

Before we discuss what a good media kit includes, let's take a look at what they are:

Media Kits

Media kits are usually PDF or Word documents that are emailed to book bloggers with text and images that can be pasted directly into blogs. If authors or publishers do not have the ability to create a PDF or Word document offline, then Google Docs is an excellent free option because it gives users the ability to create, download, and share documents.

It is important that authors include everything that they want in a promotional blog post because most book bloggers will not search for this information. To help you, here my list of 6 media kit must-haves:

1. High Quality Images

A good media kit will contain high-quality images that bloggers can insert into promotional blog posts. Images that should be included in your media kit are:
  • Book cover 
  • One or two blog banners
  • Photo of author (or author's avatar/logo)
The blog banner(s) should give the specifics of the promotion: date that it begins, date that it ends, along with the book's title or image of the book's cover. 

If you need some help creating a blog banner, check out Canva; it is a free online design program that allows you to create images for social media, eBook covers, and blogs using preset, or custom dimensions. If you are looking for background images, check out Pixabay's collection of free images that are not copyrighted.

2. Book Synopsis and Excerpt

A good book synopsis and excerpt will pique readers' interests, and book bloggers may be more inclined to ask to review the book if they find the excerpt interesting.

3. Author Bio

Readers like to know more about the authors of the books they are reading. Providing book bloggers with a bio will encourage them to share this information with their readers. Doing this might also entice book bloggers to review your book. In my case, I asked to review an author's book when I discovered that she also lived in Missouri because I want to support my local indie authors.

4. Links

You want readers to buy your book, participate in the giveaway, and follow you on social media; right? To ensure that readers can find you and your contest, your media kit needs to include links to:
  • Purchase the book
  • Your social media account(s)
  • Contest entry forms
  • Your website (if you have one)
You should also provide bloggers with an email address so that they can contact you with any questions, or issues they have.

5. Promotion Schedule

Bloggers need to know when the promotion begins, ends, and when to publish their posts; otherwise, you are going to have some bloggers who share the promotion too early, or too late. Neither option is good since readers will either forget when the promotion is supposed to start and not enter, or they will be disappointed when they discover that they missed out.

6. A Good #Hashtag

Hashtags are not usually included in media kits, but they should be. The author-blogger relationship is symbiotic; you depend on bloggers to help get you noticed, and we depend on you to help spread the word about our blogs. 

With so much going on in social media, posts from book bloggers who are promoting your books can get lost in the shuffle; especially if they do not tag you in social media. Creating a unique hashtag, adding it to your social media profiles, and communicating it to bloggers is essential if you want your promotion to get noticed.

To help you retweet bloggers who use your unique hashtag, I suggest using a content platform like Roundteam that can search for a specific hashtag and automatically retweet messages that include the hashtag. 

A basic RoundTeam account is free. The free account allows you up to 10 retweets per hour and  five items; which is perfect for promoting a book since you only need one hashtag. You can set up a hashtag search under "Followers," "Following," or "Everyone" and ask bloggers to use the hashtag you created when they tweet about your book. You can also set up filters to help ensure that your retweets are relevant.

Update 11/26/16

RoundTeam has changed its free account. It now only allows you to search for one hashtag and you have only 200 retweets a month; which is about 6-7 per day. However, you can set up to 10 filters to ensure that your retweets are relevant. 

An alternative to RoundTeam is using IFTTT and Buffer. To do this:

  • Make sure that you have a Twitter account, an IFTTT account, and a Buffer account
  • In IFTTT, click on "My Applets"
  • Click on the black button on the top right of the screen, "New Applet"
  • On the next screen, click on the blue word "this"
  • Click on the "Twitter" button
  • Scroll down a little on the next screen and choose "New tweet from search"
  • Type in the hashtag you created to promote your book and click "Create trigger"
  • On the next screen, click on the blue word "that," type "Buffer" in the search bar, and click the "Buffer" button that appears
  • The next screen gives you two options, click on "Add to Buffer"
  • What you need will already be included in the box, so just click on "Create action"
  • Finally, make sure that the applet looks correct. You can also choose not to receive email notifications when the applet is run. Once everything looks good, click "Finish." 
With these 6 media kit must-haves in place, both you and the book bloggers you recruit to promote your book will be successful; book bloggers will gain more followers, and more people will discover you and your book.

Have I missed anything? Do you have any questions about the must-haves? Leave me a comment below, or find me on social media.