Monday, September 29, 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!

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.

What is a media kit?
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 reasons I've never gotten a tattoo is because I can't figure out what word or symbol I want on my body for the rest of my life.

Which leads us to another discussion... What's your brand? *SIGH* I still haven't come up with a brand for my writing, and I've been working on it for years. Literally, years.

Do you have a slogan? A logo? A style? How did you come up with it? Does it make you feel trapped, or secure?

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


Niki TurnerACFW Colorado Coordinator
From Western Slope ACFW Prologue Chapter: Creating an author's media kit


  1. no media kit. no nothing. But I'm glad you brought it up. A good resource for all. and I like how you called it an 'opportunity' rather than a burden.

    so... why does your group call itself a prologue chapter?

    1. I'm really working on accentuating the positive these days! :)

      We are a prologue chapter because we aren't an official ACFW chapter yet... must add more members before we can file to become a chapter, from what I understand.

  2. Niki, your post is very timely as I've just returned from the ACFW conference in St Louis and one of my editor appts was with someone who wanted to know my platform.

    They SAY story is everything, but in today's industry we really need to understand branding, tagging, and platform to be seriously considered for publication.

    1. And yes, I do have a media kit on my website under the ABOUT ME tab, although I call it a PRESS KIT on the advice of a workshop I once attended. But times change and I like the MEDIA Kit moniker better so may be changing that. :)

      My Press Kit includes:
      - short biography
      - agent info w/link
      - Hi-Res photo
      - *Publication status
      - contest achievements
      - writing group icons w/links to sites
      - social media icons w/links to pages

      * Now that I have 2 stories published, I should add an actual booklist.

      I include a note that more information is available in my LONG BIO which I link to another page shown under my ABOUT ME tab. This longer bio includes everything anyone could possibly want to know about me with photos of me as a kid and growing up that pertain to my writing choices. ie riding a pony, driving a tractor, etc.

    2. Excellent, Anita!

      Did you learn anything about tagging at conference? One of my chapter buddies just attended the Rocky Mountain Writer's Conference and said one of the publishers was talking about the importance of tagging, esp. if you're a hybrid writer (traditionally pubbed and indie pubbed). Might be a good topic for a future post!

  3. Niki, my reason for avoiding tattoos is purely altruistic. I don't want the poor soul working in the nursing home to have to see a heart tattoo that has morphed into something roughly the size and shape of a deflated beach ball.

    As for theme, etc., I think I've found some patterns in my stories. I tend to have at least one cynical, world-weary main character. I come back to forgiveness a lot. And I like to set my stories around real historical events.

    1. LOL! I remember my grandpa's WW2 Navy tats... all faded blurry blue, like a bad bruise. :)

      I need to get a few more MSS under my belt, I think, before I start to see patterns in my stories.

  4. Excellent and timely post, Niki. I've been wondering about this very topic. You've lit a fire under me to get busy with this!

    My brand, btw, is Historical Charm, Timeless Heart.

  5. Great post, Niki. My brain doesn't think this way. It's something I really need to work on. Thank you for the tips!


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