February 18

Every author needs a press kit that looks like this

    You wrote a book so that you could change someone’s life, attract new clients to work with you, land speaking gigs, and impact the world. The problem is that none of these things can happen unless you get your book into the spotlight.

    This bears repeating because I know you introverts want to skim right over this message:

    Your book will have no readers and no impact, unless you get your book into the spotlight

    I get it. You prefer writing. You dislike networking and marketing. You don’t really have the time or energy (or desire!) to go hunting down interview opportunities. Can’t we all just write great books and hope they get discovered?

    Nope. Hate to break it to you, but if you’ve got a message to share with the world, it’s your job to both write the book with the message and then share it with others. It’s not sharing if you write the book, publish on Amazon, and then let it collect cyber dust.

    But how the heck do you get your book in the spotlight?

    A little know-how and stepping out of your comfort zone. Let’s break down some specifics.

    1. Create a press kit.

    A press kit is essentially an easy way to share your information and your book’s information with a media outlet. Create a designated folder on your hard drive and call it “Press Kit.” If you have more than one book, then create a different press kit for each book, within the parent Press Kit folder.

    In the folder, place a nice headshot. This should be a picture of your face, going down to your shoulders or elbows—not a head-chopped-off picture and not a full-body picture. It’s great if you’re smiling a genuine smile at the camera, but if you would rather be looking to the side or looking at a book, that’s okay, too. The size of the image should be no more than 1MB.

    Create a document with your bio. This is about 75-100 words, written in the third person, about how you serve your ideal audience. When you’re writing, pretend that someone is reading this to introduce you before an interview or event, so keep it short and don’t include a dozen accolades. Also, keep it relevant to your message and book. This is not the place to talk about your pets or that you like to travel. This is when you say your name, how you help people, the title of your book, and a one-sentence or less description of your book.

    Create another document with your book blurb. Again, this is 75-100 words, written as if a reader were describing the book. Don’t say, “In this book, I tell my story of hiking the Appalachian Trail.” Instead, say, “In this book, MacDonald tells her story of hiking the Appalachian Trail.” Convince the reader that the book will help her in some specific, tangible way. You can literally say, “Through this book, you’ll learn new meditation practices to use in nature, how to journal your way through personal trauma, and how to find peace with your past.” See how tangible that is? Tell your reader what’s in it for him.
    Bonus points if you put all of this information, together, in a one-sheet. A one-sheet is a term for a single PDF page that has everything an interviewer would need to conduct an interview with you:

    • Your name
    • Your headshot
    • Your biography
    • Your book blurb
    • A few sample interview questions
    • Contact information

    This is one of my one-sheets. (I actually have several, depending on what type of audience I’m talking to.)

    Press Kit One Sheet Morgan Gist-MacDonald

    That’s all there is to a press kit! A folder with a headshot, bio, and blurb, all where you can easily find them and attach them to an email. Bonus points if you create a one-sheet with them. Double bonus points if you put them into a Dropbox folder to share with the media host.

    2. Create a list of 3 to 5 people you’d like to talk with about your book.

    If you’d prefer to write out an interview, consider finding some bloggers whose audience is similar to yours. If you like the spoken interview style, find podcasters or radio shows. If you’re game for a video interview, search for YouTube channels and TV shows that you’d like to appear on.

    Start with a list of 5 to 10, contact them with a short email about how you think you could deliver some content that their audience would love, and attach your press kit (either the headshot+bio+blurb files or the one-sheet).

    3. Follow up!

    People who are involved in the media (new and traditional media) are busy. And they’re normal people. They just forget to get back to emails sometimes.

    If you haven’t had a response in a week, send them a follow-up email.

    Then, if another week goes by, another follow-up.

    Then, if they still haven’t responded, you can move on.

    4. Contact 3 to 5 new people every month, and your book will sell like hotcakes.

    Yep, contact 3 to 5 new blogs/podcasts/radio shows/YouTube channels/TV shows every month. You won’t land a spot with all of them, but maybe one per month, and that’s reaching an entirely new audience, people who’ve never heard about your book before, every single month.

    Want bigger results? Contact more people. It’s that simple.

    It’s not complicated, but it does take persistence.

    You thought you’d finished climbing the mountain when you did the last proofread of your book. Then, you realized you had another mountain to climb to get the book designed, formatted, and published. Now, there’s another mountain to climb in marketing the book. I wish I could tell you that there was an easier way, but the truth is that there’s a reason many books don’t sell more than a few hundred copies: the authors aren’t willing to do the leg work to put their book in the spotlight.

    What if you’re an introvert?

    If you’re using your personality style as an introvert to make excuses for yourself to not market your book, I’m going to call you out on it, right here and now. Is it truly 100% that you have anxiety attacks when you think of blogging for another site? Probably not. I would bet that it’s mostly fear of rejection, fear of putting yourself out there, fear of being seen. That’s not introversion, my friend, that’s just the struggle of being human.

    Tweet: Are you using introversion as an excuse to avoid marketing your book? You’re depriving a reader the chance to even discover your book. (<<< Click to tweet that!)

    If your book is important, if your message is important, if your vision for your life as a published author is at all important, then you can take a deep breath and send three emails to strangers.

    What do you think? What’s ONE place where you would submit a request to be interviewed? Is it a blog, podcast, radio show, YouTube channel, or TV show? Post it right here, in the comments below, and then go write that email!


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