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The Anatomy of a Press Kit

Not just a pretty document, a press kit provides the media with information about an upcoming book release that could potentially lead to earned publicity for the book and the author. A good press kit makes it easier for journalists to learn quickly about an upcoming book release. There are six vital components to creating a press kit that will catch the media’s eye and get your author the attention they deserve. Below, the anatomy of a press kit will be dissected so your book can launch successfully.

Contents of a Press Kit

COMPONENT ONE

The first part of a press kit provides all of the details about the book’s outward appearance. It also shows important information like when the book will be published and whether it is paperback or hardcover. These details include:

  • Title, subtitle, and author
  • Metadata
  • Image of the book cover

COMPONENT TWO

The second part of the press kit contains all the information about the book. This includes information about author appearances and reviews. It explains why a reader would want to pick the book up. This is usually done with a press release. Another option instead of the press release is to do a one-page book description and another page on author appearances and events.

  • Press release
    • Should include a hook, summary, reviews and praise, information about launch events and other author appearances, author bio, subject matter of the book (why they want to buy it, how it pertains to the reader), when the book will be published, and where it can be preordered. Remember to keep each of these sections short and to the point.
    • The bottom of the press release should say something like, “For more information, to receive a copy of [title], or to interview [author], contact: [contact information of publicist or publishing house].”
  • Or, a one-page book description and one page about author appearances with dates and locations.

COMPONENT THREE

The third part of the press release is the author bio and photo. While the author bio is also included in the press release, feel free to go into more detail here.

  • Author bio with a photo of author

COMPONENT FOUR

The fourth component of the press kit keeps the book breathing: praise and reviews. Make sure to include key reviews from important people or organizations for your book. Praise is there to show the media that your book is worth taking a look into.

  • Praise and reviews

COMPONENT FIVE

The next part of the press kit allows the media to get a running start on articles and interviews for the author and book. Adding talking points to your press kit will make it that much easier for a busy journalist to write a great piece on your upcoming book release.

  • Talking points
    • These can be talking points about the book for interviews, or a filled-out Q&A with the author (needs to include questions and answers).

COMPONENT SIX

The last component of the press kit is a section on the publisher and who they are. This does not have to be long and can just be a normal publisher bio.

  • Publisher bio

Contents of a One-Pager:

The one-pager is basically a one-page press kit. It also resembles a tip sheet, but it is sent to media outlets instead of salespeople or publishers. The one-pager includes the following:

  1. Title, subtitle, author
  2. Hook, book description
  3. Book cover
  4. One to two blurbs (keep it short)
  5. Author bio
  6. Metadata

What is publicity?

Think of a publicist as an author’s strategist, promoter, organizer, and cheerleader. Publicists are evangelists for the books they are working on. Publicity is often referred to as earned media because it is not paid for. Some examples of publicity for books are articles, author interviews, author appearances, reviews, and blog posts. Publicity depends on a third party to spread the word about an upcoming book release. Because it depends on someone other than the publisher to talk about the book, consumers tend to think it is more trustworthy.

And that’s all there is to it. So go forth and get that earned media for your book.