Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Snark Bites: Media Kits

As an active book blogger, I'm always excited to work with authors to promote their books. Often, new authors don't really understand what is expected of them or what they need to provide for a blogger to be able to create a successful post showcasing their book to its best advantage.

The list varies from blog to blog, but commonly requested pieces of information include:

  •  The book's title, author name, publisher, date published, genre and word count
  • A high quality cover image
  • The book's blurb, an excerpt and buy links
  • A high quality author photo
  • An author bio and author links

Sometimes, new authors provide this information in the body of an email, which can create a bevy of formatting issues and also be difficult to retain. In other instances, authors have sent me separate documents for each piece of information.

You can imagine the headache associated with trying to keep track of multiple documents within the Word processor while attempting to transfer everything to the blog post. I have chunks of hair missing on parts of my skull...

I've found I can always tell an author with multiple titles or who has some experience under their belt. When asked for their promotional info, those authors provide a single Word or RTF file that contains everything with plain formatting for easy copying and pasting.

These promotional packets have a variety of names. I've heard them referred to as media kits and tear sheets. No matter what it is called, a promotional packet is an invaluable tool for authors and book bloggers.

What should tear sheets look like? Below is a sample of what one might look like. There's a lot of wiggle room, but what matters is that all of the information is contained in one place.

Below are screen shots of the media kit I'll be providing to Sheryl Hayes for inclusion at the end of this post. I hope she'll find it helpful.

Here's a screen shot of the first page of my media kit for THE CHILD THIEF:

Pages two contains the excerpt and buy links:

Page three has my author information:

I hope the information here is useful for authors in their future promotional efforts. I'm sure you'll discover that you save both time and effort once all of your book's information is assembled in one easy grab-and-go place.

*Originally blogged on Author Sheryl Hayes' site.


  1. Great Post Melissa! I have two media kits. One's in plain format which I send to blogs that are hosting me. It includes everything you've mentioned above with my cover and author pictures. I also attach the pictures as separate files since some bloggers have found it difficult in the past to pull the picture from the document. I also provide the links in two formats: as embedded links (like you've done above), but also written out so if they strip the formatting or want to embed it another way, they can.

    My other media kit is available off my website and is quite flashy. I have yet to hear of anyone using it! LOL! But some website somewhere told me I should make one for reporters and other media outlets, so I did!

    Your post offers great advice! :-)

  2. As I'm just figuring out how to promote my first book this is invaluable.
    Thank you for sharing.

  3. Thanks so much for the great information. I appreciate you taking the time to send this out.

  4. Thanks, Melissa. I was curious about the Media Kit when you mentioned it last night. And thank you too, J.C. for the additional information. This is great to know! I'm going to start working on mine.

  5. Great article! I asked my guest bloggers to send a word file with images where they want them if they have them so I know where to place them. Is that the right way to do it? Covers and bio pics I can add in where I want them in the formating. Should guest blogs not include pictures to go with the article/guest post? I'm new to hosting guest bloggers. I like the idea of all material being included in one attachment. Thanks for the info.

  6. Thank you soooo much.

  7. This is awesome. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Thank you for the advice, Melissa. I always thought it was easier when I put all the info and pics in the body of the email.

  9. I guess its what you're used to, because I still seem to work with/prefer the non-media kit approach. I like to receive different files so that I can play around with the info. When I get a media kit, I cut and save the various pieces separately. Then again, I still carry a hardcopy calendar, notebook and paper in my purse, right next to my iphone.

  10. Thanks so much for the information, Melissa. It is so timely for me! My first book is coming out and I'm soaking up promotion information as fast as I can! I appreciate it.