Planning for success...

A friend was telling me that I should try to organize a press kit for myself and my book before I start actually trying to market it.  What do you think? 

I always tell writers to plan for success. If you have a novel or screenplay that you’re marketing, make sure you have a fully fleshed out digital press kit that you can send off at a moments notice.  You can put it on your website too, but I’d put a password on it.

Or better yet have it in a drop box with all the pertinent information like excerpt samples of your manuscript and reading copies of the book as well. This makes it easy to control who has access to your ‘sensitive’ information but keeps it readily available so you’re never floundering if you get an important call for information. 

Your press kit should include photos of yourself. Try to get a semi-professional photo done if you can. But also include more casual shots too. The photo you send to an agency in NY or a writers festival is likely going to be different than the one you send to Rolling Stone (think big!). Also, depending on the marketing medium you should be sending photos appropriate to the task, lo-rez for websites etc.  Send print media a higher-rez photo for maximum affect.

 As well you should have a brief Bio of yourself suitable for ‘festival’ guides. Do I need to say it should be snappy, engaging and thoughtful? You can also have a longer Bio handy, particularly if a media outlet is looking for background information for interviews and or a print article. 

Be prepared to give out samples of your writing (be judicious) and also samples of the entire book or screenplay. If neither has been signed to a contract yet, be very judicious and do your homework on the person requesting the material.  Just because you’re a new author doesn’t mean you need to be naieve.

You can visit other author sites and have a look at what they consider appropriate press kit items.  But be creative too, don’t be limited by what’s been done before.  Sometimes a surprise is the best calling card, as long as it’s a welcome surprise.

I hope this helps and I wish you luck with your writing!