We’re all working on the digital hustle these days with our book signings and conferences going virtual. Now’s a great time to give your author website a refresh, and adding a media kit is a solid start. You probably already have everything you need to add this selling tool to your site.

WHAT’S A MEDIA KIT?

It’s a package of content—copy and graphics—that make it easier for media outlets and event planners to showcase you and your book. When someone wants to feature you, there are standard items they need. Having a media kit on your website makes it easy for them to access all that without emailing you or going back-and-forth with a publicist.

When journalists or event planners are on tight deadlines, sometimes it’s easier to include the author who had their bio and photo easy to grab.

It’s a simple thing, but can be immensely helpful.

WHAT SHOULD I INCLUDE IN A MEDIA KIT?

Great, you love being helpful. So what goes into this media kit?

A basic media kit should include:

  • Author Photo
    • High-resolution (300 dpi) for print
    • Low-resolution (72 dpi) for web
    • Include the photo credit
  • Author Bio
    • Short version (1-3 sentences)
    • Long version (about a page)
  • Cover Art
    • High-resolution (300 dpi) for print
    • Low-resolution (72 dpi) for web

Optional, but very smart to have: Back-cover copy for your books and links to your book on key retailers (i.e. Amazon, Bookshop, B&N) and Goodreads. These things should exist on your website even if you elect not to put them into the media kit itself.  

Author Headshot

Make your author photo available for download in both high and low resolution.

The high-resolution image should be 300 dpi. This is ideal for print media (newspapers still exist!) and event planners. Even if the bookstore signing or conference is virtual, having a print-quality image makes creating promotional assets easier for others.

The low-resolution image will help bloggers and online outlets easily share an image that loads quickly.

If you have pictures oriented in both portrait and landscape, that helps, too, but isn’t required.

Finally, be sure to list the person who took your photo for credit. If it’s your spouse or family member, you can still give a photo credit.

For tips on author photos, check out this post from Mary Robinette Kowal. If you need to fake professional photos, read Sarah Nicolas’s tips. And, remember, if you give people your preferred photo to download, they won’t be required to guess which image you want them to use.

Author Bio

Once again, two versions. The short version is the most important, and one you likely will use most places—like your Goodreads, Amazon, and BookBub author profiles. It should be a few sentences and lead with the type of books you write.

Here’s what mine looks like:

Chelsea Mueller writes gritty, twisty fantasy and thriller novels for adults and teens. She loves bad cover songs, good fight scenes, and every soapy YA drama Netflix can put in her queue. Chelsea lives in Texas and has been known to say y’all.

If you use the short version everywhere why bother with a long version? Well…having a multiple-paragraph version lets people get to know you. This is great for people preparing to interview you, deciding to add you to panel topics, and the like.

Need help writing your author bio? BookBub has a nice round up of 20 great examples. (Oh, and you should follow me on BookBub. I give great book recs.)

Cover Art

The primary goal of this media kit is to get people to read your books, right? Then it only makes sense to provide downloadable images of the covers of your books. As with the headshots, this makes it clear which image(s) should be used and makes the reviewer/journalist/event coordinator’s job that much easier.

As with other images, make sure you offer an easy way for them to access the cover art in both high- and low-resolution formats.

Author Marketing Help Desk with Chelsea Mueller
Who am I to be dispensing this advice? In addition to writing novels, I am a c-suite marketing executive with 15+ years experience in ecommerce and digital marketing. I’m a frequent speaker and advocate for the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to advance marketing, and generally care a whole lot about good data and transparency in its use. I am not, however, a lawyer. So, the advice in this series is practical, but isn’t meant as legal advice.

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