In the old days, a media kit wasn’t meant for the general public. These packages were created exclusively for professional members of the media--newspaper reporters, TV producers, and anyone else who might repackage the press materials before they were presented to their audiences. Nobody in the audience would ever see the original version.
It wasn’t intended to be seen or shared with anyone who wasn’t a working member of the media. And in those days, “the media” was controlled by those few who were rich enough to own a broadcast tower, or a printing press, or a distribution network.
Today, the internet and the explosion of niche media has given you more access—and more opportunity—than at any time in human history. So now, your media kit should be created to be seen by more types of people than ever before.
#1. YOU NEED AN AUTHOR MEDIA KIT FOR MASS MEDIA
Imagine that you’re being considered for an interview. Depending on the particular media outlet, your media kit may be consulted by multiple people in that chain—including media editors and producers, columnists, reporters, and other staffers who work at professional media companies.
These people don’t actually know you, so they want to see your media kit to figure out if you need to be added to the list. Your media kit will help them to ask better questions, help them get their facts right, and write or talk about you more accurately.
#2. YOU NEED AN AUTHOR MEDIA KIT FOR NICHE MEDIA
It may sound glamorous to find yourself booked on a major television show with a large audience. But when you’re presented to a general audience, most of those people have the TV or radio on in the background, or they’re flipping through that weekly magazine in the waiting room at the doctor’s office.
The smaller audience for a more targeted media outlet, such as a blog or podcast, is more likely to be interested in what you have to say. More importantly, that niche audience is more likely to want to know more about you (and your book).
#3. YOU NEED AN AUTHOR MEDIA KIT FOR BOOKSELLERS AND LIBRARIANS
Your book is literally one of millions of books that exist—and one of thousands that are currently vying for the attention of that bookseller or that librarian.
Now, imagine that a bookseller or a librarian has taken an interest in carrying your book on their shelves or placing your book in a featured slot on their website. A well-made online media kit will make you look more credible—more professional—and will put you heads and shoulders above so many others who didn’t make the effort. It will help them understand you. A well-made media kit that helps booksellers and librarians believe in you and understand you may help that bookseller or that librarian become a fan who wants to promote you to more potential readers.
#4. YOU NEED AN AUTHOR MEDIA KIT FOR EVENT PLANNERS
Your book isn’t necessarily an end in itself. For many successful authors, a book is a springboard for more business opportunities—as a speaker, as a teacher, or as a thought leader in their space. Your online media kit can position yourself with event planners for these types of opportunities.
Think about crafting a signature speech that further demonstrates your authority in your sphere. Or you might hold a workshop, teaching the steps to making some kind of craft. You don’t have to be the world’s greatest expert in your topic, you just need to be a couple of steps ahead of the members of your audience.
Your media kit demonstrates that you’re a thought leader or expert in your category, helping event planners understand why you would be a great candidate to come share with their group.
#5. YOU NEED AN AUTHOR MEDIA KIT FOR READERS
The end goal of all of these activities, of course, is to build your reader base. That way, when you have something to promote—your next book, a public appearance, an event, or a course—then you have a group of people who trust you and want to be alerted to whatever you have to offer.
Imagine that your current readers get to the end of your most recent book and now they want to know more. They want the behind-the-scenes info, or they want to know more about the author behind the book. Your media kit serves as the “bonus materials,” not unlike the kinds of materials you might check out after you watch a movie. For this audience segment, your media kit helps them to draw closer to you.
Imagine those readers who may have a passing acquaintance with you or your work. Maybe they saw your book included in search results on a bookseller website, or saw your book at their local library in a display with similar titles. These potential readers are circling the outer edges—they like your category or they like books that are similar to your book, but haven’t quite entered your orbit. Your media kit can be the bridge to this audience segment. It gives them the necessary encouragement to come close enough to learn more about you and learn why you (and your book) need to be on their list.
Imagine that your amazing media kit and your promotional campaign garners you some appearances in the media: An interview on a podcast. A write-up on a blog. A profile in a magazine. A blurb in a news column. Each time you are featured in one of these outlets, you are being presented to that audience. Some members of that audience might not yet be ready to buy your book, but they may be curious enough to look you up online.
Your online media kit is a great way to give them the right kind of information quickly so that they bookmark you for future reference. (And, yes, some of them might even buy your book.)
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