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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Set Up the Excellent On-line Press Package

Image: against a backdrop of stylish decor, an open laptop computer displays examples of the Media Gallery and Author Mug Shots described in this blog post.
Photograph by cocarinne

Right this moment’s publish is by writer and web site designer Camilla Monk.

How’s your press equipment doing as of late? Mine was nearly non-existent till I attended a wonderful presentation on writer press kits hosted by agent Sarah Fisk for the Authors Guild. Sarah’s insightful and actionable recommendation led me to mirror on what kind of press kits I—and by extension the bloggers and journalists seeking to write about authors and their books—see on-line: principally downloadable PDFs with low high quality photos and restricted content material.

In different phrases, the very medium we depend on to promote our books is, most of the time, ineffective. Journalists and bloggers will discover it simpler to reap no matter they will out of your web site than obtain your press equipment—until you flip it into a useful software field for the hurried journalist. Right here’s how:

1. No PDF

Within the title of all faceless interns making an attempt to attach collectively an internet information article on the final minute, please don’t use a PDF.

  • Copying textual content from a superbly designed PDF file can shortly flip right into a headache if the pasted contents find yourself wanting like a mangled soup of phrases.
  • Photos in PDF recordsdata are compressed and troublesome to extract. Ought to they display seize, crop, and export? Convert the PDF right into a docx file, then export the photographs? All horrible options that may make bloggers and journalists secretly hate you slightly as they battle to grab a low-quality pic of you.

So, if you happen to’re not doing an internet press equipment as I like to recommend in level 2, go for a easy Phrase doc and make everybody’s life marginally simpler. You need individuals to distribute your supplies extensively: make it simple for them.

2. Have an HTML-based press equipment at your web site

A well-constructed HTML web page at your web site is sort of merely the simplest strategy to share each textual content and pictures at varied resolutions along with your guests. Arrange a web page the place you’ll collect all the knowledge and provide downloads of any related supplies (pattern, images, and perhaps a docx model of your equipment’s content material for customers who merely can’t work every other manner.)

Alternatively, or moreover, you’ll be able to provide a zipped obtain of your full equipment, with the textual content content material as a Phrase file, and subfolders the place your media content material will probably be organized and clearly labelled, for instance: Media/Creator photos/Jane-Doe-Excessive-Res.jpg

Keep away from superior design in your press equipment web page: you need textual content that’s simple to repeat and doesn’t come laden with pointless colours and fonts.

Screenshot of a button labeled “Download the press kit (zip)”. Beneath it are icons indicating the contents of the zipped press kit, including a folder titled Author pictures, a folder titled Cover, a folder titled Mockups, an audio mp3 file named “Fake author pronunciation” and a Word document titled “Fake press kit February 9, 2024”.
Observe: Sarah Fisk advises offering journalists with a recording of your title. That is particularly helpful if you happen to occur to have a international title or one which has a counterintuitive pronunciation—like Pete Buttigieg!

3. Make your equipment exhaustive however not exhausting

Right here, I’ll direct you to Sarah’s most glorious and pretty exhaustive Press Package Guidelines. Learn it attentively: you may discover gadgets you’d by no means considered including, or by no means even heard about. Greater than only a guidelines, it’s a fantastic introduction to constructing your advertising and marketing platform at giant.

E-book membership questions, video games, enjoyable information, Q&A? Not all the things on this record is related to you or your title. Attempt to decide correctly and never overcrowd your press equipment with materials that may present little or no worth to the media.

The primary standards for any piece of your press equipment needs to be: How does this meaningfully relate to my ebook? And the second is: How does this contribute to constructing my skilled picture?

Observe the nuance within the latter: The purpose is not only to speak about your self, however reasonably to assemble a picture of your self as an writer. Say that you simply’re writing girls’s fiction: anecdotes about your loved ones life and profession struggles are related not solely to your books, but additionally to the picture you need to venture to your readers, somebody girls and fogeys can relate to. If, nevertheless, you’re writing a spy thriller or epic fantasy, this info turns into quite a bit much less priceless and will unnecessarily crowd your equipment.

4. Construct a strong media gallery

You need that ebook cowl and your writer headshots to flow into, so assist bloggers and journalists do their job!

Embody a full gallery of writer photos, cowl photos, and ebook mockups. These might be actual pictures of your books taken by a photographer, or photos you generate with on-line software program like CanvaPlaceit, or Smartmockups. (This record just isn’t exhaustive.) For every picture, ensure you’re providing each medium and excessive decision: on-line journalists might desire a lighter picture that they will shortly add, whereas YouTubers or print media will favor excessive decision supplies.

Two screenshots, one overlaid on the other. One is titled Media Gallery and has three separate promotional images for a novel titled The Pelican Tide by Sharon J. Wishnow—one of just the book cover alone; one of the book resting on a sandy beach with water nearby; and one showing the book standing along with an iPad on which the book’s cover is displayed. Each promotional image is downloadable in two resolutions via buttons labeled Medium and Large. The other screenshot is labeled Mug Shots, and shows three different author photos—two vertical and one horizontal—again accompanied by download buttons for Medium and Large versions. Accompanying text reads, “Medium-size pictures are 1024 pixels maximum and great for online use. Large ones are 5000 pixels wide and will be perfect for print.”

Think about a temper board as effectively: a set of high-resolution, royalty-free photos that paint the environment of your ebook. Reviewers will like to faucet into these as an instance their social media posts or movies.

As I discussed earlier, ensure to obviously label every picture and describe what it’s, and its decision (low, medium, or excessive.)

5. Don’t neglect samples and ARC hyperlinks

Whether or not you’re historically or self-published, you in all probability have samples of your ebook (and audiobook, if relevant.) Don’t neglect to incorporate these, together with hyperlinks to Advance Reader Copy platforms like Netgalley, if relevant, to encourage any customer to learn and presumably assessment your ebook. Once more, the secret is to make it simple for anybody to click on and discover extra.

6. Lastly, stand out with copy buttons!

It’s such a easy and foolish trick and I can’t consider it took me listening to Sarah to think about this. Your press equipment targets media who may write about your title on quite a lot of media platforms: articles, critiques, YouTube movies, and so on. They should work quick and effectively, and a part of their job entails painstakingly copying materials out of your equipment. 

So why not make their job ten instances simpler by dividing your content material into sections, every coming with a “copy” button? Need a temporary description or tagline to open your assessment? BAM. It’s executed.

This doesn’t require superior tech capabilities. Right here’s an instance of what it appears to be like like:

Screenshot of a section labeled “Taglines”. One version, titled “15 words or less / 90 characters or less” is accompanied by the text “A perfect mother with an imperfect past, an unlikely friendship, and a very big secret.” To the right is a button indicating that the text has just been copied to the user’s clipboard. Beneath is a second version titled “10 words or less / 50 characters or less” accompanied by the text “Motherhood, mayhem, and murder.” To the right is a button allowing the user to copy the text to the clipboard.

TL;DR: Make it simple for everybody to propagate your press materials

This record just isn’t exhaustive, and also you may provide you with nice concepts of your individual on the right way to make it easier for reviewers and the media to seek out and use the fabric they want. In the end, that’s all there may be to the artwork of constructing a press equipment—put your self within the supposed consumer’s sneakers and ask your self:

  • Is that this related?
  • Is that this simple to seek out?
  • And is it simple to make use of and distribute?

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