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How to Create Effective Media Kits

How to create effective media kits

I talk about media kits all the time. They are essential for a book launch, for book promotion, for event promotion, for interviews, everything to do with public relations, publicity, and even for your own marketing convenience. They are essential to be able to maximize your virtual book tour, which is why I spend a whole lesson on how to create your own media kit for your tour and give you a template to build in the course. (If you are interested in being on the waiting list to know as soon as Maximize Your Virtual Book Tour Masterclass relaunches, please sign up for my newsletter and select that you’re interested in Angell’s 4 Authors. )

I talk about it briefly in 5 Inexpensive Ways to Skyrocket Book Event Success.

And I stressed the importance of having it when I talked about How to Get Free Publicity.

What is a Media Kit?

The generic answer is that a media kit is a grab bag with the most important information that you can share with journalists (or whoever) to create consistent content and branding. You can read a bit more about what publicists include in media kits in CP Communications publicity tips guide.

I have so many media kits for me and my books that I actually created templates of them under OWS to make it easier for the marketing managers for the books we were publishing were able to ensure that each author had everything needed for their annual marketing campaigns. (If you would like a copy of this template format to customize for your own work, I would be happy to provide it for $50. The template kit includes an author media kit, a book launch media kit, a book tour kit and an event media kit. Or you can piece it together from this post.)

What do I have in my Author Media Kit?

I have pictures. In my kit, I include my most recent headshot, my book covers, photos from my most recent events, awards I’ve earned. Each picture is the highest quality png I have available to reduce the risk of grainy images that don’t scale properly since most of my media work is online.  

Next, I have a one-sheet that includes: my bio, awards I’ve won, references to the images in the kit (For example, Heidi Angell speaks to a room of 10,000 at SLC ComicCon 2013 where she was part of the momentous largest 1st-time ComicCon in history), Lists of the awards and their significance, a few quotes about me as an author, links to my website, my book shop pages on my site, my e-newsletter sign up link, my social media links, and links to my most recent media appearances.

Lastly, I have a “commonly asked questions” page. This page consists of all the most commonly asked questions I get and the answers I have carefully prepared.

What do I have in my Book Media Kit?

Images- all the images that have been created for the book in the same quality as in my author kit. Book quote images, review quote images, book ads, everything. I rarely send the book media kit to anyone. But I can pull the items that are appropriate for each event quickly and easily as I have everything in one place on my drive.

I create a book one-sheet with a lot of the same information that is on my author one-sheet except specifically for my book. The Hook, the blurb, review quotes, pricing, links to all the sales pages (starting with my storefront page.) and links to all the recent publicity.

I include a “Most common questions” about the book sheet. With, you guessed it, my carefully prepared answers. When I do tours or events for the book, if a clever new piece comes to light, I will add it to this kit. I try to keep the common questions doc down to 2 pages and curate only the best questions and answers.

I also create series media kits for the same purpose.

What Goes into a Launch Tour Kit?

Images: I will add my most recent headshot, the book covers, the launch tour banners, and then 2-3 promo images (typically 1 quote, 1 review quote, and 1 ad image.)

The Tour Launch One Sheeter actually becomes quite long because it will have the tour dates, the hook, a sales copy description (NOT your blurb, how boring.) the pricing for e-book and paperback with links to my shop pages and Draft2Digital so the contact can choose the bookstore link that works best for them.

If I am doing any kind of giveaway, I will provide the link and the HTML and the rules of the giveaway.

I will then list each stop in the tour and the location information.

I also include a “commonly asked questions” page with the questions from my author, book, and if this is the next book in a series I will add the series questions as well.

What is in an event kit?

The event kit is the template I use for creating a signing kit, a sales tour kit, a festival kit or con kit, and an awards announcement kit.

The event kit is for any one-off event. It will pull heavily from the author, book, and series kit.

For images, I include the headshot, book cover if for a single signing, the series cover if for the series, or if I am doing an event where I am repping all my books, then the scalable version of my social media covers which has all my books in a row based on the order of publication. If it is a convention or festival, I will include their custom content. If it is a signing or an event I am running myself then I will create custom media for it including banners, ads, and flyers.

I have a one-sheet that provides key details about the event. Dates, times, locations, purpose. The one-sheet will also have my bio, my key links, and some pull quotes. If I am doing a giveaway then the details of the giveaway and how to enter will be included.

I will have a commonly asked questions sheet tied around whatever the event is about.

I will also include a marketing plan in this media kit, though it won’t be sent to my publicity lists. I may use it to curry favor with the event location or organizers though. See, I build these kits in advance. Showing I am prepared to promote the event may be the difference between my getting a signing or my needing to find four other authors to attend if I want the location to say yes. It could be the difference between me just having a booth at the convention, or being able to get on a panel or two or three. It could get me higher billing on the event venue’s promotional content.

So there you have it, my top tips on how to create effective media kits and how to reuse your templates to make it easier to recreate next time.

A note about Design

These media kits are going out to the public. Literally, some of the people you send it to may simply copy and paste what you provide them. It is essential that you take some time to make it clean and polished. Add in some branding. If you use a specific font on your cover, use the same as the headers in your kit pages. If you use a specific font in your book for chapters, use the same font for your section headers in your media kit.

If you have a special image header for your social media pages, use that in your author media kit header. You can even incorporate colors.

Take as much time with these kits as you do with everything else in your book publishing process. This is literally the icing on the cake that is your book. It needs to look and taste and feel as good as the cake itself.

If this sounds like a lot of work and you would rather have my templates, you can order them here:

Is that still more work than you care for?

I am available for hire. Email me at with “free 1/2 hr publicity consultation” and let me know what event you have planned, when it is, and I will reach out to schedule a half-hour appointment with you to discuss a proposed plan and cost.

Until next time,

Keep Writing!

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How to get Free Publicity

How to get Free Publicity

The answer to how to get free publicity is shockingly simple. Ask.

What? I know, you need more than that. I get it. Asking is the simplest and hardest thing for anyone to do. There is so much that goes into asking. Let’s break it down into easily digestible chunks: Who, what, when, where to ask for free publicity. We already know why you are asking for free publicity, but we will have a bonus why addressed here.

Who to Ask

This is actually completely up to you, your network, your confidence, and your skill.

If you have little time and a lot of money, you would be best served hiring a publicist, however, they can be quite pricey. Even top authors typically only hire a publicist about 2-3 months before a release and then have them plan publicity for the next 12 weeks or so.

But they are not cheap and finding the quality of a publicist is often tricky. Your best bet is talking to someone you know and trust who uses a publicist and asking what they thought of their publicist.

Let’s say you don’t have $1,000 to $10,000 to invest in a publicist. You can be your own. It’s a lot harder, but can be very beneficial to getting free publicity in the long run.

The generic answer of “who to ask” that publicists consider is local, regional, national media (in that order.) because starting with local is easier for newbies with limited platforms. It is easier to find relevance, and there will be less competition. That is not necessarily true for someone writing in a major city. You also have tons of online opportunities for free publicity. They don’t fall into the same scope as real-world media but you have small, medium, large, and massive audiences you can tap for free publicity.

The best place to start when looking for who to ask is to look to your current network. Do you follow other authors on social media? Check their website out. Many of us blog and as part of our blog, we are open to sharing our platform in hopes that someone will share their platform with us when we are ready to promote. This is my number one recommendation for free publicity. You can take a look at how I share my platform in my Angell’s 4 Authors post.  

An Angell's Life

You may ask those in your same genre if they will let you share on their social media page or e-newsletter list.

Go beyond the authors you know. Otherwise, it quickly becomes a repetitive circle jerk, much like the end of Facebook parties.

Do you know someone who also knows you and works at your local paper, at a school that is the right target audience for your work, at a business that is always doing events for their team? Write their names down.

Do you know someone who also knows you and works at the local library? You could reach out to them to arrange an event.

Maybe you aren’t super connected. That’s ok. I’ve been there too. When we moved across country seven years ago, I knew five people where we moved. All from the same family, three of them were kids. Slowly but surely I have built up a local base. You can do the same. Go to the library, go to bookstores. Talk to people. Ask them about themselves. File bits of information away for later.

But you don’t have to wait, either. You can make lists of people you want and need to know. Who handles the entertainment and events sections of your local newspapers. Get their name and contact details. You can usually find it on the paper’s website. If you are able, make that publicity list on a regional level.

I have so many lists that it is ridiculous. All have been created at local and regional levels, and I have even created lists free publicity outlets for places where I am traveling and plan to do signings on my trip. Why not stay an extra night at Disney and do a book signing and get to write off half your vacation as a business trip? Win/win! But we’re talking about publicity packets.

Each publicity packet I create has the following:

Local and regional Newspapers

Local and regional Radio stations

Local and regional Libraries

Local and regional bookstores

And then I have my online resources. I have a variety of different lists depending on my genre and audience that I am targeting:

Press Release distributors

Book reviewers





99% of what is on my free publicity lists, I found through google search and social media. You can do the same. It takes time and working on your lists regularly, but there are so many publicity opportunities out there that it is so easy to get free publicity. I strongly recommend that you spend at least a few hours every week creating these lists, and once your book is finished and getting ready for release, spend a few more hours each week crafting campaigns to target to each segment accordingly.

What to Ask

This is something that needs to be carefully crafted depending on the target, the purpose, the audience. But there is a formula that you can use to create your templated ask.

Who is their audience + Why would their audience benefit from + knowing about my X= a perfect pitch.

If you can also tie it to something timely, that is newsjacking.

If you can tie it to something local that adds draw.

When to Ask

I am all about templates and in my course “How to Maximize Your Virtual Book Tour” I actually share the templated email I create for every one of my book tours and send to book reviewers, book podcasters, and Booktubers. There are pieces that get customized on each template and those pieces are exactly what you see above.

I have templates for each of those free publicity lists I mentioned, and templates for each of the different types of events. A release tour, an awards event, a sales announcement, a book signing, attending a festival. Now obviously some of that news will be newsworthy on many of my publicity lists, and some of it will have a narrower scope. But the point is that if I have it all ready and easy to access, then planning my when to ask becomes a lot easier.

For new release tours, I start planning three-four months out so that I can reach out to bookstores to plan signings with 2-3 months notice, I can reach out to book reviewers with at 2 least months notice, I can reach out to virtual tour stops with 4-6 weeks notice. That gives me time to get all the stops I want for a 6-12 week tour.

Two weeks before the tour starts, I will start reaching out to local newspapers, news channels, radio channels, libraries, and event calendars to share the full tour masterlist in an effort to get free publicity.

For smaller events, you are looking at a much smaller lead time. For conventions, you want to reach out to local news about a month before because you are not the only one who will be trying to do so.

For a regular book signing, I plan with the venue about a month out, and reach out to local lists a week or two before to see about setting up some promotional spots or doing an interview. The day or two before, I will target local free promotional spots with flyers. Anywhere there might be a local message board such as grocery stores, libraries, gyms, community centers, schools, parks. Any free publicity to drive as much traffic to the event as possible.

Where to Ask

Whenever possible, ask in person.

As uncomfortable as it may be for you to ask, it is also the most uncomfortable way for them to say no.

Next best bet is to ask by phone. We have become a society that loathes using phones. As such, their phone probably isn’t ringing that much.

If you have a choice between your email or their contact me form, use their form.

Email is a last resort partially because it is so easy to ignore, and more importantly if your email address gets reported as spam or deleted without reading too frequently, it will get lumped into your non-contacts spam folders automatically. Let’s be honest, most of us don’t check our spam folders. That doesn’t do you any good at all.

Why to Ask

Because the worst thing that they can do is ignore you.

But the best-case scenario is that they make time for you and you build your reputation, your brand, your audience, your sales.

A couple of other benefits to asking:

The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

The more you practice, the easier it is to craft your message.  

Create a page on your website for media appearances and link to all those events. Add that page in your correspondence. It will give them more confidence in having you on.

This is how media darlings are born. Everyone wants to be in on the hottest news.

Not all of this will be free publicity because you may have to pay for flyers or travel costs, or promote a really good blogger’s book review on your tour, or put an ad in the paper to announce an event that they didn’t seem interested in giving you free space for.

But so much of it will be more valuable than running Amazon Ads, Bookbubs, or Google Ads.

Got any specific questions about how to get free publicity that I didn’t address here? Feel free to ask. I will do my best to answer your questions.

Want to learn how to prepare a media kit to have everything you need for any type of publicity or 5 Inexpensive Ways to Skyrocket Book Event Success

Until next time,

Keep Writing!