Monday, January 18, 2010

Press Kit? What's That?

These are busy days. I've been talking with bookstores to arrange signings for April when my novel, Code Blue, debuts. Plans are almost complete for a launch party. But now some of my fellow authors have suggested that I need a press kit.

I want to paraphrase the oft-misquoted line that originally came from Treasure Of The Sierra Madre: "We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinkin' badges!" Press kits. I don't need no stinkin' press kits. But, actually, I do.

Surprisingly enough, I'm familiar with press kits from my years in medicine. During that time, I served as President or Vice-President of all the major societies in my specialty, as well as a long spell on the governing boards of these organizations. Along the way, I was associated with a number of activities and initiatives that would benefit from coverage by the media. Want to get press coverage? Make it easier for them to do their job. Put together a press kit with quotes, pictures (if applicable), and supporting material that can be plugged into a story. So, yes, if I want any publicity for Code Blue, I'm going to have to put together a press kit. But, since things have changed over the years and I'm trying to change with them, this one will be available online.

In my press kit, I've included images of the book cover and the author, brief and longer bios and book descriptions, a link that allows for reading the first chapter, contact information, the book trailer, and links to my web site, my blog, and a couple of interviews I've done. I'm probably going to revise it several times, but for now, at least I've done this much. How about you? What would you add?

I really didn't figure that putting together a press kit was part of the job description for "author," but I'm learning as I go along. I'm not sure what other unforeseen activities are going to be necessary as I travel this road, but as I encounter them, I'll share them with you, my readers. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

9 comments:

DL Hammons said...

Although I don't know what Press Kits normally contains . . . I can't think of anyhing else you could add. What you have is really detailed and thorough.

Sounds like fun times ahead.

Jody Hedlund said...

I've heard that term before, but didn't really know what it entailed. Thanks for sharing and educating me! I'm enjoying learning from your experience!

Carol J. Garvin said...

You're obviously getting well prepared for release day... it's an excellent press kit. The only thing I might add would be more obvious info about where the book can be purchased and a direct link for online sales so anyone doing a writeup doesn't have to search for it.

I also noticed that, on my computer at least, your trailer doesn't fit well in the sidebar... almost half is cut off. Maybe it would be better relocated into the main text area???

I took advantage of the opportunity to read the chapter and now am more anxious than ever to get my hands on the book! :)

D'Ann Mateer said...

I'm learning so much from your journey! Thanks for letting us walk each step with you! And be sure to let me know launch party details. I want to come if I can!

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks to you all for your comments and emails. I've tweaked the press kit a bit, and will probably do even more as the time for release approaches.

The launch party is scheduled for 7:00 PM on Thursday, April 8, at Legacy Books in Plano (7300 Dallas Parkway--that's the Dallas North Toll Road at Legacy). This is the same mega-indie bookstore where Sarah Palin did her North Texas book signing. There'll be much more information forthcoming, but if you're in the area, please put it on your calendar. Hope to see lots of you there.

Susan DiMickele said...

Richard, I'm impressed with your press kit! Please keep me posted. I am a couple of months behind you -- I am scheduled to publish in June, and like you I'm learning as I go. I would love to hear about how you are scheduling book signings, what you are doing for your launch party etc. Let me know what works and what doesn't!

Keli Gwyn said...

Richard, having just prepared for your upcoming interview on my blog in April, I can attest to the fact that your press kit is awesome. I was able to get much of what I needed right at the site. Kudos on a job well done.

Susan DiMickele said...

Richard, I'm impressed with your press kit! Please keep me posted. I am a couple of months behind you -- I am scheduled to publish in June, and like you I'm learning as I go. I would love to hear about how you are scheduling book signings, what you are doing for your launch party etc. Let me know what works and what doesn't!

Carol J. Garvin said...

You're obviously getting well prepared for release day... it's an excellent press kit. The only thing I might add would be more obvious info about where the book can be purchased and a direct link for online sales so anyone doing a writeup doesn't have to search for it.

I also noticed that, on my computer at least, your trailer doesn't fit well in the sidebar... almost half is cut off. Maybe it would be better relocated into the main text area???

I took advantage of the opportunity to read the chapter and now am more anxious than ever to get my hands on the book! :)