I have mentioned the need for a media kit in passing during Write Nonfiction in November. In January 2009, I even had media expert Annie Jennings of Annie Jennings PR write a guest post about composing a media bio. However, I’ve never gone into any depth about exactly why aspiring authors and authors need an online media kit and what goes into one.
For this reason, I asked a true expert on the subject to provide me with a guest post that would outline these points for all my readers. L. Drew Gerber is CEO of www.PublicityResults.com and creator www.PitchRate.com. Drew’s companies handle international PR campaigns, and his staff develops online press kits for authors, speakers and companies with Online PressKit 24/7. After reading his post, I asked him to provide some links that would provide examples of online media kits. Wow! Did I learn something. (I learned that I need to redo my online media kits!) Read, look, learn…And then go create an online media kit!
Using Online Press Kits to Increase Book Sales
By L. Drew Gerber
If you’re an author, media coverage is the best and most cost-effective way to increase your book’s sales. What media coverage does, that no ad can do, is build your credibility among your target audience. When they hear an interview with you on a local radio program, read a newspaper article where you’ve been used as an expert source or watch a television segment featuring you, your book and your expertise, the audience is engaged. And an engaged audience is who will purchase your book. Most people skim right over ads in magazines or newspapers, not paying any attention to them. But interviews and stories — people read them because they want to; because they trust the source; and because they want to broaden their horizons. And that’s where you come in, but first you need to get media coverage.
Whether you’re dealing with Good Morning America, Dr. Phil, Oprah or your hometown TV station and newspaper, having an online press kit is the key to getting media coverage. Why? Because the media is, and always will be, busy!
From the smallest to the largest outlets, the media is hammered daily with experts, authors and business owners vying to be sources in their broadcasts, blogs and in the pages of their newspapers and magazines. Having an online press kit gives you an edge by making the media’s job easier. Journalists don’t want attachments; they want everything organized and at their fingertips. When you link to your online press kit you can easily — with a click of a button — show the media just how newsworthy you are, while making their job easier.
Here’s how an online press kit will make the media’s job easier and help you increase your book’s sales:
Organization— When journalists visit your online press kit, your “Home” page tells them why you are important and why they should be interested in you. Your “About” page provides three different biographies for three different media purposes. Your “News and Story Ideas” and “Questions to Ask” pages give them interesting angles they can cover on you and your book. An online press kit organizes everything the media may need to use you as an expert source and makes the media’s job easier.
Professional presence— You’re an expert and you have to present yourself as one in every way. Journalists don’t work with sources they think aren’t professional no matter what they have to offer. Do you wear flip-flops and cut-off shorts to an interview? Of course not. An online press kit shows the media that you’re the go-to person when they need information on a topic, whether it’s breaking news, product or academic reviews and analysis, or a source for human-interest features.
Story ideas— The media serves their audience, so you have to show them how you differ from the competition and how your story fits in with trending topics. Story ideas help the media see how you and your book fit into the latest trends, conversations and breaking news.
When you’re building relationships with the media you need to use everything at your disposal to give yourself an edge. With the advent of the Internet, it’s become much easier to put yourself and your ideas out there for the media and public to see. But if you want to shape your image in such a way that can boost exposure for you and your book, you have to position yourself as an expert with a unique perspective with something different to offer. An online press kit allows you to do this in a way that’s professional and easy for the media.
Want to see an online press kit so you know what you need to create? You can visit www.PressKit247.com, or check out these links:
About the Author
L. Drew Gerber is CEO of www.PublicityResults.com and creator of www.PitchRate.com, a free media tool that connects journalists and the highest rated experts. Gerber’s business practices and staffing innovations have been revered by PR Week, Good Morning America and the Christian Science Monitor. His companies handle international PR campaigns and his staff develops online press kits for authors, speakers and companies with Online PressKit 24/7, a technology he developed (www.PressKit247.com). Contact L. Drew Gerber at: AskDrew@PublicityResults.com or call him at 828-749-3548.