Thursday, October 30, 2014

Media Kits - Easy as 1.2.3.

By S.R. Johannes, @srjohannes

Part of the Indie Authors Series 

Every author needs a media kit or press kit.

A media kit should be information for a variety of different audiences. It should get someone up to speed about you and your book in just a few clicks.

A media kit should tell people:

  • What is your background?
  • Why you write?
  • What your book is about?
  • How can they find you and your book?
  • Why should they read it?
  • Who will like your book? Give an idea of style and the ideal reader.
  • How can a reader reach you?


  •  A media kit should always be printed and mailed.
  • You have to be published to have one.
  • You don't need to update it.
  • The longer, the better.
  • It must be extra fancy.
  • I can whip it up in an hour.
  • It is only for newspapers and media outlets.


  • In addition to paper, your media kit should be accessible online. That way you can mail it out OR email a link.
  • A media kit is the first impression people have of you so make it good, professional, and of high quality. It is better to do a few things great than a lot of things so-so. It can make the difference!
  • Keep your information current - out of date information is not fun to read.
  • Make sure the information is easy and concise.
  • Create a general one. Then if you have time and some niche markets, I would create tailored ones for them.

Must Haves in an Online Media Kit

(* means it can work for pre-published authors)

1. *A high-resolution professional photo (The higher the resolution the better).

2. *A bio (try to keep this on major events, degrees and anything that relates to writing or publishing. You don't have to mention you are cheerleader in 8th grade.)

3. A one-page summary of each book. If you have a series - a series summary is good too. This should include ISBNs, where they can buy the book, price, release date, reviews etc.

4. A high-resolution photo of each book cover.

5. Current release press release - (go to for some samples)

6. Link to tour dates/signings/speaking engagements.

7. Detailed information on how to book you for school and library visits.

8. *Any LIVE links to articles or reviews or other interviews (pdfs would be better b/c links to other sites can change).

9. *Contact information and social media links.

10. *List of basic interview questions and answers about you or your book (FAQs). Use this tool as a means for sharing additional info about yourself and your book that’s not already in your summary, excerpts or bio.

11. A list of praises, awards or reviews.

Nice To Haves (Especially in this age of technology)

1.Video, audio, even a VLOG of you talking at signing or in interview - optional but I think in this day and age any technology is ideal

2. Book Trailers

3. Podcasts

4. Other articles that relate to a topic in your book

Nowadays, with technology, snail mail is not a great way to send media kit. Most people prefer to receive a PDF version of press kits or links in email for easy reference. Media kits are easier to distribute by email and upload onto blogs and websites.

However, I would still suggest printing a few copies and having them on hand, especially for your local retailers, bookstore or library readings and other speaking events. You should, of course, have a copy of the press kit on your author website or blog.

S.R. Johannes is the award-winning author of the Amazon bestselling Nature of Grace thriller series (Untraceable, Uncontrollable, and Unstoppable). She's a winner of the IndieReader Discovery Award in YA, an IPPY a Silver Medalist for YA Fiction, a Finalist in The Kindle Book Review's Best Young Adult Fiction, and a Finalist in US Book News Best YA Book.

Since leaving Corporate America, she has followed her passion for writing and conservation by working with The Dolphin Project, the Atlanta Zoo, other animal rescue organizations, and by weaving conservation themes into her books.

She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her dog, English-accented husband, and the huge imaginations of their little prince and princess, which she hopes- someday- will change the world.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


  1. another list of things i'd never thought about. Good information and thank you for the post.

  2. Hi Shellie,
    Thanks for putting this need-to-know info out to everyone. I was wondering though, when emailing a media kit, I'm presuming the recipient will accept attachments - right? Some people don't accept emails with attachments (lots of agents).

    So, a kit as a pdf file (which would be convenient as I could pull & add material & make copies) would be put on my book website, for example, to download - yes?

    I stumbled a bit on the 1-page book summaries, as that might make some media kits pretty lengthy, so wondered if it would be acceptable to aim for 300 words - something where you could fit 2-3 books on one page. With links to POS and booksite info close at hand, you might not need that extensive of a summary.
    Just thinking out loud... :)

    Also wondered about the bio portion, as some authors may be putting out their first book and don't have much related background (yet). I need to do some research on this - or anyone chime in with ideas (thanks up front).

    Thanks again, Shelli, for taking time out to share.