MEDIA KITS: Build one and they will come buy

Media Kits

Richard has asked me to speak about media kits, which he and I both feel are key in selling your book. My media kit is available for examination elsewhere on this site.

We all have different motivations to write, but I believe if you go to the trouble of having a book published, then sales are important. Unless you have sales, you do not have any readers and your story is not being told.

The media kit is a great way to help readers find out about your book.

PURPOSE
The purpose of a media kit, is to inform various media outlets of your book, and ideally to generate articles and stories about your book in those media outlets.

Hopefully this will create awareness of your book and generate consumer interest which will drive sales.

The second benefit I found to the media kit, was when writing to booksellers and influencers, a professional looking media kit adds a great deal of credibility to your pitch. An excellent media kit, creates what I call a ‘halo effect’, a well-done media kit gives your book an image of quality and ‘gravitas’.

Finally a media kit, appears to be from the publisher and can be quite boastful about the book, without you looking egotistical.

sample of a media kit

CONTENT
Ideally you want the media kit to contain enough material so a reporter/podcaster/influencer can write or broadcast a story about your book.

That means you need to answer the reporter’s W’s:

  • Who wrote the book (bio of author)
  • Why was the book written?
  • What is the book about and/or what is its purpose?
  • What people (reviewers) are saying about the book.
  • When can it be bought?
  • Where is it available?

WHY Have a Media Kit

Remember the book business is a business. Without sales, nobody gets the benefit of your writing efforts. I have found the media kit to be the most effective way to disseminate information about the book.

The goal of the media kit is to generate publicity which will hopefully result, in sales. The media kit should address most questions or issues a reviewer or potential purchaser may have. In my case I have sent media kits to almost everyone I have written to about the book.

The media kit should outline where and how the book can be purchased, and usually the media will use this info to guide potential purchasers.

In my online listings such as Amazon, the media kit contents were used to help describe the book.

WHO Creates the Media Kit?
In my case my publisher put it all together, while I supplied the bio material, the reviews and some other content. The reviews are very important because they provide credibility and the more positive information the recipient has the better.

Before the book was published, my publisher had about 100 ARC’s printed. ARC’s are Advanced Reader Copies that are sent out by the author and the publisher to people who are willing to read and provide reviews.

Reviewer feedback
The feedback from the reviewers is important for two reasons. First, you use the feedback as a basis for refining the book before sending it to the printer. Second the reviews, which in my case were extremely positive, are used in the media kit as endorsements.

These endorsements were used both on the book back cover and in the media kit. This hopefully has a positive impact on the book’s potential purchaser.

In my case my target market was not necessarily young men, as they tend not to buy books, but people I call caretakers, parents, grandparents, teachers, coaches and counsellors. If you look at the endorsements, they are people in these categories.

To be honest it is a challenge to get people to read your ARC and then give it reviews that are useful. More than half the ARC’s I sent out did not result in feedback for various reasons.

If by chance you have celebrity friends or contacts that can be very useful. As well try to get the ARC reviewers who have some relationship to your potential audience. If I wrote a book about Contemporary Music, having a comment from Michael Buble would be useful. If I was writing about the COVID Pandemic having Dr. Theresa Tam endorsing the book would be great.

Now most of us do not know high profile individuals like these people, but do the best you can.

The second thing I strongly suggest is to have at least one or two other people work on producing the media kit, preferably people with some experience in writing promotional copy. We authors can be too conservative in singing our praises.

On December 17, 2020 Metroland Media did a story both online and in print on my book, based almost entirely on the media kit.

Please be aware the story appeared most likely because I have a working relationship with the editor of the paper.

Ajax author on what makes a man awesome

Ajax News Advertiser………………….Thursday, December 17, 2020

Dennis Gazarek argues young men need to get back on track.

 But for a generation of young men “in crisis,” that won’t be easy.

The Ajax resident and former News Advertiser columnist has written “Be The Awesome Man: A Man’s Guide to Achieving Discipline, Success, and Happiness,” hoping this will help young men recognize a problem he sees and follow his advice to becoming better people.

Gazarek in the book argues that society has created “a fatal trap” for young men in which they put off adult responsibilities in order to live a “super adolescence.”

“We have full-grown men behaving as man-children, seeking fun while rejecting the responsibility and benefits of adulthood,” he writes.

Gazarek’s counter to the man-child is the “Awesome Man.”

“The Awesome Man is virtuous, disciplined, and caring, and always mindful of the consequences of his actions. He does not exploit, hate, or ridicule; instead he teaches, guides, mentors, helps, and cares for others,” Gazarek writes.

He emphasizes that a man of any age can become an awesome man. What is required is a commitment to personal growth.

“Be The Awesome Man” received an endorsement from Kerry Johnson, an Ontario Tech University associate teaching professor.

“A great resource for young men wanting to make a change … great !”

Visit betheawesomeman.com to learn more.

The book is available from book stores, online book sellers and through the publisher, Quill Driver Books.

In Conclusion
Please be aware the media kit in and of itself is not a guarantee that stories and articles will be written about your book. You will still have to convince the source to do the story, the media kit just makes that convincing process a little easier.

Since I send hundreds of emails out to potential readers and influencers, I find the media kit most useful in describing and hopefully influencing sales. The work in putting a quality media kit together I believe is well worth the effort.

Source: Dennis Gazarek, “Be the awesome man”
Editing: R. Szpin

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