Monday, August 25, 2008

The Getting Lucky cover

My second novel, Getting Lucky, is progressing with iUniverse; it’s in the queue for an editorial evaluation. Meanwhile, the photo at the right is the Pawtucket Canal in Lowell, Massachusetts, and will be the book’s cover. I purchased this photo from Lee Fortier. See more of his excellent work at his website.

A graphic artist from iUniverse will design a page using this photo. My original suggestion to them was to incorporate a four-leaf clover with a bloody bullet hole, but I am leaving it up to the artist’s judgment. It will be fun to see what they come up with.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Notes from a seminar on press kits

Yesterday I took part in a teleseminar conducted by Penny Sanseveri of Author Marketing Experts, and I thought I'd share my notes. I called her office ahead of time, so she knows I am posting this.

Don’t assume that a random visitor to your web page knows what you’re all about. Be sure you know your own goals.

A press kit is an author's resume. It shows professionalism. It should include:

A customized cover letter—very important.

An author bio
Have some fun with this. It should be thorough (but not too long) and personalized. Don't be irrelevant. Humanize yourself. Put the most important information up front. Include a photo of yourself.

Fact sheets
Be careful with any information you supply, because anything in the press kit can be used. “Did you know?” type of info is good.

Press release
You can have different press releases for different markets. Customize them as much as possible.

Tip sheet
For example, “5, 7, or 10 things...” This is information you can also put on your website.

Interview questions
You can supply a list of suggested interview questions. First, though, run them by someone objective. Also, practice interviewing so you can see any holes.

Other media
Include clippings, etc. Media draw media. List wherever you’ve been.

Newsletter, if you have one.
Copy of your book
Copies of reviews (but don't send copies of reviews to other reviewers)
You can put your press kit on CD.
Electronic media kit—clean and simple.

Online press room
On your web site. You can tell all you need in one place, everything you would put in a press kit.
Include past press releases in both Word and PDF format.
Include photo of yourself.
Include the book cover.
List the topics you are willing to talk about.
List upcoming events—but keep it up to date, as outdated lists are annoying.
Comprehensive media page with links. Include Internet media.
Include contact information. Do not make people fill out a form.
Include any milestones achieved with your book.
Always include a copy of the book with the media kit. If the book isn’t out yet, consider including a mini-version with the cover and a few chapters.

Fun things to include
Any giveaways as promos

Blurbs are important, but be sure they are tied to your topic.
Places to submit articles:,

A press kit isn’t necessary for every new book, but do it if it’s major.
Anytime you give a presentation, get someone to write you a letter of recommendation.
If you are available to speak, be sure to make that clear.

Librarians like books that create a buzz.