The first time I encountered the term “Media Kit” was when I was trying to figure out how to ask libraries and indie book stores if they’d like to carry my book. The internet recommended that I bring a media kit, but that sounded kind of intimidating, so I ignored it for a long time. But now that I’m working with Whimsical Publishing and I have more self-confidence than three years ago, I really wanted to try to pick up my self-promo game. (Especially because I really want Into the Churn to do well enough for me to write a sequel. 😭)
I knew Whimsical was going to arrange for me to do a book signing, and with looming fears of no one showing up, I wanted to see if I could get it listed in our local newspapers as an upcoming event. (By the by, It’s Saturday, April 15th from 12-2pm at Niceville Public Library, so if you’re around, definitely come say hi!) But…if I wanted to contact local newspapers, I knew I needed a media kit.
But I also still had no idea what went into a media kit. So I creeped on other authors’ media kits and did some intense googling. Not only did I find out what goes in a media kit, but I also found out that I should probably make a press release as well, and then I also apparently I needed like a whole media kit google drive folder to put my graphics and files in! Overall, actually creating it didn’t take too long, and I used Canva to put together the media kit portion.
Now, I’m still by no means an expert on these things, but I wanted to put my stuff out there in case some else needs inspiration or ideas for what they should put in there own. All my media kit materials and press kit stuff is located here.
But… then I also had to figure out how to email said local news and let them know that I existed. After querying the internet once again, I came up with an email that looks like this:
Subject Line: [Simplified Version of your Press Release Headline]
Dear [Local News Name]
I really appreciate [Local News Name] as a source of informative and relevant stories in our local area. I hope you’ll be able to use the below press release as a short news item or as an inspiration for an article on a related subject. Feel free to email me or call me at ### if you have any questions, and thank you so much for your time.
Hayley Reese Chow
Twitter, Instagram & Tiktok: @hayleyreesechow
Full media kit here
[Press Release Below]
So, your next question is probably: did it work!? Well, I literally sent it out 1 business day ago, but I have had one taker so far, so huzzah! I also sent out my press release through PRLog and PRUrgent and called it a day. There are a ton of other free press release sites, but a lot of them require you to have a non-free email address (read: rejected my gmail), so that crossed the line of too much hassle for me.
Anyways, like I said, not exactly an expert over here, but since I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what goes in a press release, media kit, and email to the press, I figured I’d share what I cobbled together. Hopefully it’s helpful and good luck in your book launch!
5 thoughts on “What to put in your author media kit, press release, & how to email local news outlets.”
Thanks for sharing your experiences :). I think you have a great strategy for learning about media kits and your media kit looks awesome!
I also like your email to your local news network :).
I’m happy for you. Cool that one got back to you in just a day – hope more will reach out to you today or tomorrow!
You rock, Hayley! Best wishes with your book signing – I wish I could be there (if I lived close, I’d definitely be there and show you my support) :).
Thanks so much Alex! It’s all kind of out of my comfort zone, but I figure that means I’m growing. 🙂 I hope you’re having a great week!
Anytime, my friend! You definitely are growing 🙂 I’m very proud of you and am rooting you on :).
My week is good, thanks. How is yours?
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Doing good! My son has been sick, but he’s finally on the mend, so we’re looking forward to the weekend!
Hope he feels all better soon 🙂
Wishing you two a nice weekend!
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