What to put in your author media kit, press release, & how to email local news outlets.

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
TwitterInstagram & 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!

Speaking of book launches, Time’s Orphan is officially out in the world and Into the Churn comes out April 4th!

Hey, why’d you redesign your covers?

So the big news this week is that I got my Odriel’s Heirs and Idriel’s Children covers redesigned! And so many people have asked me why, I figured I’d write a post about it (mostly because I’m too tired tonight to do anything else productive. 😂)

So when I first was looking for a cover designer for Odriel’s Heirs, I’d never commissioned art of ANY kind before, and at the time, I thought Odriel’s Heirs would be the only book I ever wrote. (Seven books later, let’s all laugh together. 🤣)

So, I wanted something that could double as both character art and a cover. And although Dominique Wesson did a fabulous job of capturing the characters… based on anonymous feedback from NetGalley, the original cover designs were getting somewhere around a C-. Ouch. And to add to that, my BookBub deal requests kept getting rejected, and I suspected it had to do with the covers.

Fast forward to 2022, and the original cover designer is crazy busy and almost impossible to schedule, and I’m no longer a huge fan of seeing the character’s faces on the cover. I’d rather give the reader more flexibility to imagine the characters and commission character art separately, like the wonderful pieces by @stephydrawsart_ below. (But if you ever want to make my LIFE, I adore fanart.)

Anyways… Of course, I wanted all of the covers to match, so I briefly considered trying to get a character art cover similar to my first too… but then I saw Fay Lane’s work and totally fell in love.

And now here we are! I’m also hoping that the new covers will expand my audience, and I can still use the original covers as marketing or promotional tools. Maybe one day, I’ll shell out for a character art cover of Time’s Orphan so I can have two complete sets. But for now, I’m so thrilled with the new look and can’t wait to see them all in print together before too long!

The new paperbacks of Odriel’s & Idriel’s are now available on Amazon, and I’m hoping to release Time’s Orphan advance review copies in the fall!

As always, thanks for reading!

Is a BookBub Featured (International) Deal Worth it?

Hey everyone! So, I’m sure most of you know that discounted promotion newsletters are a big marketing tool for authors, and BookBub is the generally accepted king of promo newsletters.

And, after maybe about a year of applying for a BookBub featured deal, I finally got a $0.99 international featured deal offer for Odriel’s Heirs. 🥳 So that means I discounted Odriel’s Heirs from 2.99 to 0.99, and for a $54 fee, it was included in BookBub’s daily newsletter in the young adult category to Australia, India, Canada, and the UK.

So, I thought I’d share the results for anyone else trying for an international promo. I will say, I did not do any other additional marketing during the BookBub deal. I know that’s recommended, but honestly, March and April were pretty crazy for me, and I could barely even keep track of what day it was. As a silver lining though, we know that these sales were due only to the BookBub deal. Also, the 0.99 deal was marketed as a seven day promotion, and all my books were marked down for that period.

31 Mar: 36 amazon+16 wide
1 Apr: 18 amazon+11 wide
2 Apr: 7 amazon+7 wide
3 Apr: 4 amazon+3 wide
4 Apr: 0 amazon+3 wide
5 Apr: 1 amazon
6 Apr: 1 amazon
7 Apr: 0
8 April: 2 wide

Total ebooks sold: 109
Total royalties: $39.67
Deal cost: $54
Loss: $14.33

Although people have massively varying results with the BookBub international deals, this wasn’t terribly surprising to me.

Odriel’s Heirs did have several things going for it: it won the 2020 Florida Indie Author Project in YA, it was the 5th place finalist in the Book Blogger Novel of the Year Awards, and it had 102 Amazon reviews (and 149 on Goodreads) with an average 4.4 rating.

But I knew the cover wasn’t super strong, I didn’t stack any other promos on top of it, and I knew the US deal is typically more successful.

Still, even though it was technically a loss, I was able to get my books out to 109 more people (across. the. world. 😱), and honestly, since my main goal here is exposure, that’s a win for me. But if you have any questions, feel free to ask! In the meanwhile, I’ll still be submitting every month to try to grab that US deal. I mean… who could resist that shiny brand new cover?

I’m totally in love with it. 😍 (Thanks so much to the designer, Fay Lane!)

Thanks for reading!