Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Promotion: Media kits - why and how

by Vivian Zabel 

          Many people read or hear about media or press kits but don't know why one is needed or how to put one together. Since every author and illustrator should have a media kit, let's discuss why and then what should be included.

First of all, a few reasons why a media kit is needed:

1.  Many review sources request a media kit as well as a copy or two of the book to be considered.

2.  Often conferences and book festivals ask for a media kit for speaker and attendee publicity.

3.  Publicists need information for promoting an author or illustrator.

4.  Anytime an author or illustrator seek publicity through news media, radio, or television, the hosting entity would want a media kit.

5.  Libraries, schools, and bookstores often publicize visiting authors and/or illustrators. Providing them with a media kit helps them help promote. 

          Those are five reasons, but others exist. One important reason to have a media kit is the need to appear professional. Material can be presented physically or online as a PDF.
How to prepare a media kit:
            A media kit helps present needed materials for publicity. One can be assembled online or in a two pocket folder. A kit should include the following items:

 1.  a photograph of the author
 2.  reviews and summaries of books by the author and any news releases available
 3.  image of book cover
 4.  information about the book(s) being promoted with this kit
 5.  a writing resumé for the author
 6.  a bio of the author
 7.  any possible writing awards can be listed separately or included in the resumé.

            My hard copy media kit has a CD envelope (with the transparent window) on the front with a photograph. The window is facing the reader. The envelope is glued across the bottom of the envelope and about two thirds up each side. The flap can then be opened and closed so the photo can be removed and replaced.

            I put my name at the top of the front of the folder, printed in large font and in blue on a strip of neatly cut paper. Any color may be used, but the label needs to be large enough to read and be easily read.

            My online media kit has all the needed items in one folder.

            Anytime I need to provide information for media publicity, I can hand deliver or mail the kit. If the media source prefers an attachment emailed, I can attached any portions of the kit needed for that source. I have a PDF that includes all necessary components that can be sent as an email attachment.

          Anyone who would like to receive a PDF of what I included in my media kit, please email me or leave your email in a comment below.


  1. Thanks so much, Vivian. This is wonderful information and I learned a lot from this article. I'll be working on developing a media kit with the intention of promoting books I illustrate and those I illustrate and write. It is not something I have done before, and this is another tool that will benefit all authors and illustrators.

  2. I just recently realized that many authors and illustrators didn't know how to put together a media kit and why they should. Therefore, the topic of a necessary article.


  3. I need to start thinking of one, too. I guess I've always relied on a portfolio, and not much else.

  4. Vivian,
    I would love to have a PDF of what to put in a media kit. Thank you for your willingness to share such valuable information.

    This blog site has quality posts. Thanks to all who contribute.

    Linda A.

  5. Linda A., please send me your email address. I know two Linda A's.


  6. Vivian, I would love to see a PDF of your media kit contents, since I'm putting together mine now. Thanks, and great info!

  7. Vivian,
    I would also love to have a PDF of what you put in your media kit. Thanks for your tips. my email address is

  8. Vivian,

    Sorry that I forgot to include my email address with my request. Thank you for sending the PDF.

    Linda A.

  9. Vivian, thanks for the useful information. I have to create a physical media kit and update my online one.

    If it's not too much of a bother, would you also send me the PDF of what you put in your media kit.

    karenrcfv [at] yahoo

    Thanks so much!

  10. I have an online media kit on my website. I am not sure how good or helpful it is, though, but it's up there.


  11. Often, media kits aren't helpful unless appropriate for a need. For example, I had to send one with books to be reviewed, and I had to send one as an attachment to be considered as a speaker at a conference.

    They are helpful when needed, and having one prepared before requested is good.


  12. I used epk press kit website for press release distribution for a few of my independent events that I was promoting, and received some good feedback.  I like epk press kit that they also help you get the word too.