It’s no secret that if you want to be found online, then you should probably have a website. If you are trying to build your profile as an author, it is the best place to act as a hub for all of your information.
You want to make a great first impression on your potential readers so you can start building a community of loyal fans who are genuinely interested in your writing. But, what about the media? Yes, they are people too, and they do read for pleasure, but how do you make your book enticing enough to make them want to cover it so you can generate some buzz about your book?
Keep It Simple
The key is to keep it simple and user-friendly. You need to make all of the important information available at their fingertips. In most cases, you have a very short window to grab their attention and hold it long enough so they can become interested. If they get to your website and it takes them hours to find the information they need, then you will likely lose out on that opportunity.
Even though you clearly like to write (you did write a book after all), you don’t need to put an overload of information and text on each page. Your landing page should simply be a picture of you with an attention-grabbing short bio (which you can elaborate on on your about page).
The Media Room
What I want to focus on is where the media can go. You need to have a separate page and tab on your main menu called “Media” or “Media Room.” Remember – information at their fingertips.
This Media page will have all of the pertinent resources they might need if they are considering doing a write-up about your book, the launch, or you as an author. You need to put yourself in their shoes to anticipate their requests.
Here are the main components you should always include on your media page:
- Media Contact: You may have decided to run your own publicity campaign for your book launch, or you could hire an expert to run your campaign. Either way, you need to clearly state: “For media inquiries, contact:” and include the name, phone number, and email of the person running your publicity campaign.
- Downloadable Media Kit: Even if you sent your media kit along with your email pitch to the media, you should still include a downloadable PDF version on your media page. That way if they can’t find your email or if it’s a journalist that stumbled across your website, they can get all the information they need.
- Downloadable Images: You should invest in a great headshot for the promotion of your book (it looks great on the cover and it will look great when the media does a profile on you). At the very least, you should have a high-resolution headshot and image of the front cover of your book. If you happened to do a full photo shoot with a photographer, you can include a few different images to give a choice. You can also include any promotional images if there is a great one from a book launch party.
- Media Release(s): Whether you send a media release over the wire (a paid service), or you simply share it via social media, you should have a media release (also called a press release) for your book launch and/or any exciting news related to your campaign (ie. An appearance at a bookstore, participation in a high profile panel discussion at a conference, etc.)
- News Coverage: This one can be tricky if you have a lot of coverage coming in (a pleasant problem to have!). Any time a new review or news story is written about you or your blog, it should be updated on your media page. People should be able to go to your site and see a list of all of the coverage you have gotten – make sure to include links or PDFs so they can actually read the great things people are saying about you and your book!
When in doubt, keep it simple. You want to make sure any information the media might need is readily accessible so you don’t miss out on any great opportunities!