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Friday, July 17, 2015

Author's Online Media Kit

Too many writers start thinking that all there is to being a successful author is to sit down with their computer or (yes, there are a few left out there) pen and pad of paper and record the words that will create the novel of the century. Only when they get to the point they seek a publisher do many begin to understand there is much more to it. Any publisher or agent these days wants to know what kind of platform an author has, how diverse is it and how much time is the author willing to assertively promote their published work.

Before the internet, writers were encouraged to put together media kits. These include the following:
  • Press releases
  • Sell sheets
  • Business cards
  • Bookmarks
  • Trading cards and other promotional giveaways (swag)

Online Media Kit for Family Secrets
These tools are still of value today. But, in this day of blogs, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads, what may be of greater help to an author is an online media kit. For each book this would include:
  • Photo/video files:
    • Novel cover
    • Author photo
    • Nameplate, if you use one
    • Video book trailer
    • Blog tour banner or other banner
    • Pictures and links used in a Facebook party/event
  • Word/text documents:
    • Book summary/blurb
    • Tag line or hook (10-20 word teaser like you often find on a book cover)
    • Short excerpt
    • Long excerpt
    • Author biography - a short one and a long one
    • A Q&A either about your book topic, experience writing the book or from one of the character's point of view in relation to the plot of the book.
    • Author platform links (url links to author's website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
    • Purchase links (url links for all the venders where the author's book may be bought)
    • Script for a Facebook party/event


Zina Abbott Online Media Kit with kits for each novel

The text information may be saved on word documents, either using one document for each item or by saving them one after another like I did for my Family Search tag line, blurb and short excerpt (shown) and my longer blurb. Another page has my long and short bio.

How did I learn the value of compiling an online media kit? The hard way, of course! As I either initiated promotional efforts or was offered opportunities to feature my books on the blogs and Facebook pages of others, I found I was either duplicating work I had already compiled weeks or months earlier, or I was scrambling through my document and picture files searching for promotional information I knew I had on my computer -- somewhere. Either that, or I found myself going to my Amazon author page or my Barnes & Noble book page where I knew I could find my biography or book description.
Hyperlinked text connected to the internet
I was pleasantly surprised to discover it did not take as much time as I thought it might to get organized so that all this information is available in one place and I can easily access it by a click of the touch pad. Even my third party links could be copy and pasted from my word document to a blog post  -- and work! Now when I have an opportunity to feature one of my books, I can go straight to my file that holds the online media kit for that book and forward the information requested for my book promotion.

Next month I will offer a tutorial on how to link your urls (http:// addresses) to hyperlink your text so you can click on a descriptive word instead of the full hyperlinked web address.

Zina Abbott is the pen name used by Robyn Echols for her historical novels. FamilySecrets was published by Fire Star Press, but she has other historical western novels published by Prairie Rose Publi. The author currently lives with her husband in California near the “Gateway to Yosemite.” 

Zina Abbott Author Links:
Website  |  Blog     |  Pinterest  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads



  1. Great advice. :)
    And I feel good, because I have most of this. LOL

  2. Robyn/Zina, I love the way you illustrate your blog posts. The illustrations make things so much easier for visual thinkers to understand.

    All of this is excellent advice! Thanks for sharing it. :-)

  3. Where did you go to get your bookmarks?

  4. Thanks so much for all your info. I wish I had your talent and knowledge for social media and promo. Looking forward to finding out how to do links with one word recognition. Yeah!