Why Do Writers Need a Press Kit?



hello everybody before we get started I have a huge major monumental announcement the savior's champion audiobook is nearly complete and if all goes according to plan it should be released next month in fact voice actor Nick Denton has another sneak peak available on his channel let's check it out shall we is this how you die in the mud like a dog something about it but warranted but the ache of his lungs turned into a burning or with it came the adrenaline this isn't the end within seconds his entire body was on fire June amor in honor of this milestone I am holding a giveaway one lucky winner is going to receive the ultimate productivity prize pack including this clever box organizer plus all the fixin's a handy dandy a writer emergency pack we've also got a stainless steel Skillshare mugs plus a ton of other goodies like pop sockets bookmarks candles the works all you have to do to enter is sign up for my newsletter the link is listed below if you've already signed up for my newsletter consider yourself automatically entered but you might want to check the link just in case even if you're not interested in receiving the productivity pack which you totally should be guess who's going to be the first to find out when the TSC audiobook is available that's right everyone who receives my newsletter the link is listed below sign up win prizes anywho today we're covering the most romantic luscious seductive topic of them all marketing do you feel a quiver in your loins I know I do a while back I mentioned press kits in one of my videos and you guys responded with a zillion questions namely what the hell is a press kit press kits are one of the most basic tools writers have for sharing the love of their platform or book it's also something that apparently no one knows anything about which is concerning this month is all about sharing the love so now is as good a time as any to learn how to get even more people to love your glorious book baby I'm answering your most common questions about press kits so you can market the crap out of your book what is a press kit a press kit also known as a media kit is a portfolio of promotional material that gives insight into whatever you're trying to promote whether that's a company or a product or in this case an author or a novel press kits used to be physical they were a literal kit that authors would carry around with them now press kits are usually digital authors create them so they can share information about their work with people or companies of influence why do I need a press kit one because you're gonna have to promote yourself two because it's a whole lot easier to promote yourself when you have an organized file of all your promotional material how many press kits should I have it's a pens on what you're trying to promote and who you're promoting to for example if you're promoting your author platform as a whole you might have an entire press kit devoted to you as an author if you're about to release a novel you'll probably have a press kit devoted to that specific book if you're promoting a series you can have a press kit that revolves around that series as a whole this right here is three different press kits however you may have even more press kits depending on who you're shipping a mop to a press kit that you sent to an arc reviewer may be different than a press kit that you're sending to a journalist one will contain all the details that a blogger needs in order to write the review the other will be more of a sales pitch since you're trying to gain space in their article ultimately you can create as many press kits as you need do you what do I put in a press kit whatever material you have that'll portray your work in a professional and favorable light if you're putting together an author press kit you are going to include an author bio and author photo summaries of your books testimonials and so on if you're preparing a press kit for an upcoming book release then you're going to have an author bio and photo as well as a summary the book as well as promotional material like teaser images positive reviews and of course filings some press kits will include ISBN numbers or book trailers or character artwork but the goal is to make your work seem really compelling and readily accessible who do I send my press kits to it's very common for authors to send press kits to arc reviewers bloggers and book tubers this allows reviewers to get a snapshot of your work Plus now they'll have teaser images and quotes that they can use if they do decide to review your book you can send press kits to literary journalists if they're writing an article about your work or your genre you can send press kits to book fairs conferences store events networking events the list goes on basically for any opportunity you have to promote your work to someone or something a press kit is a handy tool to have what are the different kinds of press kits number one a physical press kit which consists of a binder filled with Flyers photos of bookmarks and more the pro of this is that they're super easy to make all you need is access to a printer the con is that outside of literary events pretty much no one accepts physical press kits anymore number two the zip file press kit this usually consists of a word doc with all the information about your book like its genre summary trigger warnings etc you'll also have a folder including promotional graphics like book covers and teaser images the pro of this option is that it's easy and free to make the con is that it's not the most professional option it'll be fine for sending to arc reviewers but if you're trying to attract the bigwigs in the industry this is not going to impress number three a digital press kit hosted by your author website some authors create a page on their website specifically for one or more press kits the author's information will be available as well as information for whatever the hell they're trying to promote the pro is that it's professional it's a web page which means it's fancy the con is that it's not free and it's not always easy not everyone understands web design if you want a middle between the last two options we've got number four the story ad press kit story ad is an online marketing platform for writers and it's whole setup is to make the promo process a lot easier for writers since most of us suck at this one of its features is that you can make as many press kits as you want and it has a customizable template which makes it super easy even if you suck at web design it's kind of impossible to screw up the pro for this option is that it's both easy and professional you can make your press kit in minutes and it's gonna look nice when you ship it off to people because it's an organized customized website the con is that creating a story out account is not free the final option is number 5 which is to hire a marketing team and have them create the press kit for you the pro is that this is obviously the easiest option because you don't have to do the con is that it's going to be expensive as hell buckle up bitches your wallet is gonna get ridden hard how do I make a press kit as I mentioned before you have a few options you can make a physical press kit you can make a zip file press kit you can make a website press kit I'm going to demonstrate right now using a story ad press kit because as I already mentioned it's one of the easiest options plus it looks legit so this is my story ad dashboard you have a couple of options for making your press kit if you already have a project uploaded like as you can see here I have the savior's champion project uploaded I can click here on view as you see I already have two press kits for the savior's champion but I can click create a new press kit and all of my previous information about the savior's champion will be automatically uploaded and then at this point I can just edit it and play around with it for the sake of this video I am going to start from scratch with a brand new project so I'm gonna click add a new project is your book already on Amazon if so you can quickly add it by simply entering the ISBN so I click import from Amazon using the ISBN search on Amazon immediately it pulls up the book so now it's adding the data it's got the cover right here it's got the tie and when you scroll down here you see it has a lot of the information available it's not going to have everything so because of that we want to make sure that we import some of the information the author you can include a youtube link typically this is for a book trailer you can include a review copy link a press release link a Buy Now link a Goodreads link you've got a ton of options if you have the audiobook you can include the audio intro so for now I have included everything that I want to in this project so I'm going to hit submit so now the project is available and I can create an e press kit it says a press kits right down here I'm going to click on create one now and you see immediately there's a press kit generated it has all of the information that I've already included in the project it has the summary it has the author information we've got links we've got the book trailer but as you can see there's a lot of empty spaces there's a random-ass picture of a sunflower so I want to edit this and make it my own I'm going to click on edit this a press kit and this is where you can have a lot of fun I can change this sunflower picture I think what I want is to include the book cover there so I'm selecting the book cover and now I think that looks pretty damn awesome with the book cover just really big I'm going to delete it from this side because I just don't think it's necessary to be in two places and I'm going to expand the little summary when we scroll down here you can include a section where they can read an excerpt from the savior's champion as you guys know I have an excerpt available on my website I'm going to make it so that this button links to that website I'm going to make it a URL link and I'm going to insert the link here and since it's not a download option anymore I'm going to change the link to read now boom so they can now read an excerpt here we have reviews for the Savior's champion for the sake of this video I am just going to make some reviews up right now the best book ever written Oprah queen of the universe save how about another testimonial I wish I wrote this book a unicorn the happiest creature in the land of course you're gonna want to use like actual reviews but you guys understand so now when we go to the reviews there will be little arrows that allow people to scroll through the different reviews so pretty much this press kit is essentially done I could obviously add a lot more if I wanted to I can move everything around if I wanted to but I like the way the layout is right now if you do decide to change any of the font all you have to do is click on it click on style and it will change the text color you know you can make it green you can make it blue whatever you want when you click done you have a view of what your press kit looks like super professional really easy to send off to people and it was really easy to make so that's pretty much how you make a press kit the resources are endless you can add as much as you'd like but this is good for now and as you can see it only takes a few minutes it's really easy to do how much does a press kit cost to make it depends if you make a physical kit you got to cover the cost of printing if you make a zip file kit it should be free but again this is not the most professional option if you make a website kit you got to pay the cost of hosting and whatever it costs to hire a web designer if you decide to go that route if you make a story out press kit the feature itself is free and you can make as many press kits as you want but last I checked the promotional price for setting up a pro story ad account is 35 bucks a month for access to all of their features and if you hire a marketing team this is going to cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars depending on the path you choose do I need a press kit if I'm traditionally published I've been saying this for years but I still meet authors who go oh I'm not gonna worry about marketing I'll just let my publisher handle that sweet summer child bless your big dumb heart it doesn't matter if you self publish or go the traditional route you are still going to need to do a bulk of your marketing in which case having a press kit or five is a smart choice and lastly do I have to have a press kit no you don't but you also don't have to bathe and yet most people would strongly suggest that you do anyway press kits are one of the most basic forms of marketing in all industries models have modelling portfolios designers have designed portfolios this is the same thing you can skip it if you want but you're not doing yourself any favors that's all I got for you today press kits are a fundamental marketing tool and they're not as mystifying as a lot of people seem to think they are you've got a lot of options for preparing a press kit you can do a zip file press kit you can do a physical press kit you can hire a marketing team do you if you decided to check out Story ad I've got a link below where you can try them out for free give it a whirl and if you haven't already be sure to enter my giveaway all you have to do is sign up for my newsletter it's linked below and you could win a massive productivity pack plus everyone who signs up will be the first to know about the TSC audiobook release don't forget to subscribe to my channel I post new videos on Wednesdays and if you want to be alerted as soon as I upload ring that bell the savior's champion is available in eBook paperback hardback and signed hardback all the links are listed below the audio book is also coming very soon so join my mailing list to keep an eye out for that and be sure to follow me on social media I'm on Instagram Tumblr Facebook and of course you can tweet me at Jenna Morrissey bye

42 thoughts on “Why Do Writers Need a Press Kit?

  1. Jenna, it's not fair that your newsletter sign-up asks us to confirm that we are humans. You are a cyborg. What if other cyborgs want to sign up for your newsletter, hmm? Are you against cyborg and android rights?

  2. i signed up for the newsletter, and had to hit the “i am not a robot” button… theyll never know 😈

  3. The contrast between "KILL "EM OLL" and your happy, perky voice was hilarious. Thank you <3

  4. Thank you for your videos Jenna. Always great advice and you have a great sense of humor. Have you ever thought of dabbling in comedy writing or even standup? You'd be a natural. But also, continued success with your current books. ✒

  5. I'm writing a book of man who is a vigilante not with powers or with money and gadgets. Its just a man whose had stains all around him

  6. Now I have to think about my press kit a lot … My first book will be published in September. 🤔 Before that I don‘t have stuff to put in my kit …

  7. I don't know, Jenna, those reviews seem fishy. Like the Unicorn was on point, but the Oprah one strikes me as fake.

  8. I'm convinced. I've ordered Jenna's books. She gives such great advice, so her work is a must-read.

  9. Jenna, all your videos are fantastic. Rich content crammed into easily digestible portions.

    Question: How do you write bad-ass, or cool characters? We can all think of examples in film and literature, but defining (let alone writing it) makes me think of the term "je ne sais quoi"

    Some definitions I've heard are about being so capable, that they self-impose handicaps. Or, instead of being forced to conform by the world, they make the world conform to them. Thoughts?

  10. Omg the sneak peek is my FAVORITE scene!! His voice, I had goosebump. Such a GREAT choice!

  11. For the Storiad press kit, how do you share that? Is it a link?

  12. How is it possible that you get better looking with each passing year?

  13. Hey jenna! I'm going to the bookstore tomorrow just to get The Saviours Champion – so excited!

  14. You probably get this a lot, but I have a book I'm kinda dabbling with. Can I send you the rough draft of the first chapter, and get your thoughts?

  15. Love your videos. I tried to sign up for the giveaway but the link takes me to a blank page.. 🙁

  16. Am I out of touch in thinking zip files aren't that unprofessional? I would of thought they would of been the best way to send to major players as it can be customized for them specifically, rather than "hey here's a link to a website that anyone can view basically saying how to market my product and I think you should do it too". Maybe it's just me and I'm so used to zip files in my professional life that my view is warped?

  17. Congrats on the audiobook! 🎉 I was wondering if you'd ever consider translating TSC or your general thoughts on that matter

  18. “No, you don’t have to have a press kit. Then again, you also don’t have to bathe, but most people recommend you do!”

    That was easily the money line of this video. I got a good chuckle out of it. Thanks for making this video, Jenna! Making press kits sounds like a lot of fun, actually. I’m going to enjoy this!

  19. Just found your channel today and I love it! I do not write novels but I'm doing a world-story for role playing games. I'm getting your sample chapters cause I just read your book's review and it sounds super interesting!! Keep it up!

  20. Jenna, love the videos, but I think it's time to CHANGE THE MUSIC.

  21. Storiad sounds like it could be pretty handy.

    Also, YAY AUDIOBOOK! Nice sample. 🙂

  22. I NEED THAT DAMN AUDIOBOOKKKKKKKK. LIKE NOW.
    I wonder if it'll be ready for re-readathon… that would be fab!

  23. There was a very "BURN THEM ALL!" quality to the "KILL THEM ALL!" from your narrator…this is a very good thing. 😀 😀 😀

  24. Am I the only one who never heard of book trailers and picture teaser?

  25. Thanks for showing in detail how Storiad works. Yours was so much easier to follow than the ones the site provided that was rather tedious to listen to that I have already forgotten what they were saying. My book should be ready next month. Hope this site will help including Ingram Spark.

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