Create a Powerful Press Kit

June 2004
by Dawn Josephson

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A strong press kit is crucial for effective book marketing. Without it, all your promotional efforts could be wasted. You may be able to talk a good game and get people excited about your book, but when they ask for your press kit and see a measly, uninformative packet with a few clippings and nothing more, your buildup will fall flat.

While kits vary in complexity, the overall goal of each one is to highlight what a book is about, why its message is important, who the author is, how it will help readers, and how you’re marketing it. Kits are important for three different kinds of recipients: media people (including magazine editors, book reviewers, and radio and television producers), book distributors (including wholesalers such as Baker & Taylor, Bookazine, and Ingram), and niche marketers (including selected bookstores, specialty shops, and organizations). You will probably need several versions of your press kit, each targeted to a specific audience.

The Eight Ingredients

Regardless of its slant, each press kit you create should have eight basic components:

1. Cover letter. This one-page letter should highlight why you’re contacting this particular person or organization and explain why the contact is justified. It should not give details about the book–that’s the press kit’s job. A good cover letter will include:

A reason for the correspondence in the first paragraph, such as, “Because the aut…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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