Creating a Unique Press Kit

February 1998
by Katherine Brandenburg

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Picture this: you are an underpaid, underappreciated and overworked producer at CNN. Every day you receive 30 press releases, 15 media alerts, and at least 20 books. What can an author possibly do to make their book stand out as a producer or editor wades through their daily mail? Create a unique press kit. By including a press release that is interesting and concise, an article establishing your credibility, a sharp bio, and a book or book cover, it is possible to avoid going directly from the in-basket to the trash.

Cover Letters

Call ahead and obtain the correct contact information. “I have gotten letters addressed to Patty Neger (a producer at ABC’s Good Morning America),” says Andrea Smith, producer for NBC’s The Today Show. “I received one letter that went on and on about how much Joan Lunden would love this book. Joan Lunden used to be with Good Morning America as well (Katie Couric is the host of The Today Show). I said to myself, ‘Why am I reading this?'” The cover letter should explain to its recipient why your book is different than any other book on the market. If there is a newsworthy event, holiday, or other hot tie-in to your book, this is the place to tell the producer about it.

Press Releases

“If I can’t get through the first line, I toss it,” remarks Gina De La Santos, producer for Good Day Dallas. Keep your press release precise and to the point. Never forget: the first paragraph must include who, what,…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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