Must-have online press room elements for authors and books

Press Stake Out: US-DPRK Talks October 24-25It’s hard to find the time to do everything we “should” to promote our books, but one of the easiest (and most over-looked . . .) tasks is setting up an online press room.

I use the word “easiest” because many of us have the press kit elements we need already, or we have the information we need to create them – we just need to do some editing and tweaking to put it in the right form.

4 reasons why you need a press room

It helps, though, to know why you need an online press room. Whether you label it on your toolbar as the “press room,” “for the press,” or “media materials,” your online press kit:

  • Helps with search engine optimization (SEO), that process that helps your site show up when people search for terms related to your book.
  • Allows journalists to find you when they’re looking for interview sources.
  • Gives journalists the information they need to report on your book – sometimes, without even contacting you.
  • Provides readers with information that could help them decide to purchase your book.

Must have elements

Here are eight elements you’ll want to include in your online press kit.

  1. Author bio: Is this on your book’s jacket flap or back cover already? Just copy and paste! Two to three paragraphs are usually enough. Get more information on what to include in “How to write an author bio.”
  2. Announcement news release: This versatile tool helps people understand the value of your book. When writing it, include an objective description, information on why people will benefit from reading it, your author credentials, and how to purchase it. (Get detailed instructions in my new e-book, Get Your Book in the News: How to Write a Press Release That Announces Your Book.)
  3. Author photo: Provide a professional, current author photo in a JPG format that journalists and bloggers can save and use.
  4. Book cover image: Media outlets and bloggers will want to use your book cover as an illustration, so make it possible for them to do so without contacting you for the file.
  5. Author Q&A: The question-and-answer list is particularly popular with radio talk show hosts, who don’t have time to read guest books and must rely on publicity materials you provide. Include your answers in addition to suggested questions so that interviewers have a sense of your viewpoint and depth of knowledge.
  6. Optional fact sheet: If you find yourself continually referring to specific details during conversations about your book (with the media or others), consider summarizing them in a fact sheet that places all of the information in one document, a fact sheet. It will save you – and them – time, and will contribute to your SEO. List the facts with bullets.
  7. Optional tip sheet: This is a type of news release that offers tips or advice in a bulleted or numbered format. It’s used by both fiction and nonfiction authors to get widespread media and blog exposure. Get a sense of how to write them, and how they get used, in the article “Talking to someone with cancer” on the USA Weekend site.
  8. Optional quiz: Could you create a quiz or two related to your book’s topic? Newspaper, magazines, newspapers, bloggers, and radio talk show hosts like them, so give them what they want! They’re fun to create, too.

Here’s an example

One of my favorite examples is Candy Harrington’s press room for her new book, 22 Accessible Road Trips: Driving Vacations for Wheelers and Slow Walkers. Visit Candy’s site to see how easy it is to copy and paste her information.

If you need help creating these materials, check out my popular author workbook, Build Book Buzz Publicity Forms & Templates. A time-saving resource that includes instructions for creating these elements and many others used by authors, it features fill-in-the blanks forms and samples for everything.

What’s in your author press room? Please share a link to it, too!   

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Sandra Beckwith is an award-winning former publicist who now teaches authors how to market their books. Three groups have recognized her site as an outstanding resource for authors, so you know her advice is author-tested.

Download Sandra’s free “Top 5 Free Book Promotion Resources” and you’ll also receive the free weekly “Build Book Buzz” newsletter loaded with book marketing tips and advice.

4 Responses to Must-have online press room elements for authors and books
  1. Billie A Williams
    August 9, 2012 | 11:56 pm

    Thanks Sandra,
    As always, great information and links to expand it all.

    • Sandra Beckwith
      August 10, 2012 | 12:18 am

      Thank you, Billie! I always try to add links to examples or further information/instructions because I know it helps to have examples. Sometimes it’s possible…sometimes not so much. Thanks for stopping by!


  2. Marissa Marchan
    August 11, 2012 | 7:00 pm

    This is a great information. Thank you. I will certainly work on mine now. 🙂

    • Sandra Beckwith
      August 11, 2012 | 8:35 pm

      Enjoy the process, Marisssa!


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