Wednesday, December 13

Build Your Author Publicity Kit

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This is one of those tasks that you will want to take on long before your book is in print.  When someone asks for information about your book, you should never have to fumble, apologize, or write on the back of a napkin.  You should look like a professional with a product to sell.  You should be able to reach into your publicity kit and bring out the materials that will help you to make the sale.

Your publicity kit will include everything you need to get your book and yourself into the hands of the reading public.  It will package your sales and contact information, your book cover, synopsis, and offer a ready link to potential readers, fans, and store buyers.  You will even use this material to encourage and support presales of your book.

You will also use the materials in your publicity kit for:

  • Book fairs and trade shows

  • Direct mail pieces for potential buyers

  • Handouts to be included with all books you sell or give away

  • Make available to all writer events and libraries

You can use a local printer to produce your materials, but most writers are finding that the cost is lower online.  But, if money is really tight, you can make any of these items on your personal computer and print them out at home.  If you choose to do it yourself, remember to use the best quality paper you can afford, and know that you will be doing a lot of printing, cutting, and folding – give yourself plenty of time to get the job done.  And, if you decide to create your own materials, GO to an office supply store and check on the paper weight and quality, because it will affect the look and feel of your finished product.

A basic publicity kit should include:

  • 500 postcards, featuring your book title and purchase information (choose full color for best impact)

  • 500bookmarks, featuring your book title and purchase information

  • 500 business cards that include:

  1. your name

  2. your title (“Author”)

  3. your website

  4. a valid email address

  5. a U.S. mail address

  6. 50 (minimum) Sell Sheets

About Sell Sheets:

A Sell Sheet is a one page document designed like a flyer.  Your Sell Sheet will be used to provide a brief summary of your book and all relevant buying information for retail buyers, agents, libraries, book clubs, etc., and you should have at least fifty (50) in your kit.  Your Sell Sheet should include:

  • Author biography and photo

  • Author contact information

  • A single sentence summary of your book (about 15-words)

  • Your back cover blurb:  a single paragraph, containing no more than five sentences, that describes your story. The first sentence should setup the story. The next three sentences should describe the conflict, and the final sentence should give the story question.

  • Full color copy of book cover

  • All buying information, including isbn, price, and page count.

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