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Public Speaking: Electronic Media Kits for Authors

Your book is sizzling! You just lost 25 pounds to prepare for your speaking tour. You have an excellent press kit, which is printed on the finest quality linen stock and enclosed in the most expensive glossy black presentation folder with a screen print of your book cover on the front.

So why don’t all those potential target audiences you’ve reached out to reach out to you to speak publicly about your hot book? Well, there may be a simple answer. Many potential audiences and professional firms also receive booking requests and promotional materials for public speaking via internet press releases as standard procedure these days. As a result, many people who need to distribute press kits frequently now deliver them as digital or online press releases and packages, transported over the Internet to target audiences to save time and create a less intrusive method of archiving and updating.

Digital and online press packs and media kits don’t make their print counterparts obsolete. I advise that a hard copy always be available to hand out at speaking events and other functions if requested. However, somewhere in your presentation materials, you should reference the availability of a digital version of your media kit. The digital version can be stored as a page on your website for convenient downloading or printing, saving you the cost of postage, photographic reproduction, photocopying, printing, paper, ink, and presentation folders.

  • Don’t have a website?
  • As an author and practicing professional today, you should!

There is no need to go out and buy an expensive and complicated publishing or design program to create your online media package. Unless you already know how to use design and publishing software, it can be frustrating and time-consuming, delaying any chance of having your digital press kit ready in a timely manner. Also, it can be quite expensive to hire someone to do the work for you. I suggest using simple word processing software like MS WORD, which will give you all the flexibility and simplicity you need to create an attractive and effective digital media kit.

The great thing about MS WORD is that you probably already know how to use it. Open a new document and type your letterhead, which will consist of your name or the title of your book or both, plus your contact information. It’s not too fussy though, which means too many colors and fancy fonts. Keep it simple and elegant. Keep a blank copy of your letterhead so you can cut and paste new material on it to update your kit.

I approach digital media kits the same way I approach traditional print media kits. They should contain your bio, a press release, a recent event poster, and contact information. Be sure to use an image from your book cover to promote yourself as a published author, which will increase your appeal to a wide range of target audiences. Include a photo of yourself and a photo of you in front of an audience, if you have one.

You can start the body of your press kit with a brief biographical sketch and a list of your speech topics. Remember, your speaking engagement should be about more than just reading from your book. The topics of your speech can be drawn from the topics covered in your book. In this section, include a hyperlink to your website or to specific pages on your website where an online press release and more detailed information about you, your book, and the services you offer can be found. Check out Free Advertising for Your Book for additional ideas.

Additional hyperlinks can point to video presentations on your website of you in action on stage. It may be helpful to include hyperlinks to news stories about you or excerpts from your television appearances. On a separate page in your media packet, include a digital copy of at least one newspaper article that covers you and your book. When you have finished creating the files for your Internet Media Kit, save them. Then put those designed materials into a PDF (Portable Document File) to lock the files in place and prevent changes. PDF files are very common and can be easily opened by most users.

I suggest you restrict the media kit to a couple of pages so you don’t have to compress it. Unfortunately, some users do not have or do not know how to use unzip programs, which makes access to your press materials inconvenient for some and inaccessible for others. Once the PDF file is created, you can attach it to messages to email recipients and store a copy on a page on your website. If you don’t know how to create a PDF file, simply attach your MS WORD Electronic Media Kit to an email and write the recipient a personalized message.

However, remember that a normal MS WORD file is not locked and can be changed. Because users are afraid of getting a virus, they don’t indiscriminately open attachments from strangers. So, make sure your recipients know you’re sending an attachment or you risk having your carefully crafted public speaking promotional materials cyber-deleted.

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