You just think the hard part is over. Your book is finished, after toil and trouble and a ton of aspirin. At last, you can kick back and relax. Not so fast! You still have to sell your product. Most authors hate this part of the process – mainly because we don’t know what we’re doing. Paying truckloads of money to a publicist isn’t feasible for us starving artist types. So, whaddya do?
Don’t panic. Below are listed examples of items to include in your very own press kit. Yeah, I said it. Press Kit. Get use to it. You’re gonna become very friendly with it. At the very end of this is a bit about how to mail press kits. There are some great and FREE tricks you should know about. Who gets these kits? Anyone you want to consider reviewing your book, interviewing you or stocking your book in their store. You find these people by digging around in your area – book stores, libraries, newspaper editors (for the ‘culture’ or ‘living’ section), book fairs, writing clubs… They’re out there. You’ll find them. The first example is a Cover Letter (#1) offering to send your press kit to interested parties.What goes into a press kit?
Cover Letter #1
Note: You can send just the press release with this letter, or the entire press kit without the book, offering to mail that if they express interest.
Dear [First Name],
Hello! I’m happy to announce the release of Texas (or local, or award-winning) author, Magnolia Belle’s, new romance novel, Black Wolf: Lakota Man.Black Wolf explores the challenges of two people trying to create a solid relationship when all they have known of love is shaky and shallow. The love story portrayed in Black Wolf is wrought with unexpected passions and meddling interlopers. Two lovers try to stay together, even when others are determined to drive them apart. From family to failed past loves, this couple has to overcome all to capture their opportunity for happiness and fulfillment.
Enclosed is a press release for your perusal. Please contact me if you would like to receive a press kit and review copy of Black Wolf: Lakota Man or would like to arrange an interview. Thank you for your consideration.
Magnolia Belle (or your agent – like your brother-in-law or your mom)
Cover Letter #2
Caveat: Be aware that some editors/reviewers accept downloads of PDF files and of Word documents, rather than a hard copy of the book. If that’s the case, adjust the cover letter accordingly. You still send them everything enclosed.
[Zip][Date]Dear [First Name],As we discussed on the phone Friday, March 23 (or by e-mail last week, or by pigeon carrier last month), you expressed an interest in reviewing (or conducting an interview, or whatever the arrangement is) my latest novel, Black Wolf: Lakota Man. To facilitate your work, enclosed are a press release, a Q&A, a sell sheet, and a copy of the novel.If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Thank you so much for allowing me to send you Black Wolf: Lakota Man. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.
Magnolia Belle (or your agent – like your brother-in-law or your mom)
The Press Release
|For Immediate Release
Love, Culture and Rock & Roll!
In her novel, Black Wolf: Lakota Man, author Magnolia Belle weaves a story of two lovers caught in the midst of a cultural battle. As if coming from different cultures wasn’t enough, the lovers also encounter meddlers who continually attempt to drive them apart. Black Wolf: Lakota Man is a romantic novel that shows how love can overwhelm the body and soul, bringing two very different people together.
Limit it to one page. Keep it in active voice! Keep it interesting! Write like a movie trailer sounds. Such as…This is so fabulous, it will cure warts. Blah. Blah…. Remember – you’re selling it RIGHT HERE to the one person who can help sell it to a whole lot of people.
About the Author Magnolia Belle graduated in… Her other writings include… She’s won the 2006 Bippity Award for Fastest Typist and the 2004 Award for Nearsighted Authors.ISBN: 1-4120-6866-5• 6 x 9 • Trade Paper • 240 pages • $19.95
In your Q&A, anticipate questions that an interviewer might ask. Recall questions people have already asked you and answer them. Be sure to include any unique aspects of the book, like the 12 years you spent on the police force before writing crime novels.
|A Conversation with Author Magnolia BelleQ: Give us a brief synopsis of your new book, Black Wolf: Lakota Man
A: The Black Wolf Band, an Austin, Texas rock band formed by four tall, good-looking, Lakota Sioux brothers, has just signed with a national label. The brothers have the world by the tail. Studio work on their new CD is going well. Their fan base is growing. More and more concerts are selling out. Getting women has never been easier for Caleb Black Wolf, the oldest brother. That is, until he meets fellow musician, Sara Bradford — a woman he wants but who doesn’t want him.
Q: How did you come to write Black Wolf?A:Q: What inspired you to write of the music industry? (or law, or the stock market)
Q: Have you had experiences dealing with conflicting cultures?
Q: Were you ever in a band?
Q: Are there any sequels in the works?
Q: How did you find your publisher and what was the process like, working with them for this book?
Q: What problems, if any, did you have to tackle to complete the book?
Q: What advice do you have for first-time writers?
Q: What else would you like to tell us about your book?
Q: What else would you like to tell us about you?
The Sell Sheet
This should be professional reviews you may already have on your work. I know your Aunt Susie loves you, but her review doesn’t count here. Nor does the review from your best friend since third grade. Not all press kits will include this at first. But, as you garner reviews, be sure to add them.
|REVIEWS OF BLACK WOLF: LAKOTA MAN
Rarely do I wander across the border into the land of romance, but I must say I’ve enjoyed the few romantic novels I’ve read – and that definitely includes Magnolia Belle’s Black Wolf: Lakota Man.
Lakota Man is the first in a series of books revolving around the rocking Black Wolf brothers. Therefore, when I say…
Daniel Jolley – Amazon
The story is crafted with an engaging mix of simplicity, heart and passion. LAKOTA MAN is a love story you’re sure to love!
Elissa Kyle, Romance Readers Connection
Magnolia Belle writes in a clean, straight to the point manner which makes for a quick read in BLACK WOLF: LAKOTA MAN. I fell for and encouraged Caleb and Sara on in all of their endeavors. I loved the family ties with the brothers and Sara’s family.
Round Table Reviews
I spent two years in the trenches of Ebay as a seller. During that time, I learned quite a bit about shipping all types of items to all points on the globe. I’d like to share a few things with you that will make your life much easier when it’s time to start mailing out press kits.1. I use the USPS, so all my notes pertain to them. If you prefer UPS or FedEx, you’re on your own.
2. If your entire press kit, with envelope, is over one pound, order the Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelopes (large). They are FREE. No matter where you send your kit IN THE USA, it will only cost $4.05 (though it’s about to increase soon). Your kit should arrive to your addressee in 3 days in good order. Please note, there are several types of Priority Mail envelopes: regular, flat rate and prepaid. You want the FLAT RATE in this case.
3. Set up an account with the USPS online at http://www.usps.com. You will need to give them a credit card so they can charge your postage.
4. If you buy your postage online, you get a free delivery confirmation number, which will tell both you and your addressee the package’s progress. The confirmation number is simply typed (or copied) into the appropriate box on the website and information to the kit’s current location is given.
5. When you buy your postage online, print out the label on simple white paper. Cut the label (it’s about ½ a sheet of paper) and tape it onto your priority mail envelope. Be sure NOT to cover the bar code on the bottom with tape! The other half gives all the details concerning that package.
6. If the envelope will fit into your mailbox, simply put it there for next-day pick up. If you have several envelopes, you can schedule a pick up online for the next day, and leave the envelopes in a designated spot (by the carport door, or beside the large flower pot by the driveway)…anywhere it’s easy for the mail carrier to reach them. You don’t have to run to the post office to mail them. Again, this service (and the scheduling) is FREE.