Saturday, July 4, 2020

Writing and Learning through Corona ~ by Ester López

Initially, I thought I’d get a lot of writing done during the quarantine of the Corona Virus. I think the stress of all the bad news every day, however, sucked all my creativity away.

Instead, I found myself putting on my ‘publisher hat’ and doing some initial editing, planning promotions, and creating a Media Kit for my husband who did have time to write. It was his first, non-fiction book, a memoir of his days as a law enforcement officer with the National Park Service.

My writing suffered in the process, putting me months behind. What I did learn, though, was a different way to market my fiction books. Creating his Media Kit inspired me to create my own, which was non-existent at the time. Now, I’m looking at marketing each of my own books in a new way.

Once I finish each book, giving them the attention I neglected from the start, I can move forward with more purpose in my marketing and promotion of my two series. I can use my Media Kit for reference as well as sending part of it to newspapers, journalists, or bloggers for use in interviews (whether virtual or not). I can update parts of this kit when I need to and have it ready to send in a moments’ notice, or refer to parts of it instead of re-creating things from scratch, saving me lots of valuable time in the process. Plus, I would be consistent in all my promotional efforts.

Here are some tips on what to have in your Media Kit:

1. Bios – have a two-sentence bio, a short bio, a medium bio, and a long bio. That way, newspapers, bloggers, or journalists can choose the one that fits their article length

2. Author Image – You will need this to go with your bios

3. Create a file on your computer with all this information so it will be handy at a moments’ notice, but also have a copy on hand for mailing

4. Have a Contact Information Sheet with your mailing address, phone number, email address, website, and all your social media links. Don’t forget your Amazon Author Page link, Goodreads link, and BookBub link

5. Prepare a letter to the editor or publisher of a publication or blogger to announce a new release, with just enough information to get them to ask for more, along with your contact information

6. Have a Press Release page ready to go with contact information, website and phone number at the top, then a killer title for the press release that is NOT the title of the book. For example, my book, “The Abduction,” was just updated as a 2nd edition. I use this for my Press Release title: “What Would You Do If You Were Mistaken For A Criminal and Abducted By Aliens?” That should at least get someone’s attention. I have a paragraph including my log line after that, then I go on to describe the story in another paragraph, asking a question at the end. Another paragraph briefly explains why I wrote the book, another paragraph for the book’s info like price, ISBN and eBook ISBN. I follow up with a little more about my writing experience, with a short bio and my website, all on one page.

7. Sell Sheet Page-this page has the author image with a short bio next to it and website and Facebook links. Below that is the image of the book with the log line, the publication date, publisher, ISBN, price and any links to the publisher’s website or buy links. Then, at the end, offer a review copy with your contact info.

8. Synopsis – I know, I hate doing this, but it helps editors or bloggers help you in promoting your book. Have a short summary (kind of like the log line); then a short synopsis of about a paragraph; a medium synopsis (a longer paragraph); then a long synopsis – several paragraphs – I used my back page blurbs and added a little more with some questions at the end. At the end of this (mine was a page and a quarter) I added the section: Book Details and Purchase Information. Under this section, I listed the book, author, publisher and where it’s available, the price (both print and eBook), the ISBN numbers, and the publisher’s link to buy the book, author websites, social media sites, Amazon Author Page, Goodreads, and BookBub links.

9. Advance Praise Page – a lot of this is repetition because you don’t know who will need what information, so it’s really broken down into different chunks. I have an image of the book with all the details again of publisher, ISBN, author, publisher’s website/buy link and author website link. Below that, I took snippets of reviews from the Amazon reviews and put them on this sheet. I had more for this first book than for my others, but it helps a new person in deciding whether or not to buy the book.

*Now, multiply this by each of your books. It’s a lot of work if you have several books, but if you do it each time you complete a book, you’ll have it handy to send out.

For more information on this type of Media Kit, go to where they have an excellent booklet to guide you. Under Marketing your books, off to the right side, you’ll see “Quick and Easy Media Kit for Authors.” It was the best investment I’ve made this year.

Ester is a writer and publisher and lives in the Smoky Mountains, where she has been writing sci-fi and paranormal adventure romances for almost 30 years. Her first children’s book will be released this spring, entitled “The Adventures of Charlie and Ellie.” You can find her on her website:

Listen to Ester López's podcast episode here.

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