As many authors are trying to gain traction, one of the major things I recommend is a perfect press pack.  And they’re EASY!

What’s in a press pack

Your ‘press pack’ should be a two part thing – one zipped package with everything in it so that you can add it to an email if you guest post or need to provide information about your writing.
So, here’s a little list of the things you should have in your press pack and the size each document should stick to.

  1. A one sheet – this should give details about who you are, what your books are and a 300 or so word bio.  Your ‘one sheet’ is exactly that and should be the most updated piece.  It’s a one sheet in your pack (save it as a PDF!) and you modify the format somewhat to make the base of your press area on your blog.  It shouldn’t be too text or image heavy – if you’ve got more than one book, mention that and share the most ‘relevant’ one to your career right now – which isn’t always your newest book.  Sometimes people share the book that made them ‘famous’.  You should try to fit in your social media links too, and the link to your press pack online.  I’ve got my logo in mine (above), you might have something else to include.
  2. Book cover images – you should have your BEST quality images available, but compress them for use on the web.  You should include a blog quality and a high quality image in your zip file.
  3. Any press releases you’ve created – nest them underneath your one sheet page on your blog, and link to them, and then store them in the press pack.
  4. Your bio and social media links – on your blog this should be on your ‘about me’ page, and should go on the bottom of any guest posts you create for others.

Pro tip – keep your zip on your site.  Keep an uncompressed folder on your desktop – that way. you can reference the files as you need to when emailing out.

If you’ve had an award or awards, mention them too, they should be included – depending on how many you’ve had will depend on where you put them – if you’ve got one or two, it could fit into your one sheet, otherwise have a seperate sheet (or, if you mentioned them in your press releases, simply link to the press releases).

Everything that you have in your zip should be regularly updated – I have a reminder in my calendar to look at it three monthly, or whenever I publish something new.

As to why you need one – not only is it text and image rich information for your site, and a good way to professionally display your books and content, and also a quick linked pack for whenever you share your writing with other people.  Having it in a zipped file means you can email it as an attachment and not need to check you’ve attached everything.

Bonus information: how to zip up your files and where you can store it

Zipping up a folder is as easy as grabbing the software.  I recommend checking out this article on PC World and choosing one from there.  I use Winzip, but it’s not free.

As to where to store it – mine is up on my Dropbox, in a public folder.  You can also upload it to your website, if you’ve got FTP.
Finally, you can see my press pack and zip here, if you’d like some examples of what I mean.  I don’t have any press releases in mine (yet) – instead, here is one I worked on for Mantic Games.

Got any questions?  Need a press pack created for you?  Just get in touch!

Kai Wilson-Viola writes under various names, and in all genres. Co-founder and webmistress of the IAG site, she writes content on request of members.
She has written several books including the Ten Hour Marketing Plan and 12x12 - tutorials for social media.
When not writing, she can be found maintaining sites, designing themes, managing a charity called the Less than Three foundation, gaming, knitting or reading.