Saturday, November 10, 2012

Your author media page

"What? I'm supposed to have a media page too? Why?"

I had a similar reaction two years, very much rooted in the moment and my circumstances. Besides, weren't media pages for authors who had made a name for themselves, not newbies like me? Back then, I had too much to do already. On Falcon's Wings had just debuted on Amazon and I didn't have a clue where to begin with promotion. Then a good friend from the critique group, author Wendy Laharnar asked me to do a guest post in her monthly newsletter and mention the book. "You mean I'm supposed to promote it by myself? Writing it wasn't hard enough?" Welcome to Publishing 101. After scrambling to write something (this half-assed approach to promotion continued for two more books), the importance of a media page finally dawned on me. 

If you're wondering how to get started with a media page, especially if you have limited to no skill with websites like me, here's how you can get started. Whatever you call it - your media kit, media resources, make sure the page is clearly labeled 

You need...
A good headshot, cover images (high resolution preferred), your author bio, excerpts, book trailers, if you have them, and contact information if you don't already have it listed. (You do already have this, right?) Quotable blurbs / reviews are a plus - the best ones that showcase how readers have judged your work. This is no time to be shy. You have total control over the content.

I skipped the reviews on my media resources for one reason; I'd like to obtain permission from a  few select reviewers beforehand. Here's my version - always, a work in progress.

You can host everything online...
If you can't host the images on your own site or don't know how, create a Media Fire account. One of the best sites for free cloud storage starting at 50 GB, Media Fire can host your images, documents, audio and video files. I've uploaded my headshot, general interviews on writing, and excerpts, covers and book trailers where applicable for each title. Media Fire also allows you to create specific links to your files, which you can make available for easy download. For instance, the link to my author bio opens up only the PDF version of that document, while all the covers of my titles are available for download in another folder. I can manage everything easily in through my Media Fire account, updating content as needed. 

An updated media page is an important part of your marketing strategy, even in the early stages of your writing career...
Part of the reason I resisted creating a media page was the perceived lack of purpose - who would interested enough in my work to want interviews with me? What I really lacked was knowledge and an understanding of the role of bloggers in publicity. Imagine Blogger A is trying to reach you regarding promoting your latest title. When Blogger A sees you have a media page, with all the information he or she needs, you've just made everyone's life much easier because your material is available and ready to go.      

Don't adopt the short-term thinking I did two years ago. Where do you want to be in your writing journey five or ten years from now? If this is more than a hobby for you, the commitment to promoting your work must rank as high as putting out the best work. Building a media page and keeping it updated allows you to maintain relevant content for the future. Just in case the media does come calling....

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