Public Speaking – Electronic Media Kits For Authors

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

Then, why aren’t all those prospective target audiences you have contacted getting back to you with public speaking engagements about your sizzling book? Well, there may be a simple answer. Many prospective audiences and professional firms, as well, are receiving booking requests and public speaking promotional materials via internet press releases as standard procedure these days. As a result, many people who frequently need to distribute press kits are now delivering them as digital or online press releases and packets, transported over the internet to target audiences to save time and create a less intrusive method of filing and updating.

Digital and online press packets and media kits do not make their hardcopy counterparts obsolete. I advise that a hardcopy always be available to hand out at public speaking events and other functions if requested. However, somewhere in your presentation materials, you should refer to the availability of a digital version of your media kit. The digital version can be stored as a page on your website for convenient download or printing, saving you the cost of postage, photographic reproduction, photocopying, printing, paper, ink and presentation folders.

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

There is no need to go out and buy an expensive 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 that you will have your digital press packet prepared in a timely fashion. Also, it can be quite expensive to hire someone to do the job for you. I suggest using a 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 best thing about MS WORD is you probably already know how to use it. Open a new document and type in your letterhead, which will consist of your name or the title of your book or both, plus your contact information. Not too fussy, though, meaning too many colors and fancy fonts. Keep it simple and elegant. Save a blank copy of the letterhead so you can cut and paste new material into it to update your kit.

I approach digital media kits the same way I approach traditional hardcopy media kits. They should contain your biographical sketch, a press release, recent event poster and contact information. Be sure to use an image of your book cover to promote yourself as a published author, which will increase your attractiveness to a wide array of target audiences. Include a headshot of yourself and photograph of you before an audience if you have one.

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

Additional hyperlinks may point to video presentations on your website of you in action on the stage. It may be useful to include hyperlinks to news coverage about you or excerpts of your TV appearances. On a separate page in your media package, 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 place those designed materials into a PDF (portable document file) to lock the files in place and prevent changes. PDF files are very common and most users are able to open them easily.

I suggest that you restrict the media kit to a couple of pages so that you will not have to zip it. Unfortunately, some users do not have or know how to use unzip programs, making your press materials inconvenient to access for some and not accessible to others. Once the PDF file is created, you can attach it to messages to email recipients and store a copy on a page of your website. If you do not 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.

Remember, though, a regular MS WORD file is not locked and may be changed. Because users fear contracting a virus, they do not indiscriminately open attachments from strangers. So, be sure to let your recipients know you are sending an attachment or you may risk having your carefully crafted public speaking promotional materials cybertrashed.