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Author Website Media/Press Pages

Why you should have one and what you should include.

At the beginning of February, I invited all of my author clients, as well as the members of the Rubies and the 2011 Firebirds to participate in a pre-Valentine’s Day promotion, I called “FOR THE LOVE OF A GOOD BOOK”. Each day, I featured 2-4 Authors who talked about their favorite books, their most recent book, and their favorite author promotions. 44 authors signed up, and I was thrilled at the turnout…

Until I realized that I’d have to format all of the interviews. (Did I mention that there were 44 of them?)  While I had all the interviews in hand in plenty of time, rather stupidly, I forgot to request that each participant send me their book cover, biography and headshot to use in the promotion. Because I’m a pretty significant procrastinator—or rather, I have so many things on my to-do list, that I don’t manage to get much done that’s not in the impending deadline – DO NOW column! –I was putting together the interviews at 4:00 in the morning on the day they were supposed to go live, on most of the 14 days of the promotion… and because I haven’t laid down the law to my clients about their website media rooms, this information was not at my fingertips.

I mention this story because I wanted to give a real-world example of why having a media room is important, even if you aren’t a NY Times Bestselling author who regularly gets interviewed (or even reviewed) by the likes of People Magazine, Publisher’s Weekly, or Kelly Ripa.  Your Media Room should be a one-stop shop for all the important information that is YOU and should be available for bloggers who host you, your local newspaper, or even People Magazine.

A good media/press room should include:

  • a short, professional bio. Who you are and what you do. (Two Paragraphs/200 words MAX.)
  • a longer bio. This can be the fun, fact-filled bio from your ABOUT YOU page or a longer version of your professional bio.
  • a list of any awards you may have received
  • thumbnail(s) of your headshot(s), with downloadable links to a web version of your photo (200×300 pixels – 72dpi) and a print version (at least 600×900 pixels 300 dpi).
  • Thumbnail(s) of your most recent book cover(s), with downloadable links to a web version of your cover(s) (200×300 pixels – 72dpi) and print version(s) (at least 600×900 pixels 300 dpi).
  • A list of major publications you’ve been featured in (or radio or television appearances) including links to online versions if they exist.
  • Any recent press releases you may have announcing books or sales.
  • Any Upcoming appearances
  • Contact information for you (even if it’s just a link to your site’s contact form), for your publisher’s publicist, your agent, foreign rights agent, etc.

Some examples of my clients who do their media rooms really well are Lisa Renee Jones, Susan M Boyer and Darynda Jones.

Most of all, your media room should be up-to-date and EASY TO FIND.

Do you have a media room? And what does yours include? What is it missing?

24 responses to “Author Website Media/Press Pages”

  1. Elisa Beatty says:

    Great info, Liz!!! Thanks!

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  2. Tracy Brogan says:

    You do realize now that all your clients are going to want to add this to their websites?? 🙂 I think you just created some work for yourself! But I thanks so much for sharing this great advice!!

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  3. Thanks for the info, Liz! I know I need a press packet, but didn’t really understand what was needed – thanks for the list!

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    • Liz Bemis says:

      Anne-Marie, I think the days of the old press-packet-in-a-2-pocket-folder are pretty much over… even for print publications. But having it easily available on your website means that if someone asks for it, you can direct them to your media page, and they’ll have the information within seconds!

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  4. Elise Hayes says:

    Great illustration of why a press room is needed, Liz. I particularly appreciated the tip about the two different length bios, since I hadn’t thought of that before!

    Thank you!

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    • Liz Bemis says:

      The short bio is really great for what you’d want at the bottom of any blog you were a part of or any article written about you. The long bio is to give more background information to interest the media in writing something something about you. 🙂

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  5. This is an awesome post, Liz! So much great info! I do not have a media page, but I’m now putting it on my to do list. 🙂

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  6. Amanda Brice says:

    OK, another task added to my to-do list. 😀

    I have all of that info on my website, but not all organized in one easily accessible spot, so I need to do that. Excellent list.

    And I want to take a second to stress that this doesn’t just apply to published authors. Unpublished writers need a website, too. I’d venture to guess that many of us in the Rubies got approached by various agents and editors through our websites once we were named finalists. They didn’t know anything about us, but they saw the list of finalists and asked us to submit. If we didn’t have a website, they wouldn’t have had a way to contact us.

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    • Liz Bemis says:

      That’s an incredibly good point, Amanda. I recently went out on submission under my new pen name… (so no one really finds the website unless they come with a direct link) and it’s been surprising how many of the agents who I’ve sent my stuff to have looked at my site!

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  7. Rita Henuber says:

    Thanks for sharing this info Liz. There is so much to keep up with.

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  8. June Love says:

    Liz, I don’t have a media/press room and the main reason is the bio. I don’t know why, but that is the most difficult thing for me to write. You’ve given me some great information of what I need to gather to put in a my future room. Thanks!

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    • Liz Bemis says:

      June — as an exercise, try writing a fictional bio for the you of 5 years from now, after you’ve hit the New York Times Bestseller list. A) Since you won’t take it super-seriously, it’ll be easier to write. B) The very act of putting that into the universe can cause it to come true and C) after you’re done you can strip out the fictional elements and you’ll likely have a pretty good start on your bio.

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  9. Hope Ramsay says:

    Good stuff! Must add to to do list in the DO NOW column.

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  10. Kate Parker says:

    Good idea, Liz. I’ll copy Darynda’s press kit onto my site. Oh, it has to be MY info. Drat. Not nearly as interesting.

    All kidding aside, this is good info for all of us.

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  11. Sorry I’m late to the party. I’m fighting a miserable cold. Just wanted to say, great blog. Nope, I don’t have a media page on my website. One of these days I have to find time to create one.

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