Every self-published author needs an online newsroom to send a clear message to the media about your book(s) and any future books you self-publish. Some websites call this simply the news, others the newsroom, the press room or the media centre.
Whatever you decide to call it, you must add all the information the media could need about your book(s). In a nutshell, this will include:
- Author bio
- High-resolution photos
- Illustrations from your book
- Book cover or book jacket
- Press kit
- One sheet
- PR releases
Creating an online newsroom is an excellent way to show journalists and editors all the info about your book(s) without an interview from you. It also gives them access to this information around the clock. Often journalists are given a story at the last minute and during their late night research they will be able to hunt through your online newsroom to find what they need about your book or your self-publishing success.
Seeing a list of press releases or news clippings proves that you are trustworthy and will deliver your promise. Show off broadcasts, podcasts, videos and quotes about your self-published books. Many journalists like to book chapter samples, case studies (for non-fiction books), and any book stats in a press kit. Most importantly, they want to know that there is someone available on the end of a phone 24/7 if they need to get in touch with you in a hurry.
Give a brief bio similar to your article resource box and editor’s notes.
You may want to include a history of your book(s) and the journey that led to your self-publishing - especially if this is has a human-interest story attached to it. Any other relevant research or related stats should be included. For example, if you are on any bestselling lists then make sure you mention this!
If you have been in cahoots with other writers, include their details by adding a few paragraphs and an image of them. Maybe even one with the two of you together.
Images of your book(s) and jacket cover are essential. You should also find a good local photographer who will do some headshots of you and possibly a whole shoot to include in your online newsroom.
When you do submit pictures to the media with any press releases, ensure you offer the best quality cropped images you have.
- Preferably use a head-and-shoulder shot cropped up tight and personal.
- Remove unnecessary background or blur it out if your camera has the ability to do this.
- Avoid busy backgrounds, mirrors, windows and glass which cause reflections.
- Hone in on the action in the image – remember ‘humans’ are the centre focus.
Show off press releases about your book launch, if you have won an award or reached the bestselling charts and other interesting press release stories. The more you have, the more there is for potential book buyers and journalis to read about how wonderful you are. But DON'T bombard journalists with press releases just for the sake of having a busy press room!
Book Press Clippings
Don’t forget to add any press clippings in newspapers or magazines that have featured your book(s). Link to any online news coverage (and check the links regularly - there is nothing more frustrating than a broken link!). If you attract lots of media attention you should proudly show this off to everyone who comes along - many people will want to read this kind of information before buying your book(s). It builds trust in you and that trust makes it more likely that the reader will then want to purchase them. It is important to show how newsworthy you are. However, I would advise that you create a separate page for this and include a link in your media room so a journalist can see what other publications are saying about you.
Journalists will be interested in what reviewers and other editors are saying about your book(s) and your self-publishing journey. You can even include a registration form for anyone who may want to review your book(s) and add their review to Amazon - this will certainly help your Amazon Marketing.
Journalists love case studies so if you have any in your non-fiction self-published book(s), include links to them in your press room.
Your online newsroom must contain all your contact details, including your mobile number. If you are determined to get into the media as an industry expert, you need to be at the media’s beck and call. If there is an urgent story opportunity you could get a call from an editor at any time of day. The media works all hours of the day and so should your press kit!