A Media What?
I’ve been seeing a lot of talk lately about independent writers setting up their own media page. My first reaction was – “What? I’m supposed to have a media page too? Why? Isn’t it enough I have to promote my books by myself?”
Like writing and editing them and trying to get known through social media wasn’t hard enough.
“Aren’t media pages for authors who have already made a name for themselves, not newbies like me?”
WELCOME TO PUBLISHING 101
The importance of a media page finally dawned on me, and I’m right in the middle of contructing my own. I already have all the information for one scattered thoughout my web page.
However, to do it right these days, you apparently need to collect it all in one place … and make it easy for reporters, reviewers and critics (and bloggers) to access and download.
I will soon have that dedicated media page, with all the pertinent information in one spot.
WHY DIDN’T I DO IT RIGHT AWAY?
I was involved with lots of press releases while I was working (I spent 16 years in public relations). Most, if not all, of those releases were picked-up by major papers and national magazines.
But why not? … they were for a major Fortune 10 company whose announcements and decisions could affect tens of thousands.
I procrastinated on creating a media page for myself, and I think part of the reason is my own self-perception. Who would be interested enough in my books to want to do an interview with me? Sales are not exactly through the roof.
The few press releases I have created and sent out for myself have generated almost no interest. It took a long time to figure out why.
I was sending them to the wrong places. What I really lacked was a good understanding of what was right in front of me … the growing role of bloggers in publicity.
When bloggers see you’ve posted an interesting article, they re-post it. They do it because it brings followers to their own site, sure. But your ideas, your thoughts and, most importantly, the fact you write fiction at all becomes more widely known at the same time.
I’ve seen it happen often now with blogs I follow and it’s a neat thing. It’s even happened to me several times, and I need to do it for other authors, too (I’ll start soon, I promise).
SO WHAT DO YOU NEED FOR THE REST OF THE WORLD?
If you create a media page, make sure you populate it with all the information folks who just might talk about you will need. By doing so, you’ve just made their life easier … because your material and contact information is available and ready to go.
Things like a good headshot, cover images (high resolution preferred), your author bio, excerpts, book trailers (if you have them) and contact information. Awards, reviews and quotable blurbs you’ve already received are a plus. In fact, the best ones are those that showcase how other readers have already judged your work.
If you can’t host all the images and information on your own site (some host sites don’t allow it), create an account somewhere that will. One of the best sites I’ve stumbled across (and that’s actually how it happened) for free cloud storage is Media Fire. It can host images, documents, audio and video files.
HOW DO I KNOW THIS IS RELEVANT?
I worked in public relations and marketing for over thirty years and I know such updated information helps keep people aware of your products and services (even if the media to accomplish it these days is a bit different than it used to be just five short years ago).
If this is more than a hobby to you, the commitment to promoting your work must rank (almost) as high as creating it. Building a media page and keeping it updated may be the most important part of your marketing strategy.
Just in case the media does come calling…