Because of my background in PR, I tend to think that everything needs a press kit. In fact, I have to censor myself from meeting people for the first time and saying, “Hey, you know that birthday party of yours could be so much better if you sent a press kit to your grandma, the cake man, and the band. People ought to know about your party!”
But now I have proof from the outside world that press kits are a good thing for writers. Writers that want to teach anyway. I was inquiring with a writers conference on how editors can apply for a faculty position in their program, and the reply was that they wanted to see a press kit. The editor I had in mind to pitch doesn’t have one, but they’re not that hard to make.
Here’s what’s in mine:
2. Clips (3 from books, 1 online, 1 newspaper)
3. Post cards of book covers with my name on them
4. Written Road blog samples
5. Praise–testimonials from editors, authors, and people I’ve worked with
(what I still need to add before sending it out)
6. Bio with headshot
7. Business card
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If you’re sending out your press kit because you want to teach, have a listing of workshops and conferences you’ve already taught, the classes you lectured on, a list and description of classes you are able to speak on, and a cover letter of why you think you’d be a good fit for the workshop that you’re applying for.
Presentation is key. Nothing to frilly or cheap. Don’t put your resume on pink perfumed paper either, even if you think it might make you stand out. I use laminated two pocket folders with biz card slots.
If you have a professionally produced headshot, that is important for sending out to media or employment. If accepted, they like to scan it in and use it for their pieces that they’re running whether it’s an online newsletter, newspaper article, or workshop brochure.
If you or your publicist is promoting you for TV or radio and you have already been interviewed or produced a show in this format, include a copy of the tape in your pitch. This will improve your chances of getting selected because they will be able to see how well you do on the air. Of course, if the show went south, you might be better off leaving it out. 🙂