David Amerland

11 months ago · 2 min. reading time · ~100 ·

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Why Your Book Needs A Press Kit Page

Why Your Book Needs A Press Kit Page

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Talk to an author about having a press kit for their book and they begin to hate you. Ask them to summarize it in 200 words or less and their first reaction is to dive into the Dark Web looking to hire a hit man. It sounds extreme but it is understandable. Press Kits appear superficial. A doomed effort to distill the essence of a book of thoughts and ideas into a few jpegs, some soundbites and the technical details that are the ISBN of a book and its number of pages. A summary is even worse. It takes the effort of research and writing that may span a number of years and reduces it to a readily consumable soundbite. 

Yet a book without a Press Kit page is a little bit like a world-class classical, concert pianist playing in his underwear. We know we shouldn't judge the quality of the music by the tuxedo of the pianist but somehow we cannot help ourselves. We are designed, by nature, to make snap judgments. And even though a lot of them may turn out to be wrong our brains have evolved to do so and this is not going to change. 

Expectations define perception. Perception, in turn, creates our reality. This means that if you are thinking of being taken seriously as a world-class classical pianist a tuxedo is a must and, when you have a new book out, not having a Press Kit only creates unnecessary barriers your potential readers will have to overcome. 

Traditions, Culture and Communication

Virtually every form of communication we employ requires some form of connection and an audience. In the case of the world-class pianist hitting out Mozart's 9th in order for the audience to even sit still and lose itself in the music requires the traditional format of an auditorium of some kind, a perfectly tuned grand piano, seats to immobilize us, semi-darkness to quieten our senses and heighten our hearing and an admission price to make us commit to sitting there and consuming it all. 

Traditions are a form of encoded learning that tells us that it is OK to do something in a specific way without much thought. Culture is collective behavior that gives the green light to specific ways of living life. 

When it comes to books the understanding is that a book will cost money that the audience needs to pay in order to access its content and that the content in question will come with a minimum unique value proposition for the audience, wrapped in the traditions of book publishing. A Press Kit then plays that role. It allows the audience to determine that at least a minimum effort has been made to present things in a way that signifies the inherent value of the book. 

In addition, it is a courtesy to all those bloggers, journalists and reviewers who will look for the material presented in the Press Kit and need to access it quickly because time is always against them. 

So a Press Kit, which authors usually detest, helps the audience at large to better access the book and understand its value. Just for that alone it is worth going into the trouble necessary to create it.  

 

*My latest book is Intentional: How to Live, Love, Work and Play Meaningfully and, as you can imagine, it has a Press Kit page. 

 

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