My day job is to plan events, mainly author events.
I have emailed my manager the words “I just can’t.” twice today.
Because I have spent the entire day dealing with authors who don’t have the most basic materials they should have in order to promote their book, I thought I’d develop a short list of the things you should have readily available once you have a book published. Some of these may seem obvious — and I thought so too, until today.
So please, make it easy on anyone who wants to help you promote your book and have these things at the ready the day your book is published (or earlier if you want day-of-release publicity). I like to have them saved in my google drive and dropbox so that I can access them anywhere with an internet connection.
1) A high-resolution jpg of your book cover.
At the very least, it should be 500 pixels wide and more long. I routinely get 250px wide book covers. I can’t put those up on a big screen. I can’t print those in an event program booklet.
Do not copy this into the body of the email. Do not put it into a word document and send it that way. Both of these reduce the quality of the image automatically. Attach it to email as a jpg attachment.
2) A high-resolution professional headshot.
If you don’t have the money to get a professional photographer to shoot one, check out my post here on faking it.
No bathroom selfies, please. Unless it is a distinct and obvious part of your author brand, no purses or bra straps. Please.
Same quality and delivery guidelines as discussed in #1.
3) Your book blurb.
Well-edited. Typo-free. Not in first person from the author’s perspective, unless it’s a memoir.
4) Direct, clean links where your book is available for purchase. Include Goodreads even though it is not a retailer.
When I say clean links, I mean remove all the junk retailers add on to track different things. For example, you may copy an Amazon link that looks like this:
but all you need is this:
5) Your bio.
To be on the safe side, have the following versions prepared: 1-2 sentences, 1-2 paragraphs, a page long. Only send the page-long one if specifically requested. Most people want the 1-2 paragraphs version.
6) Your web links. Website, Twitter, Facebook, and anywhere else you maintain an author presence.
Don’t make me google you. Especially if, for instance, there are violent criminals with your name who rank higher in search results than you do. For example. Hypothetically. *cough*
7) Book review quotes.
1-4 sentence quotes with source, linked if possible.
Bonus: Include numbers 3 through 7, in that order, in a single simply-formatted word document that can be sent off at a moment’s notice. This is sometimes called a “one-sheet.” It can include embedded images of your cover and photo, but these should not be the only way you send these files. Do not get fancy with formatting. This should be informative first.
Help yourself by helping those who are trying to give you free publicity have all the information they’ll need. Please. I’m begging you.