1. A short book description
There are a handful of reasons you’ll need a short, compelling book description (one or two sentences at most): as a soundbite in interviews, as a teaser on your website, as the hook in your press materials and communications with folks in the publishing industry, and maybe even as the tagline in your email signature!
2. A longer book description
Once you’ve hooked ‘em with the sound-bite, they’ll want to read more. Give them another paragraph or two to really sell the book. But don’t get long-winded or you risk losing their interest.
3. Your author bio
So, what’s your story? It’s time to tell the world — in the 3rd person. 2 – 4 paragraphs should be plenty if you tell your story well. If not… well, 2-4 paragraphs might be painful.
4. Web content
Start putting together all the web content you’ll need well in advance of your release.
This includes some of the things mentioned above (bio and book descriptions), but also blog posts announcing the book launch, behind-the-scenes content that gives your readers a glimpse into your writing process for the book, any study-guides or accompanying material that you’ve envisioned for readers, your book trailer, links to retail sites where your book and eBook can be purchased, etc.
5. A good author photo
In fact, try to get a few good shots. A headshot, a casual shot, one with lots of space or landscape that you can use as a wide header image for Facebook and/or your website.
6. Hi-resolution .jpg of your book cover
Ask your designer for a hi-resolution .jpg file of your book cover. You’ll need to both display it and make it available to download on your website (for any bloggers, media folks, or book critics who write about your book).
While you’re talking to your designer, and while your book design is fresh in their mind, ask them to put together any banners, headers, or print ads you think you’ll need in the first 3 months after your book is released. You’re going to be very busy at that point, and you don’t want to have to wait for your designer’s schedule to clear up when you’re in the thick of things.
8. Business cards
They’re old-fashioned. But if you attend writers conferences, they’ll come in handy. We’re talking about writers, after all.
If you plan on doing signings, readings, or getting a booth at a book fair, you’ll want to invest in some eye-catching, portable signage. It could be a pull-up banner (for big shows) or as simple as an 8×11 laminated sign, but make sure you’ve ordered it long before the event.
10. Press materials
Your press materials (press kit, press release, etc.) will be comprised of some of the things already mentioned: bio, description of the book, plus some of the story behind the book and author, contact info, any standout praise you may’ve already garnered from the press, etc.
When you’re gathering all these elements together into a press kit or press release, keep asking yourself these questions: “Why should anyone care about my story and book, and have I clearly communicated that here?”
11. Book trailer
Book trailers are important. In a world where YouTube is becoming one of the most-used search engines, it sure helps to have some video content available. Plus, book trailers are great content for your own website, for other bloggers, and to mention in your press release. Besides, it gives the impression that you’re really in tune with the times.