Monday, April 25, 2011

The How-to's on Putting Together a Media Packet--By Linda P. Kozar

Lately I've had a lot of questions from writers about media packets, also known as press packets. People want to know "What is a press packet? What goes in one?  How do I go about it?" Before those questions start to tangle, let's address each one.

A media packet is a kit in physical or electronic format to give to news reporters for the purpose of announcing the release of a book or your presence at an event where you plan to speak, sign or support. A kit saves reporters time and energy. You make their job easier by giving them the information you want them to have about you, your career and your book (s). You give them a headshot instead of having your picture taken by a staff photographer and wondering what your mug is going to look like in the paper:) Of course most reporters worth their salt will still want to ask you some questions, but hopefully those questions will flow organically from that base of information.

The thought of putting a media packet together can seem intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Where do you start. At the beginning of course!

First, write down all your accomplishments, education and experience. Then add connections--social network presence, websites, blogs. Write a long bio (as long as it needs to be) and a shortened version of that same bio (a paragraph).  Then condense the short bio into a peewee bio--2 or 3 lines. You'll need all three versions of your bio at one time or another. Once you have these written, you can tweak as needed, but you'll have the basic versions complete.

Cover Letter
            Introducing yourself, the kind of books you write and why. Keep it brief but interesting. Make every word count. You have to hook their interest right away.
One Sheet
            A One Sheet is one sheet of paper all about YOU. Your One Sheet should contain a short bio with a picture of you and your tagline (theme as a writer), a list your books with ISBNs or WIP titles and short pitches (descriptions), your website and blog addresses. Your One Sheet should not contain extraneous details like you're favorite color, flower or pet peeve. Writing might be your calling, but it is also a business. Be professional.
Include a photo of you (or a line that you will send photos electronically upon request). Invest in a really good photo of yourself. Most photographers will do a headshot for a reasonable price. Try not to use a photo your husband or a friend took of you sitting at the kitchen table. The key is to look professional and pleasant. Brooding looks are best reserved for Stephen King or James Patterson. 
            If you send out an electronic newsletter, (Constant Contact for example), be sure to include a copy of it. But only if the newsletter is really good. If your newsletter articles are scotch-taped crooked and xeroxed, you might want to leave the newsletter out.
Business card
            People get so many business cards it’s hard to put a face with the name. That’s why it's a good practice to include your picture on your card. You want whoever gets your card to remember who your are and what you do.
Press Release
Promoting an upcoming booksigning or event you were at or announcing the release of your new book. (If you’ve never done a press release there are plenty of examples on the internet).

***Feel free to leave your ideas regarding media packets in the comment section. Nothing talks like experience!

Category 5 Winners Announced at:

Category 5 Winners Announced at:
the Meet The Christian Authors Event!

Contest Deadline Extended!

Our Category Five Contest deadline has been extended to August 31st, 2011. If you missed the previous (July 31st) deadline, here's your chance to send your entry(s)!

Contest Details--UPDATE

Hi friends,

Janice Thompson here. I'm sending an updated version of an earlier email about our Writers on the Storm Category Five Fiction Writing Contest. We've added more information. We would like to ask three things of our WOTS members and/or Houston area writing friends:

1). If you are unpublished (on not traditionally published) please consider entering the contest.
2). Please help us spread the word to other writers by placing this information on your facebook page, blog, etc.
3). Please pray for our organization as we move forward with this, our first-ever writing contest.

Thanks so much for your support. Now, here's the updated information about the contest (per Linda Kozar):

Dear Writers,

Details for entry to the Writers On The Storm "CATEGORY FIVE" Writing Contest are below. The contest is open to unpublished and non-traditionally published FICTION authors, both members and non-members of the Writers on the Storm group. NOTE: If you have previously been "traditionally" published, you are not eligible. However, if you paid to publish your book(s), you are eligible and encouraged to participate.

Judges are all published authors and/or industry pros, though not members of our chapter. Entering a writing contest is a great way to get feedback or accolades, and we hope you will enter this one with great enthusiasm! The WOTS Chapter Board invite you to BLOW THE JUDGES AWAY with your fiction writing brilliance!

Our Cat Five Writing Contest OPENED on JUNE 1st and CLOSES on Friday, JULY 29th. Judges will receive entries for review on August 1st, 2011. Winners will be announced at our MEET THE CHRISTIAN AUTHOR event on September 17th, 2011 and winners will be notified by phone.
Our Five Categories (novels and/or short stories)
1. Romance (Historical and Contemporary)
2. Women's Fiction
3. General Fiction
4. Mystery/Suspense
5. Young Adult/Children's
Contest Fees:
Members-$20 per entry (Two or more entries $15/per entry)
NonMembers-$25 per entry (Two or more entries $20/per entry).

Make checks out to: Writers on the Storm

The overall grand prize (for the highest scoring entry) is the FICTION WRITING MASTER COURSE from, a $249 value. The grand prize winner will also receive a plaque, a press release he/she can share with others and a news splash on our website. The category winners will each receive a free edit of the first chapter of their book from a multi-published author, along with a certificate. Their names will be listed on our website, as well. We will also post the list to facebook, twitter, the ACFW loop, etc.

Send the first 15 pages of your novel or short story. If you have a prologue, you may send the prologue and part of chapter one or just 15 pages of chapter one if chapter one exceeds 15 pages. The total pages of your entries may not exceed 15).

Entries must be double-spaced, Times New Roman 12 point on white paper.
Entries should reflect a Christian world-view.
Entries with inappropriate content (i.e. profanity, pornography, extreme violence) will not be considered.
Entries will not be returned to contestants via the U.S. Post Office unless a SASE (self-addressed, stamped envelope) is enclosed with each entry submitted.
Judges are all published authors and/or industry pros, though not members of the Writers On The Storm chapter.
Send your entries via SNAIL MAIL to:
Linda Kozar
7 South Chandler Creek
The Woodlands, Texas 77381
Questions? Contact Linda Kozar at

Category Five Contest Entry Form

Registration Form Name:_____________________________________________________________ Address:_________________________________City_______State____ZIP_____ Email address:_______________________________________________________ Member of WOTS: Yes….. No….. Category Entered: 1. Historical/Contemporary Romance ______ 2. Women’s Fiction ______ 3. General Fiction ______ 4. Suspense/Mystery ______ 5. Young Adult/Children ______ Amount Enclosed: __________ Check:___ Money Order:______ Make Checks out to: Writers On The Storm Checklist: Correct Manuscript Form ___ SASE Envelope ____ Registration Form ____ Check or money order ____ Mail entries to: Linda Kozar 7 South Chandler Creek The Woodlands, Texas 77381 Contact: If you have questions. Linda Kozar: Martha Rogers: Janice Thompson:

SATURDAY, May 7th from 9:30-11:00 followed by a booksigning 11-12:30

The Multiple-Author Booksigning will feature Patrick Scott, Martha Rogers and Linda Kozar!

Patrick Scott currently serves as the Founder / Design Architect for Creative Solutions, Patrick Scott is the creator and author of the Archangels: The Saga™ comic book series. First published in 1995 - 2010; the series has sold over 1.2 Million copies.

Patrick Scott pioneered the Christian comic book market in 1995 and is a 12 time published author, a trading card game creator (Timestream: The Remnant™) and has developed and published 15 inspirational posters. Under his leadership, Cahaba Productions, Inc. received the International Christian Retail Show’s highest honor by receiving an “IMPACT AWARD” in 2003.

Patrick Scott has over 17 years of graphic design, venture capital fundraising and business experience within mainstream and the International Christian Retail Marketplace. Over those years Patrick Scott has developed a professional working relationship with Lovell-Fairchild, Dynamic Marketing, Focus on the Family, Propeller Consulting, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Dickson’s Inc., Cactus Game Design, Universal Designs, Lifeway Christian Stores and many more.

Writers On The Storm presents...

Writers On The Storm presents...
Category Five Writing Contest

Patrick Scott--May 7th Speaker

Patrick Scott--May 7th Speaker
Christian Comic Book Author

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