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Desiging the Virtual Press Kit

When I first began trying to ... my novels online, ... a number of ... First, I write ... under a ... Lance Howard, and ebooks undermy own name. This, I quickly

When I first began trying to publicize my novels online, I
encountered a number of obstacles. First, I write print
westerns under a pseudonym, Lance Howard, and ebooks under
my own name. This, I quickly discovered, created a bit of
confusion. I needed a way to separate Lance Howard from Howard
Hopkins, while at the same time letting folks know they were
the same author.

I also "paint" ebook covers, design promotional cards, postcards
and bookmarks for other writers and needed a way to get this
information across without cramming up my signature lines or
diluting their impact.

The press kit seemed like a partial answer; that way I could
delegate sections for my books, my ebooks and my artwork. Why
partial? Well, designing a press kit takes a lot of time and
consideration and an author wants to make it look as professional
as possible. Yet at the same time the costs involved can be
astronomical. Printing the individual elements on quality paper,
color, sturdy folders, business cards for the inside pocket and
postage to send them to various sources add up quick. And while
press kits are effective where physical newspapers, magazines,
or radio are involved, they don't solve the problem of online
promotion very well. Since I wanted to focus on my ebooks and
e-art, that was a quandary.

Enter the Virtual Press Kit. I am not sure why I didn't hit upon
the idea sooner. I had been publishing an electronic magazine for
half a year, all the while stowing the online promotion idea in
the back of my mind, or slipping individual pieces of it into my
publication. While laying out my last issue, those elements
suddenly gelled. Why not desing a publication dedicated to
promoting my work exclusively. From there it was a short step
to the Virtual Press Kit.

What goes in your kit? Well, the same elements that go into your
printed version: press releases, flyers, a business card, contact
information, etc. I will try to take you on a brief tour through
the one I created to get you started. From there you can tailor
it to your own needs and individual tastes.

I created my Virtual Press Kit for Adobe's PDF, because I had
the software for my electronic magazine and because Adobe
Acrobat is cross-platformed for Windows and Mac operating
systems. However, the Adobe software is a bit pricey so you
can do yours in Word if you prefer. I set mine up using Word 97,
so I will gear the article towards that program.

First I created my cover using Paint Shop Pro 7. Most authors
aren't virtual artists, though, so I would suggest picking your
ebook cover as an opening page. Word allows you to insert a jpeg
and a great cover grabs a reader's attention immediately. For the
next page, I used Word's WordArt feature. There are a number of
fancy designs, but I would suggest selecting one of the more
subdued, professional looking patterns. I titled this page
Howard Hopkins' Virtual Press Kit. Not particularly original but
it gets the point across. On the next page I placed my contact
information, my email and webpage address. I would suggest not
entering your mailing address, unless you have a post office
box specifically for that purpose. Anyone in need of your
mailing address can contact you through your email.

On the next page I placed my bio.

Beyond that, I set up a section listing all my hardcover and
paperback credits, then my ebook credits. I keep a number of
pages after that for my print and ebook covers. Next, I inserted
press releases for my most recent novels.

Last I offered an information section and samples of my artwork
for covers, cards and postcards. I included some of my favorite
works and pricing guidelines.

That's all there is to it. If you are skilled with graphics,
then pretty it up in whatever way suits your style. If you
have Acrobat, print it to PDF then research places that might
be interested in seeing your work, perhaps local newspapers --
if you can find the local reporter's email listing in the
paperFree Reprint Articles, all the better. I got an interview this way.

For those who would like to see a virtual copy of my kit for
ideas and set up feel free to download it at:

Article Tags: Virtual Press, Would Suggest

Source: Free Articles from


Howard Hopkins is the author of six horror and western ebooks from Atlantic Bridge Publishing ( under his own name and more than twenty print westerns under the penname Lance Howard. His novels can be purchased at, and and he lives in Maine.

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