Preparing Your Assets

The term “asset” is a word used by professional marketers to mean any tangible item that will be used in the execution of a marketing plan, usually in combination with other assets. Typically this means blocks of written copy, photographs, diagrams, and logos.

These days the list has expanded to include items used in social media and other online activities. For example, links for social media profiles and specific places online to purchase your book (called buy-links).

Basic assets needed by authors include:

  • Author photos (aka “headshots”)
  • Author bio (tagline, short bio and long bio)
  • Book description (short and long)
  • Book cover image
  • Book buy-links

High quality author photos are more important now than ever before. Keep in mind you’ll need a handful of them. They’ll not only be used on your book jacket, but also on your website, social media profiles, and actual social media posts. In some cases you’ll need to supply one or more high quality photos to journalists, editors, or bloggers that will be featuring your book. These opportunities are rare so it’s important to have all your assets ready ahead of time to put your best foot forward.

We’ll have a Sprint dedicated to headshots and portraits, but the key takeaways are:

  • Have an assortment of indoor and outdoor shots
  • Some should be light-hearted with smiles, others more serious
  • Stand in some, sit in others
  • Use a variety of settings and lighting
  • Include a least one facial close up and one full body or waist-up cropping

While today’s iPhones produce sufficiently high-quality photos, we recommend having someone help you. Selfies are fun but you’ll need more than that. This is one of those cases where hiring someone to take photos for you will be a huge help. This doesn’t have to be expensive. There are lots of people just starting out who’d love the chance to build their portfolios for not a lot of money.

Just as important as a set of good photos is an author biography. People will want to read a bit about who you are when checking out your book page or author page on Amazon. Bloggers or journalists rely on these to present you to the world. They’re often very busy, so giving them a well-written and informative write-up about yourself makes it easy for them to include you.

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