11.20.2003

As a readings coordinator and a reviewer, I receive press kits, albeit mostly from local performance poets or from small presses publishing religious fiction.

However, as a person continually looking for readings, I am also asked for books, which cost me abt $10 each, quite a hefty fee for something apparently expected to be send to everyone, and press kits, which I am attempting to gradually improve, in order to be booked for a reading, festival / book fair appearance, etc.

Thus far, my press kit consists of:

a printout of an author photo (not an actual headshot) with the flip side printed with the parts of my cv / resume about me-as-an-author,

a color printout (not an actual offprint) of my book jacket with the flipside printed with the parts of my cv / resume about the book,

a floppy (sticker of book front cover as label) containing the .pdf of the book,

sometimes some sample postcards and other handouts from readings (lists of songs, artists, or etc. I've got in my book),

sometimes CDs,

a cover letter.

1) what else should be in or out?

2) is there a better way to go about this?

3) any readings coordinators, book festival bookers, reviewers, out there want one?
Web sites are, in my view, a necessity, but they are not a part of any but an electronic press kit.

However (and this is part of what I think the web is for), it is quite common for performance poets and agented authors and authors on huge presses to have press kits -- either print-out-able as a press kit (all the info in a clean and simple format or in an attached .pdf) or an "online press kit" as part of their sites.

Susan Wheeler, Thalia Field, Shelley Jackson, Jeanne Beaumont's presence at WW Norton, and the Janet Holmes / Rachel Loden / Stephanie Strickland site at pomegranate were author websites I looked at particularly carefully as far as the run of what most authors have made or make vs. what they are generally provided. This is quite different from the better "academic / author" website like Juliana Spahr's, IMO.

The press kit for the performance poets generally includes sound files, links to poems, links to reviews, self-published or self-reprinted (electronically) poems, links to the blog, poetics statements, a schedule / calendar of dates, etc.

Among my models for the press kit were those on Iris Berry's, Exene Cervenka's, Daphne Gottlieb's, and some other websites, although mine is not that glossy right now.

A pet peeve of mine is noncommercial authors with a ".com" rather than another (noncommercial) extension.

Rgds,
Catherine Daly
cadaly@pacbell.net
http://www.catherinedaly.info

***Link to first online review: http://www.sidereality.com/volume2issue4/reviewsv2n4/reviewofdadada.htm