A press kit is a package, electronic or mailed, that you will send to newspapers, magazines, websites, blogs and more. Items in the kit can include a biography, press release, press clips, music, photos and a pitch letter. This column will address part one of the biography, AKA the bio. The other elements will be discussed in future columns.
The bio serves as an introduction of you the artist or the band to the media. It is a short history with relevant information about your current projects and line up. Make sure to spell check and read it over many times and have friends look it over. Unless you are a well-established or famous artist or band, a biography that is more than one or two double-sided pages is highly unnecessary.
Depending upon the selected media outlets to which you send packages, your targeted person may be receiving hundreds of packages per week so yours may not be viewed immediately or thoroughly. Therefore, to give yourself the best shot, keep your own biography as interesting and brief as possible.
Things you will want to include in the bio are explanations of a band’s name if it’s highly unusual such as the name of a character not easily recognizable in mainstream pop culture (this might include literary or biblical names). All band members should be mentioned in the biography, but mini bios on each member are not necessary as they will make the bio too long and unwieldy. You can save details on band members for your website. Include notes about the recording of the album if you worked with a noted producer, engineer or in a famed studio. Talk about unusual instruments that might have been used on the album, guest vocalists, anything noteworthy.
Reference some of the new songs and if you are particularly proud of your lyrical prowess, feel free to quote lyrics if it fits in with the context of your bio. Read the bio aloud to see how it flows. If something sounds or reads wrong, it most likely is. When in doubt, leave it out.
Your key objective here is to captivate the reader enough to give your album a spin. Give the editors and writers a reason to listen and hopefully decide to write about your project.
The next column will examine additional tips on drafting the bio.