How to make an EPK (electronic press kit)
If you want to get noticed as an indie musician, book more gigs, and put yourself out there, you need to have an electronic press kit, or EPK.
As a musician, an EPK is a crucial avenue for you to communicate important information about your music (and you as an artist) to members of the press and the broader music industry. But if you’ve never had any experience creating press kits, or if you don’t really know what the EPK meaning is, it can feel daunting to try and put one together for you or your band.
Here’s the good news: An EPK isn’t hard to put together, and having one will make a world of difference in your music promotion efforts. In this post, we run you through exactly what goes into an EPK, how to make one, and a great EPK example from an indie artist.
What is an EPK?
EPK stands for an Electronic Press Kit. The simplest way to describe it is essentially like a resume or CV for artists. It allows promoters, journalists, venues, talent evaluators, and labels to understand what you bring to the table as an artist.
Your EPK is there to help you get noticed, land gigs, and make the connections you need in the music industry to take your career to the next level. A solid EPK will contain a collection of music, pictures, biographies, and relevant information assembled to inform anyone looking to learn more about you and your music.
EPKs are generally hosted on your website, or on one of the many EPK service providers out there. They can also be sent as a PDF to media or labels, and printed out for use at shows or events.
To help you visualize what an EPK looks like, we reached out to musician Dreebsby to take a look at some of his own electronic press kits.
This is a good moment to note that there is more than one type of EPK.
First, there are general EPKs, which musicians use when interacting with potential collaborators, promoters, venues, or labels. For the most part, this is the type of EPK we are talking about in this article. Here’s an example of a general EPK from Dreebsby:
Once you become established and start releasing new music, you will need to create new EPKs for each new release. These should include links to the new music, along with any album promotion artwork or videos you have.
Dreebsby did this recently for his most recent release, Last Night.
Why do you need an EPK?
The last thing you need is for a promoter, member of the music media, or talent evaluator to have to go out of their way to find information about you and your music. If you want media coverage for your tracks or if you want to make it easier to book live shows, then you need to have an EPK.
Having an EPK will also save you time in the long run. You won’t have to type out your band story or send the same images over and over. Instead, you can just host the EPK in a downloadable file (on Dropbox or Google Drive, for example), making it easy to send with just a few clicks.
What goes into a great EPK?
Like a resume, every good EPK template needs to tick off a number of boxes. Your EPK should contain all the relevant information about you and your music, as well as provide extra links to your discography, music videos.
On top of that, it’s important to keep in mind that a great EPK needs to look cohesive and professional. This isn’t the moment to bust out bright green colors and try out new fonts — keep your aesthetic clean, simple, and consistent to make it easy for readers to learn more about you, and easily access the information they want.
We’ve listed the non-negotiables below, but to start out, here’s a great EPK example from the artist known as Dreebsby. He created this kit to promote his latest release, Last Night.
It goes without saying, but your music is single-handedly the most important part of your EPK. You need to put your tracks front and center and make it easy for anyone to quickly click on a link to play a track—it’s best to include an actual .WAV or .MP3 file. It doesn’t matter if it’s a label or a journalist — they should easily be able to look through your EPK and listen to your music without having to open up Spotify or Apple Music and type in your name.
Of course, it’s not a good idea to put your entire discography in your EPK. Instead, make a shortlist and put your best foot forward. Promoters are generally only going to listen to the first few songs, so make sure you’re including your best songs at the top of your EPK. If you’re not sure what songs to put first, check your streaming numbers and put your most played songs first.
Tip: Try to use the highest quality MP3 you can. 256kpbs is the minimum export quality you should be using, but if possible, shoot for 320kbps.
They say a photo is worth a thousand words, and in an EPK this is definitely the case. Your EPK should include photos of your band, as well as photos from live shows if you have them. Gig photos tell the story of you and your band visually to the reader, but also provide a glimpse into your stage presence and the energy of your performance.
Keep in mind that if you’re including pictures from a show, they still need to be of professional quality—in other words, it’s best to leave out blurry photos snapped from your friend’s smartphone in the back row of the crowd, or screenshots of your most recent live stream.
The great news is that these days, even if you can’t afford a professional photoshoot, it’s still possible to take professional-looking images with your smartphone. You and your bandmates may be able to handle this on your own, or you could hire a freelancer to take some good shots
If that sounds interesting to you, look into services like Photobooker in the U.S., Snappr in Singapore, or good old-fashioned Upwork. These sites include plenty of photographers in the local area for you to pick and choose from.
Finally, you should have two versions of your EPK:
- A high-res one with 300dpi photos to house on a website or hosting provider
- A low-res one with 72dpi to send via email
All your images should be a minimum of 600 pixels wide.
Your EPK is a place for you to tell your story and build a connection with your audience. As a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to include two separate bios: a short version and a long version.
The short version should be around 3 sentences or so. This is basically the elevator pitch for you and your music. Be brief, provide a summary, and make your readers want more.
Meanwhile, your long version should read like your background story. In this section, you want to paint a clear picture of who you are and why a member of the industry or media should be interested in you and your music. Avoid being unclear or obtuse—this isn’t the place to wax poetic about art or write your entire life story. Make your bio captivating, concise, and keep it to the interesting and important information.
If you don’t know where to begin, here’s a quick outline of the structure you should have in your bio:
- Start with the basic information like your band name and where you’re from
- Define your sound
- List some of your influences
- Include your most recent album releases, as well as any notable achievements, such as awards or high-profile performances
It’s also a good idea to have multiple people look over and edit your bio, or take it one step further and hire a writer to do it for you.
“Adia Tay is a Singaporean chanteuse who will whisk you away on a cinematic adventure of love and hope. Her songs promise to intertwine with your innermost stories, and after every twist and soft fade, deposit you safely in the tavern of your soul.
She is a Noise Mentorship Alumni, and has played for events such as Shine Fest, Night To Light Festival, Esplanade’s Red Dot August, Music @ Empress, Sofar Sounds and more. She has also played at corporate events for distinguished entities such as FOX Networks, Drew & Napier, and Lush 99.5FM, and is a cover gig musician who has performed at venues such as Wala Wala, Acid Bar, Hard Rock Café, Singapore Cricket Club and more.
Adia’s debut six-track EP “Kintsugi”, which was released in April 2019, is an ode to brokenness and the renewal of the heart, and her raw and honest voice has often likened her to artists such as Lucy Rose and Florence + The Machine.”
Music videos are an awesome way to showcase your music, because they’re easily watchable and shareable. If you already have a music video, this part’s easy: Just pop a link to that in your EPK. If you don’t, check out our guide to making a music video on a budget.
Alternatively, if you have had a performance recorded, you can also include that. Just make sure the recording is high quality—this means no shaky smartphone videos and nothing with poor audio. If you’ve performed at a notable or famous venue, that can be a particularly enticing video to feature
Be sure to upload your videos on popular streaming platforms like YouTube and Vimeo. These are easily accessible, and your readers can quickly share your work with other members on their team—for example, a booking agent could share it with their manager. Plus, these videos double as an extra source of marketing for your band.
On top of including links to your music, your EPK should include links to your website and your social media accounts, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and so on. Of course, remember to also include links to industry-specific sites, like your artist profile on Spotify or Soundcloud.
Press and Testimonials
If you have ever been featured on the news or received a review from a music blog or site, your EPK is the place to show these off. These add an extra touch of credibility to your band.
Tip: Have snippets or short, meaningful quotes pulled from any press or reviews, and make those readily available on your EPK. If you’ve received writeups from multiple industry sites, it might be worth including a “featured in…” section with logos of the relevant publications.
Last but not least, it’s a good idea to slot in any information for any upcoming live events in your EPK (even if these are live streams for the time being). This gives promoters an idea of when you’re available—and, if you’re all booked up, it shows how in demand your band is. Don’t forget to refresh this regularly: Set a calendar reminder every month to update your EPK.
How to make an EPK
There are a number of ways to make an EPK, depending on your Adobe skills and how much time you have on your hands. Many of the most popular web-hosting sites have built-in EPK tools for you to use—especially the ones that specifically target musicians.
Dedicated music platforms like Reverbnation, Sonicbids, Bandzoogle, or Landr offer EPK-hosting services to go along with their website-building options. It’s as simple as signing up, picking one of their EPK templates, then plugging in your information.
However, you’re not limited to music-specific web hosting. Platforms like Wix, Adobe Spark, Squarespace, and many of the other popular website builders also have great plug-and-play templates for you to create your EPK. Or, like your band photography and bio, you can always enlist the help of a freelancer or friend to help you out with a professionally designed EPK in InDesign or WordPress.
Where to put your EPK
Once you’ve got your EPK ready, it’s time to put it up for the world to see. First things first: You should make your EPK readily accessible on your website. In fact, it’s a good idea to create a dedicated page just for your EPK, or link to it as part of your ‘contact us’ or ‘press’ page.
You can also host your EPK on file sharing sites. File sharing websites often let you host a certain number of files for free, and offer an easy way to share links to files online without needing to send an email attachment. Some of the most popular (and free) file-sharing websites include Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, and Hightail.
The third option is to house it specifically on a music platform. You can then direct traffic from your website, social media, and other channels to your EPK on this site.