Thursday, August 4, 2011
Writing and Promo Junk, er, Stuff
Once you get over the initial euphoria of finishing a book and getting it published, then comes the necessary part - the promotion. And that means buying stuff: bookmarks, business cards, biz card holders, picture frames, book stands, on and on it seems.
Then somewhere along the way that "other" side kicks in - the need for all kinds of other "junk," er, promotional stuff. That urge kicks in to get your book noticed, anywhere and everywhere. Oh, look, you can get personalized stamps from the post office! Wow, how about personalized playing cards. (You have to look around at pricing on these.)
Add in personalized pencils and pens, notes, notepads, (see Vista Print promo deals), and the list (and costs) never end.
Does it work? Well... who's bought a book because of a pencil or pen they got? Save your money (unless you like the gimmick for signings, etc.)
Granted, bookmarks, postcards, and biz cards are a necessity. But does it mean you have to go into hock to promote?
Some writers find unique ways to promote that can be cost-effective. If you have several books, brochures can be printed at home, as needed. You can print your own business cards in a pinch.
Sometimes you can find some neat things online, too, which can be useful in spreading your name and title around. Plus these can be kind of fun.
How about a crossword puzzle using words from your book and book titles? Or make a simple, easy slideshow using photos related to your book? If you have a video camera and the program to do it, make a book video to put on YouTube.
Another idea using your book cover - make a puzzle from your photo.
Or - hey! - write about your hobby or something you enjoy as a promotional link. (I wrote about my miniatures and the work of others in my book In Miniature Style II. And you can check out my miniatures on my website, too!) The fun part is at shows or signings, I usually bring along a display of miniature items made from the book's patterns.
Some of these ideas, of course, aren't new to most writers, some may be. There are probably other ideas that I haven't found yet, so feel free to share.
Have fun promoting!
* What are your favorite promotional items? What do you like to use in promoting your book/s? Have any unique promotional displays?