Sunday, August 17, 2008

Step Up to the Plate

FYI: I'm in the middle of presenting some posts on marketing. Also check out the previous posts.

I had been involved in the publishing industry long enough to know that when I got my first contract it would be imperative for me to contribute my own time, effort, and money toward marketing.

One of the first things I did was have a professional bookmark created for Searching for Spice. I did this in August of 2007. My book didn't release until April of 2008. No, I'm not crazy. I had the release date on the bookmark and started passing them around eight months before Searching for Spice released. If you want to get up close and personal with the bookmark, click on each image to view them larger.

My friend at 100 Proof Design and I worked on the design together, and I also ran it by the folks at Tyndale for their input. The Tyndale marketing people wanted me to put my photo on it, so I had it ghosted in. Apparently having an author photo helps reader connect to the author. Makes sense. I had the bookmark printed at Print Runner, an online company.

I ordered 1,000 bookmarks. They were 2x7 glossy, color both sides, UV coating both sides, printed on 14 pt. paper. Including shipping, they cost me $95.37. I think that's a good price, they were about a dime each.

I always have a handful of bookmarks with me, and pass them out every opportunity I can -- the grocery store, the Post Office, restaurants, the doctor's office, any time I can strike up a conversation with someone.

I have what my daughter calls my pick-up line. Let me give you an example, I was in line at the grocery store the other day when I couldn't resist the impulse to buy one of those recipe magazines at the check-out counter. When I put the magazine down on the counter, the lady in front of me made a comment about how good the sandwich on the front cover looked. Okay, that let me know she wouldn't freak out if I started to talk to her.

So I gave her my pick-up line: "Are you a reader?" She smiled and said yes, which gave me the opportunity to say, "Well, I'm a writer, and I've recently had my first book published. May I give you a bookmark?" When she agreed, I dug it out of my purse and gave her my one-sentence synopsis of what the book's about. Then I also asked if she's a part of a book club or knows someone who is. She says she was, so I give her a few more bookmarks to distribute.

Don't neglect word-of-mouth marketing. Most people are fascinated by writers, and they seem happy to meet an author. Having a bookmark to hand out when I introduce myself serves as a visual aid should they decide to consider buying the book, and having an attractive marketing piece (the bookmark) gives me some credibility.

One more thing, this year Tyndale gave me some Searching for Spice bookmarks to distribute. This new version also mentions Out of Her Hands releasing in October.

Sorry to say, I'm still working on my bookmark for Out of Her Hands. I'll let you see it when it's finalized. In the meanwhile, I'm still using the SFS bookmark that mentions OOHH.

1 comment:

heather said...

Ah, the evangelist.