Reeling in Readers (Or Is Your Bookmark Working For You?)
I’ll do a couple giveaways on my blog, promoting the book when it first comes out. And I’ll send a few as gifts, depending on the occasion (Happy Birthday/Father’s Day/Anniversary!) But as for book signings, it’s difficult to talk my way into a major chain, which is the only bookstore option we have left in my area.
One must get creative in finding book-selling venues, so I was pretty excited when (divine) inspiration struck. After I came across a flyer for our church’s fall festival, it was just a matter of convincing the festival coordinator into giving me a booth.
Next, I turned to my friends in the anthology-writing business, asking for book-selling suggestions. And goodness, they had so many wonderful suggestions! When I read, “get bookmarks” over and over and over again, I got the message.
I needed a bookmark. But first, I had to decide what I wanted my bookmark to do. I was paying that little rectangular piece of cardstock to work for me, and I wanted to make sure it got the job done.
I also knew in another month, I’d be getting another box of anthology books (from a different publisher). And to be honest, I have quite a few boxes of books in my office storage unit (also known as “under the bed.”)
So I needed something that would promote me, as well as work for any book. Something like a business card, but also a functioning bookmark.
I could make my own bookmarks, I thought, designing a specific card for each specific book. That seemed like a lot of work—and dang, writing’s hard enough without throwing in arts and crafts. But still, I was on to something. I could design a “fill in the blank” bookmark! I needed more space for that information, so I switched to a postcard. When I finished the design, I’d included the following information:
· My professional byline and a writing tag line (I use a fishing theme on my blog and I incorporated this theme into the card and its graphics)
· “A Latest Release” fill-in-the-blank line
· My photo and website address/contact info
Obviously, I want to sell books at this event. But I also want to hook readers, readers who’ll drop in to my blog and follow me on my publishing adventures. Because I know there’s a swell chance that those readers will buy whatever book I’m lucky enough to reel in next!
(And P.S. If you have any suggestions for book-signings or bookmarks, I'd love to hear 'em!)
~Cathy C. Hall