For many of us, the Internet is where we do most of our marketing. We need websites, blogs, social sites, etc. However, we can’t totally forget the real world and the opportunities there to promote.
There are thousands of ways to market and a long list of promotional items to assist those efforts. Two things are essential though.
Business cards – As an author, you are now an expert and a professional. Cards are essential for any business owner. There are sites that offer free cards, but since your business card is a reflection of you, don’t go cheap. A business card should contain your name, your professional title, contact email and/or phone number, and website. Never put a physical home address on the card—P.O. Boxes or business addresses only. You can include your book cover, but every time you write a new book, you’ll need new cards. A logo, slogan, or basic design is a better choice.
Even if you aren’t a published author, a business card still benefits a writer. Instead of “author,’ you are a “writer” or “professional writer.” Hand out your card at conferences and conventions. Use it as a networking tool at every opportunity. With a business card, you will look and feel more professional.
Bookmarks – The most practical promotional item is a bookmark, because it serves a purpose. Even with the e-book explosion, most people still own physical books. A high-quality, two-sided color bookmark will get the most mileage. Your bookmark should feature the book’s cover art, synopsis, ISBN, price, reviews/blurbs, author bio, your website, and publisher information. Compact everything and keep it short. There’s only so much room on a bookmark and you want the text to be legible.
Most people won’t remember your name, let alone your book’s title, five minutes after they meet you. Don’t let them forget by handing out bookmarks. You can also leave them for patrons at libraries and schools or at the doctor’s office. Get creative and have fun!
Does everyone have a business card? Authors, do you have bookmarks? And do you actually take those items with you when you venture out into the world?