When I first started down the writing road, I didn’t realize–or I didn’t give thought to–the promotion necessary to not only launch a new book but to keep sales going (and climbing.) It’s extraordinarily expensive, both in time and financial investment by the author. And the worst part? The author never really knows what worked and what didn’t.
So my book, Texas Two Step, comes out in print in four months. When Texas Two Step was first published by Samhain in digital format. I had jar openers, magnets and romance trading cards as promo items. I didn’t bother with bookmarks because, you know, digital! Hard to use a paper marker. But now? It’s print and I’m re-thinking what I need for my print promo.
Bookmarks? Not horribly expensive but I think of all the ones I’ve personally thrown away over the years. It’s rare that I keep them. On the other hand, I know of one person who get them autographed and keeps them. Another friend told me she keeps a slew of them in a jar by her bedside so she always has one handy. And an author friend told me that at her last booksigning, her books didn’t arrive (gulp!) and all she had were her bookmarks to sign for fans. So do you use bookmarkers? If you are an author, do you make new ones for each book?
Ink Pens – I have ink pens by the ton load at my house and many of them are from authors. In fact, my favorite pen (and the one I have to keep hidden from my husband in my purse to keep him from taking it) is from Delilah Devlin. Always writes. Clickable. Comfortable grip. I also have pens from authors I’ve never read, never heard of, and probably wouldn’t buy a book by just because I have a pen with a name on it. What about you? Pen collector? Clickable or cap? Does the ink color matter at all?
Other promo items I’ve collected from authors include emery boards, wine glass rings, key chains, rulers, sticky note pads, drink coasters, and one first aid kit.
If I were looking for a new, fresh idea for a promo product, one that wouldn’t break my financial back, what would you suggest?