I haven’t posted in several days but I have been busy with new things.
Busy [biz-ee] adjective, bus·i·er, bus·i·est, verb, bus·ied, bus·y·ing.
- actively and attentively engaged in work or a pastime: busy with her work.
- not at leisure; otherwise engaged: He couldn’t see any visitors because he was busy.
- full of or characterized by activity: a busy life.
- (of a telephone line) in use by a party or parties and not immediately accessible.
- officious; meddlesome; prying.
Before 1000; Middle English busi, bisi, Old English bysig, bisig; cognate with Middle Low German, Middle Dutch besich, Dutch bezig
I got to thinking the other day, that since promoting my books takes up so much of my creative time, I’d devote one day a week solely to that task. Wednesday seemed logical. In a discussion with an author friend this morning, I realized once again that our small group is blessed with the tireless, generous input of Missy and Michele. Between these two ladies just about every aspect of promotion is covered. It seems like creative new ways pop up all the time.
Not too long ago I was invited to join a marketing group for writers that’s been around a while. (How I got there is a tale for another time) There are 948 people populating that group and in the past few days I’ve learned some interesting tips on marketing, several of which I’ve passed on to others.
The topic of bookmarks arose. Now I’ve heard conflicting things about bookmarks. Some people like them, others don’t. Recall early on in this blog my mentioning how I went to a conference and had an author all to myself. (does that really sound the way I think it does?) Anyway, he recommended bookmarks as the single best inexpensive marketing tool. Having studied this every way from Sunday in the past few months, I’m still not sure that’s the case. The first reason – I recycle every bit of paper that comes my way. If I buy a book and the store’s bag is filled with ads for this or that, I recycle them, most times I don’t even look at them unless it’s to determine if they’re glossy or can be recycled with office paper. I also dog ear books when I read. And with a family of dog ear readers, I know I’m not alone. But that could very well be a case of nature vs. nurture there.
I made a proto-bookmark some months ago but never used it. I just got busy with other things. (there’s that word again) At the time I shopped around and the cheapest I came up with was 55 for $27.50 or about 5¢ each. Not bad. Still, going by my own personal bias, I wasn’t sure this was the way to go.
Then Vistaprint entered my life. I’ve mentioned it before and by now you’d think the company would start paying ME for promoting them. The company regularly dangles their carrot on a stick in front of me. Try as I might to ignore making something else, I’m a person who really likes to create pretty things. What’s more, I’m a pushover for a deal. I’ve shown the various things I’ve made in earlier blog posts and I’ve used them too – as giveaways, contest prizes, etc. In fact, I’m sending a bunch of different things to a conference coming up in the near future and to another after that. I also plan on attending the big Romantic Times Conference in Chicago next year and will bring a load of goodies with me.
So after getting Vistaprint’s email sale flier, I see an offer for oversized post cards. I have two yet-to-be-used stacks of bookcover postcards that I’ll sign and hand out to readers who’d like them when I attend any conferences in the foreseeable future. But since covers are covered – no pun intended, I don’t need oversized post cards. Then that light bulb went off over my head. What if I used oversized post card dimensions and used my Microsoft publisher program to make side by side bookmarks? I could then upload it as an image to Vistaprint. All I’d need to do is leave myself enough space to make one cut to separate them. Voila bookmarks! 🙂
Here’s the end product —
So my oversized post card offer was free and it happened to coincide with an image upload offer of $2.99 for new uploads. So far, the bookmarks have cost me $2.99 plus shipping at $4.49. That’s less that a penny a piece. They’ve arrived and they look terrific, much clearer than my above image implies. I cut them carefully down the center (I designed them tight on purpose to limit trimming later) and I now have 50 of each. That was fun! 🙂
Back to my Wednesday promo day…
I dug through several emails I’d been saving that had assorted promo opportunities. I have lots more to go. It came to me it might behoove me to actually take care of these as they come in rather than save them to do later. I discovered I let two nice opportunities slip by by waiting too long. Busy busy.
I entered the What’s on My Desk Wednesday photo op over at AlternativeRead.com
I entered my book trailers in two separate contests
I posted my Hermes Online Trailer at — http://www.previewthebook.com/book.php?id=3246 and a moment ago I see my simple little video is in forth place in the top watched previews today. Wow!
I entered the October Starving Author spot over at TwoLips Reviews. Talk about a bang for the buck. A full month of *air time* for $10. The month of August looks great so I know my slot will too.
And I entered two separate cover contests with Jinger Heaston’s fabulous interpretation of Dreamscape.
I sent out two more review requests on top of all that and next week I’ll do some more.
I’ve mentioned before that I regularly post to the various readers groups populating yahoo. All told there are a few thousand members when you add them up. Every time I got one back, it was filled with garbage like small black diamonds with a white question mark inside or strange algebra-like symbols replacing ( ‘ ) and ( – ) . Imagine how frustrating it is to write they’re and get theyӬre. Every time!! There’s some kind of communication breakdown between MSWord and Yahoo. I have no idea how to fix it. So the other day I spent a good two hours rewriting every promotional excerpt and teaser I’d crafted in Word into the post box on my author’s group’s yahoo site. Over and over I’d state in the subject line Testing my posts – please ignore so as not to be a total pain in the butt flooding everyone’s inbox with my junk mail. I trimmed them down and they now sit in my drafts folder for quick posting. I’ve yet to use them. Like I said …busy busy.