Blogging about promotional material is a bit theoretical for me. Like JL Wilson, I am just starting out in the publication world. I will be making these choices for real in a matter of weeks. Here are my thoughts on the matter.
Name recognition is key. Let’s face it, when you’re standing there in a store (or library) and you’re looking for something good to read, don’t you check your favorite authors first? I know I do. So, how do we newbies break through the name barrier? One thing that helps is contest wins. I like to see “Award winning author” on covers – that usually means that people who rate stories have thought highly of the author. After that, I usually look to see if there’s a cover review by someone that’s a name person. And having an intriguing cover helps.
Going back to the name recognition theme, although my book will be coming out in 2007, I have been actively marketing my name by volunteering in writer groups for a good many years. I’ve helped out at RWA Nationals, and I edited a large RWA chapter newsletter for 2 years. That newsletter went out electronically, which put my name in all 200 members Inbox every month. I’ve recently taken a board level position at my new writing group, First Coast Romance Writers, as program chair, and I’m the Member News columnist for the Southeast Mystery Writers. Hopefully, my newspaper columnist job and my magazine job will also help with name recognition.
As for bookmarks and other whatnots, they are interesting, and they are something to put in a person’s hand but I’ve personally never bought a book because of a bookmark. However, I will probably print them up because I view them as a business card of sorts. And it is nice to be able to “hand” people something if they aren’t prepared to buy your book on the spot.
I think having a mailing list/newsletter helps, but I would never deluge folks with info – I know I hate that. As for the big posters in advertising displays, I think that just depends. If you have a good marketing hook, that will draw people to the display. But will they pick up the book and buy it? It’s hard to say.
At most writing conferences, I go through my bag of freebies. I glance at most of the bookmarks and fliers, and they get instantly recycled. The books – well I flip through them, maybe read a random page or two, and if I’m not hooked, they get recycled too. Pens I keep, but that’s because I LOVE pens. So you can probably count on me using pens to promo my work.
And keeping a current website – that matters. There’s nothing that today’s cyber shopper likes better than to cruise through a site. I’m counting on the website to interest people in my writing, and to keep them coming back.
Until next Monday, Maggie
Coming soon: House of Lies