A writer’s second job Back to Blog

I didn’t write yesterday. (Gah! I hate admitting this!)  I had to finish up some promo work for IMMORTAL DANGER.  Yesterday, in her interview, Elisabeth talked about how promo work can be such a big part of a writer’s life. So very true.

With each book that I release, I experiment a bit with my promotional methods. Different ads, different mailings, etc. This time my new item is my poster. I’ll be sending IMMORTAL DANGER posters to the 700 Bookstores that Care (through RT).  For my last release, I shipped out bookmarks to these stores. So, yep, this is my experiment this time.

Since I”m also planning to attend the big RT convention in Apri, I’ll be creating other promo items–T-shirts, buttons…maybe a few surprises for the event.  I’ll give some of those items away here soon. So keep watching! The catch phrases that kept coming up as I think about my t-shirts and buttons?  “Dragons are hot.” Or… “Vampires love dragons.” (With a fun fang, heart, and dragon tail design.)

Michelle had an interesting post over at Magical Musings yesterday.  She was talking about out-of-the-box marketing.  Her post was really timely for me. (Thanks, Michelle!)

So I’m wondering…what is the best book promo item that you’ve ever seen?

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15 responses to “A writer’s second job”

  1. Ashley says:

    Your t-shirt and button idea sounds great! I especially like the “Vampires love dragons” with the cute image you described.

    The book promo item I use the most (beside bookmarks, of course) is a drink hugger that says “Read a Book, Ride a Cowboy”. It’s my favorite hugger! I get a lot of interesting looks when I use it at parties.

  2. Edie says:

    Good ideas for your dragon book promos. And I want Ashley’s “Read a Book, Ride a Cowboy” drink hugger!

    Over a year ago, Jody Wallace sent me a magnet with a Mean Kitty picture that says “Get me some food, Dude!” I love it and show it to just about everyone who comes in my kitchen. It has the Mean Kitty blog url on the bottom.

    As you can see, I like humorous promo items.

  3. Lea says:

    Elisabeth’s “treasure” contest has been a blast and many of my blogger/reader friends have been joining in on that.

    I think your contest for “Midnight Sins”, was awesome too Cynthia!


  4. LaDonna says:

    I want the drink hugger too! I could take it out on the boat, wrapped around a long-neck bottle! :smile:

    I enjoyed Michelle’s blog too, Cindy. And I haven’t been thinking about promo much lately, but know it’ll come up again, and I’ll be coming back for more info!

  5. Liz Kreger says:

    Love the t-shirt idea, Cyn. Also like the way you try something a little different with each book. Good way to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Personally, I’m a button sorta girl. Love ’em.

  6. Brandy says:

    Book reviews on several sites, um, bookmarks, contests, that sort of thing seems to work well. I’m not a writer, so don’t feel qualified to answer this question very well. *G*

  7. Karin says:

    As a reader, I don’t know that I’ve ever paid all that much attention to promotional items for books. A lot of the new authors I’m exposed to come about through recommendations from family and, in the past year, blogs, reviews, and contests. However, I like the idea of posters and trying something different with each books sounds like a good way of finding out what works.

  8. Michelle says:

    Thanks for the shout out, Cindy :) .A book trailer will definitely be in my future when I sell. But living in Australia, I think I’ll have to think really out-of-the-box for my promo. That’s why I’m strating the thinking process now :) .

  9. Allison says:

    Promo items that work for me would be things that I actually use. So often I look around for a piece of scrap, anything to use as a bookmark. I hate to bend the corner of pages in my books 😉 A neat way to present a bookmark is to have eg. the back cover edge tabbed and folded inside at the outer edge, and that section tears off into a bookmark… does that make sense? And, as already mentioned as well, magnets too, but presented in a really creative/humourous way so that it is seen/read as more than a promo for a book, though that is still it’s main purpose.

  10. Barb Patrick says:

    Hi Cynthia!! I’ve seen some authors make up trading cards that have pictures and info about some of the characters from the book. They are kind of fun and they also make pretty good book marks. Patrice Michelle, and I also think Shilo Walker has had these They are also easy to autograph and send out to people. Have a good one!

  11. Cynthia Eden says:

    Ashley, you know I love that drink hugger!

    Hi, Edie! Oh, Jody’s magnet sounds so cute. Love it!

    Hey, Lea! I really liked Elisabeth’s contest, too. That was a fun one! (And thanks for the compliment on my contest.)

    LOL, LaDonna, I could see you with that hugger!

    Liz, I love buttons, too! I like to use purebuttons.com–you can get 100 buttons for like 20 dollars. That’s the best price I found so far. I’ll probably do buttons for RT (with one of my little dragon phrases). And I’ll wear one myself–the whole time–for more promo. :-)

    Ah, Brandy, but you are a reader and that makes you more than qualified! Actually, I think it makes you the most qualified because you can actually tell us what attracts readers. You’ve got great insight!

    Karin, I do like to experiment! I get a lot of my own reads from recommendations and blogs, too–seems like word of mouth (or word of Internet) is a great way to find new stories.

    Michelle, are you going to the big romance convention in Australia? I’ve been hearing a lot about that event on the loops.

    Allison–thanks for the suggestions! Useful, but clever–I’ll remember that!

    Hi, Barb! Oh, trading cards sound like fun! Thanks for mentioning those! Have a great weekend!

  12. Fedora says:

    Hi, Cynthia! Just a reader, but my favorite promo items will still be bookmarks :) ALWAYS useful and I pass them on sometimes in the books I lend/give away. In general, I prefer the items that are useful, so thumbs up to pens, sticky notes (love these, and when I use them, other eyes see them too), tote bags (to haul all my books around!), magnets, notepads… I’m less fond of buttons, because I don’t really collect them. And I have to agree with Brandy, that when an author does a blog tour, that tends to stick their titles in my brain and I go looking for them. (I know, it’s a little sad how susceptible I am!) 😉 Best wishes with the promo, and woohoo on RT! (I like the slogans! Dragons are hot!)

  13. Jess Granger says:

    Hey Cynthia,

    I’m a big fan of notepads. I love notepads. Other than that, I don’t pay too much attention to promo items, unfortunately. Though nice magnets would be fun too.

    I’m trying to decide what is going to be most cost effective for me as well. Promo is HARD! I’m currently obsessing over my bookmark, and whether or not to do short excerpt cards.


  14. azteclady says:

    *slinking in late to the party*

    This is a topic that interests me a lot as a reader. Long ago I read a post at emily veinglory’s erecsite that pondered how often writers, either upon selling their first book or joining a writers’ organization, are encouraged to spend untold hours and way too much money on promotion.

    Like Karin, I can’t say that any one promo item has moved me to try an author or read a book–I prefer to read reviews by people whose tastes I know and to an extent share.

    However, name recognition does play a part when browsing–either brick and mortar, or virtual bookstores. I would say that for me bookmarks would seem the most efficient way to achieve it–they are ubiquitous and useful for readers, who are after all your target market.

    Now, if you ask what I like to get… post it pads.

  15. Michelle says:

    I’m not sure, Cindy. I don’t think so, at this stage, as my husband is away a lot on business and I don’t have any family I can leave the kids with for that time. Maybe next year :) .