With Conference season upon us, it’s on every author’s mind:
What are the best promotional items to grab readers’ attention and get my book noticed out of all the thousands out there?
I’ve seen more than one blog post and Facebook conversation on this subject, and I’m expecting a tsunami of paper items for the Goodies Room at M&M12.And then at the end of the conference, I expect to throw away quite a bit of it.Now before you get too upset (and I don’t blame you – lots of money was spent on those items), let’s think about it: What do you still have from last year’s conferences?
- Are those glossy postcards still in your bag, or did you pitch them when you got home and unpacked? (I confess, I pitched ’em.)
- Do you use the conference bags for groceries, book clubs, beach toys (like I do) …?
- Do you plan to build a scrapbook album to mount all the romance hero trading cards? (Maybe to build a big reader prize…)
Here are some ‘Duh!’ essentials, and some out-of-the-box ideas to consider to get you noticed:
Business Cards are essential. Go to your conferences prepared to give out a box of 500. On them, make sure your contact information is primary, along with your book info. A good way to reconnect face and name to a book the following week when your requested submission appears in Dream Agent’s inbox is to put your photo on your card.
Bookmarks – treat these like oversized business cards. Even in the digital publishing/ ereader age, books are still here to stay. There is no other product besides pen and paper that identifies the writing industry… unless you’re a multi millionaire prepared to hand out hundreds of ereaders.
QR Codes on your business card that links directly to your book’s page on Amazon, your blog (with links to Amazon), or your site is another easy and effective thing to put on your cards and bookmarks.
Your book, your writing, your story is your selling product. If you’re self-published, or if your contract allows you to do so, consider a Smashwords code printed on your bookmark that gives a free prequel to your story, a free vignette, or free excerpt. Entice your reader to want to buy your book by offering up some backstory or side stories, anything that will make them want to buy your book.
Another way – a bit pricier here – is to offer a loaded USB thumbdrive of your stories.
Why offer your book for free? Because my friend, exposure = reviews. The more your book is out there being discussed, the more online buzz is created for you. Be generous. It creates sales.
This isn’t a giveaway item, but an effective idea is to buy a skin for your laptop or phone that has your bookcover on it. Think about it – you’re probably carrying those two things around everywhere. An excellent cover next to your face when the phone rings in the waiting room…? Instant conversation starter.
So… what ideas can you come up with in this Digital Age of All Things Are Possible? Spill! We can make a great conversation here and on Twitter, hashtag #promoMM12.