Take a look at this bookmark, front and back:
Beautiful isn’t it?
Now quick, what did I do wrong?
Yup, that’s right. Nowhere on this bookmark is any of the most relevant information that it should convey, i. e. the title of my book and my name. This bookmark is all about seduction, intrigue. It relies on the fact that those that receive one will be titillated enough by the imagery on the front and the question on the back to go to the website, which is written in tiny letters down at the bottom. For me, this would work.
Here’s the thing, for most people, this is probably a fail. The seduction has to be more blatant…maybe not even seduction at all. This bookmark should SCREAM all of the information I need my audience to know, not whisper it with a come-hither glance. At the very least, my website should be bigger than an ant (or, like five ants marching in a line). Marketing 101: a course I did not take in college. The more I think about it, the more I wonder what I was thinking with this design. I still like them though.
So here we are with the self-promotion again. As Faith Hunter, author of the Rogue Mage Series, reminds us:
“Q. How does a New York publishing company handle a book’s PR?
A. Mostly – they don’t. 99% of all books, even big budget books, get much less promo than you think. When they do, it’s ads on radio or cable (for bestsellers), and in books. Mostly – it’s up to the writer.”*
As an author, marketing and promoting your book will be largely up to you–even if you land a contract with one of the big New York companies. Frequently, marketing decisions will come down to you; unless you hire a pr company to do your promotions for you. I am a self-promotion novice and most of my efforts to promote my work center more around the novel and less around me. I use images from my book cover on a lot of things. With this bookmark, I was sort of tired of seeing the front cover, so I tried to use something from the back. On the surface, it seemed like a good idea. And, I think, the front image would have worked, except that I did not provide enough information on the back to make it all make sense. Well, you live and you learn.
Luckily, I only ordered 500 of these; a fourth of which I handed out this weekend. I can make some changes for the next bunch. Hopefully, by then, I will be able to add something from the second book.
Time to clean my house.