Promotional bookmarks are the equivalent of business cards for writers. Sure, you can still have a business card made from really cool paper stock, but bookmarks are the true mark of a writer, because they’re intended to be put in books and that’s what you do, you write books. But do they really work? And if they do, what sort of information should you put on them? In this day and age, how will readers use your bookmark to mark their page on the Kindle? Can they tape it to the screen?
These are all relevant questions, but not really your concern. What readers do with your bookmark after they get it from you is out of your hands. Sure, you might stumble on a trashcan outside a writers conference brimming with your discarded bookmarks, but don’t be deterred. It’s going to happen. Really, it’s only your job to put great content on your bookmark and get it in the hands of as many people as possible.
But again, what should you put on your promotional bookmark? I included a preview of what my promotional bookmark for The Exiles of the New World (designed by the impossibly talented Lizelle Din) will look like as an example. You definitely want to have something to draw the viewer in, whether it be part of your book cover or some other form of illustration. If you’ve had any positive reviews from notable literary figures/reviewers, you can also include them on the front to assure people that you didn’t print this book off in your garage after watching a spirited marathon of Castle.
I also wouldn’t recommend muddling up either side with a lot of copy. Keep it simple and always make sure your contact info is visible and easy to locate. This may mean trimming down your web address as much as possible and removing /blogspots or /wordpress/kittenlovers for a condensed and accessible address. No one wants to type out a novella length website to get to your book. Make it as easy as possible for them to find your product. Attention spans on the internet or otherwise are fleeting, so don’t chance it.
All in all bookmarks are an affordable alternative for marketing your book that really has no downside to trying it out. It won’t break your entire marketing budget if it doesn’t pan out. It exists as a more reasonable and economical promotional tool than services like AuthorBuzz, which might have you busking in the park for funds.
-Do Promotional Bookmarks Work For Authors? (Author Promo)
– What Types of Promo Work For E-books? (JA Konrath)
– How To Promote You And Your Book (Guide To Literary Agents)
– 5 Things Authors Should Know About Promotional Items (Stephanie Dray)