Your awesome bookmarks
This cracked me up! I invite you to read about Stephanie Tyler’s new promo guy passing her bookmarks out during his commute. I was laughing out loud.
But the story brings up the importance of having a sort of calling card. For authors, the bookmark is actually better than the business card when meeting fans. It makes sense that you would hand out a bookmark rather than a business card for a few reasons: 1) you don’t really want to hand out your personal information to random strangers, but you do want them to read your book. Also, 2) since you are likely reprinting your bookmarks with each book or series, they are promoting your current book, which is presumably where you want to direct your sales efforts. And yes, your spouse/parent/child/dogwalker can hand them out, too. They can’t easily carry your business cards.
I wrote an article once (a long long long time ago) attesting to the importance of your business card as the number one piece of promo you had. This was back when Clinton was President and websites weren’t yet as important as they are now. Certainly websites should be your main spot of promo resources right now. But when you actually meet someone, and they shake your hand, it is key to leave something in that hand. When you are at a booksigning, you hand your book (and hopefully get your reader to review it). But when you are just meeting someone at a party, or at preschool drop-off, or in the case of Stephanie’s husband: on the train commuting, a bookmark cements what was established: you write books and they were interested enough to inquire. Now they have something lovely and not cheap-feeling to remind them that they were interested. Hopefully then they will act upon that and go to your website where your order links are prominently displayed… Unless…
Unless your order links are not prominently displayed (in which case you need a new web designer). Or unless your bookmarks are cheap-looking and cheap-feeling. In these cases I can’t say how your bookmark will work. Probably not so well. Maybe even negatively. But that is fodder for a different post.