Monday, 17 June 2013

How to Make Printed Marketing Materials Work for You

by JD Smith

Part of being an author is exploiting the opportunities to hand-sell and give out promotional materials to help sell your book. Here are a few things you might want to consider when thinking about ordering your printed marketing materials:

What printed materials are there available?

Bookmarks – these are great for including as a special extra when signing printed copies of your book, or giving out to reading groups who may be reading your novel. You might want to consider having them laminated for a longer life.

Postcards/flyers – does anyone really send postcards? Probably not, so you might want to think about a flyer. The advantage over bookmarks is that you can get more information on the back of a flyer. A6 (1/4 of A4) is a great size.

Posters – these are particularly suitable when having a signing or launch party to post up around the event venue either on the day or beforehand with dates of your signing on.



What should I include?

Above is an example a postcard I designed recently for my book, Tristan and Iseult. On one side I included the cover, and on the reverse I added the blurb, the Triskele Books logo, (you could add your publisher logo, be it a small publisher or your own imprint), both my author web address and that of Triskele Books, and QR Codes so that Smartphone users can zap the code with their phone and be taken directly to the Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk sales page to download an e-copy. This is a fantastic way to promote ebook sales at live events.

On the bookmark below, our Triskele Books collective joined forces to create a single bookmark we could all hand out to cross-promote our books. Not only does this mean that each bookmark given out promotes ALL the books, we also saved on print costs by bulk-printing a job lot and splitting them equally between the authors. We included our logo and strapline on one side, then on the reverse a small thumbnail of each cover, together with the Triskele Books web address.



What about the cost?

It’s worth noting that if you’re looking for something simply to ‘give away’, flyers could be your better option. You can get more information on them, you can fit your whole book cover on one side, and as an added bonus here in the UK flyers that do not have a promotion or giveaway on (i.e. enter this code at the checkout to receive 20% off) are not subject to 20% VAT (tax). Bookmarks are considered an item with longevity and are therefore subject to VAT, as are posters.

It’s always worth asking your designer for a print price. As a graphic designer I am constantly searching for the best print prices, and have a working knowledge of how reliable certain printers are.


JD Smith (Jane) lives and works in the English Lake District. Having worked as a graphic designer for over 12 years, her passion for books and everything literary took over and she now works predominantly on book cover design and typesetting. She is the editor of the writing magazine Words with JAM, and the author of historical fiction.

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