The “Gift-mark” is a great little promotional tool that can be used several ways. It’s a little instrument that can sing your song! The gift-mark is durable, creative and different from the predictable types of bookmarks that are commonly used. Let me tell you how versatile useful they are.
Let me tell you a few ways they can be used!
1. As a bookmark
2. As a business card; these stand out more!
3. As an event ticket
4. As a invitation
5. As a party favor
6. As a thank you note
7. As a gift tag
8. As a keepsake
9. As a souvenir
10. It can fit into a note card
11. As a gift
12. As a reminder
13. As a media/press kit insert into you package
14. You can autograph them
15. You can mail them across the world and places you can’t get to
16. As a coupon
17. LTD Edition
18. Make it collectable
19. Post reviews here for a very special gift~”Review mark”
20. Your “private” members only fan club
21. Special invites for joining conversation or tour stops
22. Place them in a book for someone to find and explore
23. Give each character their own
24. Contest prize
25. As a call to action
26. Your tour schedule
27. As a “tip” mark
28. Have a poem printed
29. As a recipe card
30. An excerpt or synopsis
31. As a blog tour gift
32. As a holiday greeting
33. As a place holder at an event
34. As a journal mark
35. Share a favorite quote or a killer line from your story
36. As a audio book insert
37. Scan into computer and use in emails
38. As an incentive
39. Publishers to showcase all your authors
40. Anthology one for each who contributed
41. Literary service provider calling/business card
42. Book clubs pass these out at events you attend and let authors know you review
43. Send them where you can’t be~ Goody bags
44. Introduce your future releases
45. Past works in chronological order
46. Table display
47. You can sell them
48. A birthday greeting
49. Event souvenirs
50. Share your favorite quote
Making the most out of your book signings
What is going to make you stand out at a book festival or book event, when everybody is also selling books too?
Creating a table display… Sounds simple right, throw a few books on a table and sit there and you’ll sell out in an hour right?
You are so wrong.
In addition to creating reading accessories for authors, I also create themes and display ideas for them. Creating an eye catching display and layout will do half the work, of trying to get people to your table or booth. When I do book events, I try to have a theme, or find out what the event theme is so everything pulls together.
The object of the game is to draw people in, made you look! If you are a romance author, bring some romance with you and create some ambiance!
Have a suitcase filled with props and tools to make your signing, table or booth extraordinary. Create layout and a theme and all the props you need to create an intimate setting. Is your book romance or erotica? Create a scene from you book. Add rose petals and wineglasses etc.
Create an audio or a podcast recording of you reading the scene your showing. If it’s a part with a male, get a guy with a deep sexy voice to read the scene with you. Add a sound track of music that also helps tell the story. They will hear and feel the passion in your voice and the in the music. The music will set the tone and era of your book.
Add a commercial to your soundtracks, inviting them to your sites and social networks. Have a DVD player, or laptop playing your trailer, soundtrack, and commercial. Take extra batteries, buying electricity is expensive at festivals. This very same recording if done well can be used on your web, as radio commercials, and on your social sites. Do one with only audio and one with audio and trailer. It also makes a wonderful, inexpensive gift with purchase item.
Investing in a banner and a table cloth with you name on it, is a wise investment. Using your name or company will carry your BRAND through your writing career. Use bright colors, it draws the eyes to you and attracts people. Keep in mind you color choices because they will be used over and over. Also if you have several books keep your name and brand as the banner and tablecloth focus not current book. Have posters created for your books.
Once you get their attention make your pitch, #1 SMILE!!! Greet people
Put the book in their hands!!! I have seen many authors do this and they sell more than those who just point to them or hold it themselves Keep your sales pitch to 2 to 3 minutes at best, because that’s most peoples attention span, especially if you are at a book festival . Bookmark a scene you know will capture their attention.
Don’t sit or stand behind the table, get out there and mingle. If you are shy, the props and setups will draw people to you.
They also can start conversions, about your book. Get a street team Bring a street team to be your cheerleaders, they will help pass out fliers and manage the crowds. Don’t talk to them all day… talk to your guests.
Show enthusiasm I want you to be as happy to see me as I am to see you and my $$$. Atmosphere and attitude is everything.
Wear a TEE-SHIRT with your book title, name and site information
Share with another author team up Erotica, passion party, a cook book, lingerie or a companion product. Share the crowd and the costs. Caution children will be around do not be explicit, you can also offend people, be classy.
Take those extra book covers you have and turn them into booklets with excerpts and contact info and an order sheet.
Have them sign a guest book. This builds your mailing list. Send a Thank You Note, after the event for coming, and what’s coming up from you; add a ½ mark and a book plate. Make notes next to their name so you remember them. EX.. Book club, reader, etc. Run a monthly contest, this is another way of collecting information, and staying in contact after the event. Giveaways are also a great way to encourage readers to stay in contact. Visit other booths and book signings to see what they do take notes, listen to what the fans are saying.
Just perfecting these tips will save you time and money, I have what I call a go box that is ready to go when I am with all the display materials need to set up wherever I am. When you get home re-stock so you’re ready to go at the drop of a hat. Remember to be able to display vertically and horizontally.
Trust me, I started my business to support my book habit, I am first and foremost a bookaholic, and as a fan I know what WE like.
Simply Said Reading Accessories
Are you still excited about your book? If your not why should I be?
Authors don’t get lazy. The same thing you did to create the initial buzz about your book, you need to continue, to keep the fire burning.
If you’re burnt out don’t let your fans or future readers see it. I want you as happy as I am to see me as I am happy to see you.
You are our celebrites
It works like a marriage, are you willing to put in the effort that it takes to make it work? What if divorce or no more sales were not an option, just a consequence?
Reaction brings action.
Surely you must realize that the effort you put in is what you’ll get back.
Step back and focus,
Re-group, re-think and find the energy to keep it going.
Figure out what’s good about what your doing and what’s not working. It’s easier to maintain a buzz than to create one.
The hungry mouth gets fed, how hungry are you?
Learn how to fish you’ll eat for life.
Just my 2 cents,
As some of my followers and readers of this blog know, I do several book festivals, conferences, signings, events etc a year. I am at these events selling and promoting my line of handmade bookmarks and book thongs. I am also there to connect with others who are authors, readers, and industry professionals, like myself. I love doing book events of all types because I am also an avid reader and huge fan of the people I feel blessed to meet. There have been some really great events and some really bad ones. Some I made money at, some I didn’t and some where I barely broke even. In doing so many book events I’ve learned which ones to do and which not to. I’ve also learned how to measure the actual advantages of doing certain one’s that cost a grip and I did not sell a thing.
We would all love to sell out of all of our merchandise at these events. The question is how to make the most of any event? I hear a lot of comments and people speak freely around me because I am not an author, but little do they know I coach authors on how to make themselves stand out in a sea of authors. The very things they are bitching and moaning about are the very things that I tell authors not to do. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
I recently did a book club conference that had at least 650 attendees. There were many major authors in attendance and readers galore. There were also many self published authors and other venders selling their wares. I had an awesome time. The readers were there ready to buy books and spend money. Several of the readers told me they save all year for this particular conference. I attended this event last year, as a reader and I knew I would be there this year.
It really pained me to over hear negative comments from people who did not feel they were doing as well as they could have, for a laundry list of reasons. Some were valid and some was whining. As I listened, the question then became, what are you NOT doing to make this work for you? Instead of complaining, how do YOU turn this around to your advantage?
To me the obvious first thing was stop wasting your time and energy complaining. You are letting hundreds of people pass you and you’re sitting behind your table moaning and groaning. Look at the glass as half full and figure out how to fill it.
One of the first things I would tell you to do is SMILE. It’s free and welcoming. If you’re pouting and complaining, no one wants to be around you. The readers are your customers. They don’t need to know you’re unhappy. They did not pay to come to this event to see you sulk. They don’t need to know all the politics of what’s going on behind the scenes. They want you to tell them about your book. Smile even if you’re not happy.
The next thing is plan. What is your objective in doing this event? Did you plan on what you want to gain from this experience besides sales?
Why aren’t you getting sales? Are you sitting behind the table waiting for the readers to come to you, or are you standing in front of your table, with your book in hand introducing yourself to the people passing by?
Did you dress you table up? Or do you just have your books on a table, with nothing to grab the attention of passerby’s.
Are you collecting the email addresses for contact later, when the competition is not so steep?
What did you offer in the way of promotional tools and as giveaways, that they will take home and check you out later?
Even if you were not a featured author, did it stop you from coming? Why did you come?
Trust me I have felt the same after leaving some of these events at first, and I have bitched and moaned too. But I learned how to turn it around. I figured out what to do before I got there, while I was there and to have plan A B C and D if necessary in place.
There are many things you can do prior to get the ball rolling, simple things that you can do now
Email all of your fans and let them know your going to be at this venue
Offer them a gift for coming
Find a way to dress up your table that is eye and attention getting
Create your brand and use it
Define your mission
Have an agenda
Build relationships with your social networks
Have several plans in place just in case things are not going the way you want them
While your there
Don’t stand behind the table
Get email addresses
Read an excerpt
Create a scene from your book
Where a tee shirt with your book title
Pay attention to what others are doing
Talk to other authors
Pass out promotional materials that stick
These are just a few things that you can do.
Don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do.
The glass is half full what are YOU going to do to fill it up?
Don’t just show up, show out. Work these events like a job, because they are.
Infectious enthusiasm is an amazing draw
These are your “A” game.
A custom GIFT-Mark has a useable lifetime of many years, and thus might be used and viewed many thousands of times. Customized Gift-Marks are an appreciated vehicle for advertising, promotion and marketing. These items are tools to promote your business as a writer.
Established authors who are looking to purchase keepsakes in order to show appreciation for their new and current fan base, Gift-Marks are also perfect. For up and coming authors and poets who are looking to broaden their customer base by distributing their message and contact information in an elegant way, Gift-Marks are the perfect.solution to capture and be kept.
Why give a perceptive reader or business contact something that looks like everyone else’s?
You have readers all over the world, it’s almost impossible to do a signing everywhere your fans are, but you do want to thank them and acknowledge their support. Simply Said Reading Accessories can help you reach all those fans. So send the an Gift-Mark, Book Thong or a Autographed Book Plate !
You can have your picture, book cover and synopsis from your book, just sign and mail along with a “Giftmark” only .44 cents to mail. Is that customer in Alaska worth .44 cent to you? A perfect gift and promotional tool
They also make great gifts to fans, release party favors, intimate signings, Thank you gifts, contest prizes, press and media packets, and A.R.C. inserts.