Looking for a low-tech, low-cost way to spread the word about your self-published book? One of the tried-and-true methods we've seen is to leave behind custom bookmarks decorated with an ad promoting your book. Many authors selling their books will leave behind a bookmark, both as a courtesy gift for the reader and as a promotional tool.
One of the great things about bookmarks is readers find them useful and appreciate receiving them. They're perfectly-aimed toward the kind of people who would potentially purchase your book! Naturally, they're most useful if you have a print book you can put them in. However, even if you only work in digital media, you can still use bookmarks in lieu of business cards. Since they serve a practical purpose to readers, they may be more likely to keep the bookmark, instead of throwing it away.
To make an effective bookmark, you need good-quality paper that will hold up for a reasonably long time. Using cheap paper might cost less, but if your bookmark is so flimsy that the reader ends up tossing it, you'll just be wasting your money. Make sure the bookmark includes a nice, well-composed picture of your book's cover. If you want to promote a series, consider choosing the cover of either the first or most recent book. Don't try to cram them all on one piece of paper; you'll just end up with an overly-busy mess. Keep the text succinct and easy-to-read, and provide your author website somewhere unobtrusive. There's no one right way to make a good bookmark. These are just general guidelines to help you come up with an effective design that will garner a reader's interest.
This article by Karen Myers on selfpublishingadvice.org explains in further detail how to make the most of bookmarks as a promotional tool. It's well-worth your time to check it out!
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