Now, some of you may struggle with the same mentality as I do. I am a mom and a wife. I drive an SUV, wipe dirty butts, clean, cook dinners and fix boo boo's, someone like me shouldn't have business cards and flyers right? Time to give yourself a time out if you think that way too. It's imperative to your success that you shed that thinking. Remember the woman you were before you got married, before kids? Before you were so-and-so's wife, so-and-so's mom, back when you had an actual name? When you said, "Hi, I'm Darian." Not, "Hi, I'm Steve's wife." She's still in there, and she deserves attention and respect and a fair shot at making it. It's time to think of yourself as just you, the author, and believe it. And she needs marketing materials.
When poking around the websites I've listed, remember that several of these do offer all of the materials you will need. However, some have better prices than others, so you might not find the one-stop-shop.
Some people might think it silly for an ‘aspiring writer’ to have or use business cards for marketing purposes, but they’re dead wrong. Business cards, or bookmarks, are handy and an important to have with you at all times when marketing your book. An example for you…At my last annual visit to my OBGYN, they switched record keeping programs and needed to take all my information down again. Feeling somewhat saucy that day, I changed my ‘job’ from homemaker, to writer. As my doctor was sorting through the information to make sure it was correct, upon seeing my ‘writer’ status he started asking me about my book and my blog with genuine interest. This would have been a great time to slip him a business card or bookmark, as his wife is an avid women’s fiction reader…except I didn’t have any. What are the odds that little slip of paper he jotted my info down on ever made it to her? I love you husbands, but odds are it stayed in his pocket and/or ended up floating around in the washer with his pants. You truly never know when you might stumble upon an opportunity, like at your OB visit of all places. Don’t let it slip past you because $30 seems like a waste spending it on business cards. Get some printed, and pass them out like candy.
Business cards should have: your name, url to your website(s) and blog, email and/or other contact information.
- Vista Print is rather cheap, but don’t skimp by using their free products. Vista Print will be printed on the low quality paper. Also, you may want to create a free email account when ordering from them because they will flood your inbox with emails.
- Modern Postcard has high quality business cards, as well as other products. They’re a bit on the pricey side, but from what I’ve heard their products are worth it if you can squeeze it in the budget.
- Overnight Prints from what I have read has affordable pricing and quality products.
- Lets not forget the local shops, Office Depot has a printing department, decent pricing, and has the advantage of being able to speak to someone face to face.
- Staples also has a printing department, but for the life of me I cannot find pricing without going through the whole designing spiel on their website.
- If these websites don’t quite have what you’re looking for, do a google search. But be sure to do a search for the company’s name + reviews before you purchase.
I know you’re wondering what the heck you do with these. But we’re creative folks, tap into that. These can be used at book signings and several other areas. Talk to the manager at your Salon (ever look at the pamphlets on the counter when you’re paying?) and see if she would be willing to let you display a few. Talk to the head librarian at your local libraries, often times they’re more than happy to set up brochures or flyers for local authors. Back to my OB story, talk to the office manager at your OB office. The rack of brochures we read while waiting, see if you can add yours to the collection. That type of brochure I would certainly tuck into my purse after reading it! My daughter’s school PTA sends home newsletters with lists of parent/business owners. See if your PTA offers the same thing and if you can include your information in it. This also gets included in your press kit. Post it on your church announcement/bulletin board, post it on the bulletin board in the Liberal Arts department at your university. It’s also a good idea to have a couple of these in your purse or car, you never know who you might meet.
- Single page, or tri-fold – include speaking topics, short reviews, perhaps catchy tips that address a desire of target market, your picture, book cover, ISBN and where the book is available to purchase.
- Modern Postcard has numerous printing options (as well as direct mailing lists)
- Overnight Prints also has countless printing options with fairly reasonable prices
- You can also easily make these yourself using Microsoft Publisher, or even Word if you’re uncomfortable with Publisher. If it sounds a bit too daunting creating one from scratch, use on of their templates. Invest in a decent laser printer and good quality paper, you’ll certainly get your moneys worth with all the printing you’re about to do!
- For free downloadable templates, click here
- Walmart actually has a couple neat options. You can have your cover printed on photo paper with the brochure information on the back. Personally being on a budget, I would save those suckers for specific people I was hoping to impress.
This is the part we dream about, book signings. And you can’t have a book signing without some advertisement around you. For self-publishers, these can dip into an already tight marketing budget.
- Walmart, I know, sounds like I’m a Walmart junky doesn’t it? But for those of us on a tight marketing budget this is a decent place to start. Next time you’re there to pick up prints, ask about their poster printing. At my local store, they offer full color, gloss posters for only $8.99. Roughly half the price of a lot of printing websites.
- Posters.com seems to be a decently priced website with good reviews.
- Poster Printing has good reviews but is on the higher end of pricing. However, I do like that you have more flexibility in poster sizing with them.
- Uprinting has fair/comparable prices and good reviews.
These are a pretty cool alternative to a business card. Bookmarks should contain: your name, email, title of your book, ISBN (if applicable) and your website. Because they’re larger than standard business cards you’re likely to pay more, but a bookmark is more memorable than a business card. How many times have we shoved a business card in our purse, only to look at it again six months later when we switch purses?
- Print Place has decent pricing and seems to have a fairly easy template process.
- Print Runner, high prices, higher quality
- Next Day Flyers seems to be a good medium ground, good prices, good quality, good reviews.