There are a few pieces of marketing collateral that every author should have, and many others that are optional. Decide which of these you need:
Business Card – A client recently asked me if he should add the title of “Author” to his business card. Abso-freaking-lutely! You have earned this title. There is also no law against combining titles on a card, such as “CEO, Author.” I personally like to see an author’s photo and book cover on a business card too. For my card, my mug is on the front, and book covers are on the back. I also upgraded to fold-over cards so the inside includes tips from my book, and people often comment on those. Make it easy for people to remember you!
Postcards – As a marketer, postcards are one of my favorite pieces of marketing collateral. They are inexpensive to print, recipients don’t need to open an envelope to see them, and they are easy to tuck into a book or hand out at an event. For my personal postcards, I have book covers on the front with a few selected testimonials. On the back side I feature a brief bio, details about the books, and contact information. I leave space on the right for mailing. I often use that extra blank space to jot a note and then tuck a postcard into a book before shipping on in a matching envelope and use it for personal stationary. Postcards can be quite versatile.
Bookmarks – Many authors like to create matching bookmarks for books, though these aren’t mandatory (I personally prefer postcards). But they are fun and inexpensive and a great way to be memorable with your readers.
Speaker Sheet – If you want to break in to professional speaking, you may want to develop a promotional one-sheet to give to potential contacts.
Flyers – Similar to a postcard, you can develop promotional flyers for your books.
Tchotchkes – Some authors like to give away small items to readers. This usually involves having a basket on your display table while signing books or at a trade show. These are entirely optional, and can certainly increase your budget, but they can also be fun. When I was promoting one of my previous books, LEAP! 101 Ways to Grow Your Business, I took a basket of frog merchandise to events (the book features a frog on the cover). They were kitschy and fun and generated a lot of smiles at my table. I also printed up buttons with a catchy slogan and handed them out a big trade show event. That generated a lot of buzz, and I occasionally hear from someone who says, “I still have that button you handed out!”
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