Author Extras: Bookmarks, Business Cards, & Other Fun Stuff
by Melissa Maygrove
When Natasha invited me to guest post, I didn’t have to think twice. She’s a talented author and an upbeat internet friend. I’m honored she’d allow me to take over her blog.
*hacks password* “I’m in!” Kidding. 😛
Natasha and I batted around some ideas for a topic, and—since I’m busy gearing up to publish my debut—I was in a perfect position to discuss my experiences with ordering promotional paper goods. When I promised her a readymade post complete with pictures, she gave her approval and turned me loose to conjure up some content.
Along with the typical ‘cyber’ things I’m doing to market myself and my book, I wanted to have items I could give to people in the physical realm—tangible reminders of my name, my contact information, and my novel. Business cards were an obvious first choice. They may not be the best thing to give to readers, but I knew occasions would arise when I’d need to have some handy.
I bought a personalized, engraved business card holder and pen for book signings (I choose to think positive. *grin*) when Son #1 was selling them for a fundraiser. Then the search was on for a reputable place to buy the rest of the goodies, including my cards.
I thought about personalized pens and mugs or similar swag, but everything I liked (because of the minimum order limit) was out of my price range. I decided to order bookmarks instead. Not only are they useful and attractive—even in bulk, they’re cheap.
A fellow writing friend suggested I order sample packs from a couple of online printing services. I had plenty of time, so I took her advice. I’m glad I did. What I *would* have ordered, sight unseen, and what I ended up ordering after I touched the samples and examined them up close were completely different. It impressed upon me that weights of paper and various finishes are things that need to be experienced in person.
Ordering from either one would have done the job, but GotPrint’s samples stood out. Not only were they more plentiful and had a more precise cut, the bookmarks were of better quality.
I don’t want to knock Overnight Prints. It’s just that, judging by the samples, they seem geared toward larger promo items, like postcards and full-size brochures.
See what I mean? Look at that gorgeous fan of bookmarks. You can’t tell from my lousy photography, but the paper thicknesses and the finishes vary quite a bit. They even have a recycled ‘green’ option.
Now on to business cards…
Side note: Both Overnight Prints and GotPrint make business cards, but I was disappointed with the limited choice of designs.
I caught Zazzle having a 50% off sale, so I ordered two different thicknesses of business cards—the ‘Linen’ and the ‘Ultra-thick premium white with white core.’
You can’t tell from the photo, but it has a slight lilac tint to the white of the card. It’s of a typical business card thickness and has a nice textured feel.
You probably won’t believe me, but the row of ‘Ultra-thick’ on the left and the small pack of ‘Linen’ on the right represent the same amount of business cards—100. (Yeah, I know. At first, I thought they’d goofed and sent me extra or something.) In the next photo, I turned two on edge so you could see the difference.
Truth? I don’t like the ‘Ultra-thick.’ It’s so thick, it feels like wallboard. LOL Seriously! I tried to put one on my refrigerator door, and the magnet could barely hold it up.
I’m no expert on business cards, but I don’t see the need for something so thick you could use it to scrape ice off your windshield. The only sensible use I could come up with was distribution at a conference or something, e.g. tossing them into patrons’ goodie bags, where cards of lesser grit might get crushed.
Those are my author cards. I also needed business business cards. (I’m one of those evil editor people your friends warned you about. xD) I’d be uploading my own design for these, so I decided to try MOO and see what all the fuss is about.
I also got a custom personalized card holder for them from Zazzle, which was nicer than it looks online, by the way.
I chose the standard business card MOO offers. They’re a tad thicker than the “Linen’ ones from Zazzle and they have a slicker finish. I see why people like them. Although I prefer the texture of the others, I like the sturdiness of these—firm without being too thick. Also, they come in a very tough little black box.
So, that’s my story. I’m now armed with portable amounts of both cards. As soon as my novel-promo bookmarks arrive, I’ll be packing those and handing them out to anyone who stands still for longer than five seconds. 😛
Have you had a different experience? Found any awesome swag or clever ways to market yourself and your stuff? I’d love to hear about it!
Thanks for having me, Natasha. I hope I didn’t scare your followers away.
Native Texan Melissa Maygrove is a wife, mother, nurse, freelance editor, and romance writer. When she’s not busy caring for her tiny nursery patients or shuttling teenagers back and forth to after-school activities, she’s hunched over her laptop, complicating the lives of her imaginary friends and playing matchmaker. Melissa loves books with unpretentious characters and unforgettable romance, and she strives to create those same kinds of stories for her readers. Her debut novel titled Come Back is set to be released later this spring.