Author Extras: Bookmarks, Business Cards, & Other Fun Stuff – Guest Post by Melissa Maygrove

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.

(Please forgive the quality of the images. I’m a writer, not a photographer.)
(Please forgive the quality of the images. I’m a writer, not a photographer.)

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.

Goodies first…

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.

Both sample packs came in nice sturdy folders.
Both sample packs came in nice sturdy folders.

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.

I requested free sample packs from two companies, Overnight Prints and GotPrint.com. It took about a week or so to get them.

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.

Maygrove 3               Maygrove 4

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.

Maygrove 5

Maygrove 6

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…

Lots of writers rave about MOO. MOO gives good service and makes quality products—they even have lots of great designs—but, believe it or not, Zazzle has more.

Side note: Both Overnight Prints and GotPrint make business cards, but I was disappointed with the limited choice of designs.

This is the ‘Linen.’
This is the ‘Linen.’

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.

 

Maygrove 8Now, compare it to the ‘Ultra-thick,’ side by side.

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.

Maygrove 9

 

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.

About Melissa

MelissaMaygrove

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.

 Blog  ~  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Google+

34 thoughts on “Author Extras: Bookmarks, Business Cards, & Other Fun Stuff – Guest Post by Melissa Maygrove

  1. Thanks for hosting me today, Natasha!

    It’s spring break in my neck of the woods (and my daughter’s sixteenth birthday today), so I might be sporadic with replies.

    1. Tell your daughter some lady from the blogosphere wishes her a happy 16! Spring break in my neck of the woods too. 🙂

      Thanks again for allowing me to guest host you. The pics are definitely an added bonus. Really helps see the difference in the cards. Planning ahead = good!

  2. Believe it or not, I could never figure out where everyone was getting the book marks. I was a Vistaprint only kind of gal. I know I should have asked someone, but you hate to bug people for things that seem so simple. Excellent post!

  3. I had no idea those things came in so may choices. (Last time I had a business card was about 25 years ago.) Your choices look fabulous! I’ve heard bookmarks donated to libraries can up book sales. Great post! 🙂

    1. Ohh. Haven’t heard the thing about bookmarks and libraries, Lexa. Gonna keep that in mind. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  4. Hey Melissa! What a good idea to order samples. thanks for that. And happy birthday to your daughter!

    Thanks for hosting Natasha! That’s so cool of you. 🙂

  5. “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. “

    LOL This is why I heart you.

  6. Nice post. Very informative. This will definitely come in handy for me in the coming months as I work towards my own debut. Per this post, I’ve gone to these websites and requested free samples. Thanks for the tip. Also, it’s always better to see things in person (in-hand) vs. viewing online.

    Thanks, Natasha, for hosting Melissa and allowing her to provide us with valuable information.

    1. Hello Medeia, thanks for stopping by and commenting. Have you considered combing bookmarks with business cards. Your book cover on one side and contact info on the other?

  7. I hadn’t really thought about business cards much, but I can see they will very useful when the time comes for me to get my name out there! Really pretty pictures, Melissa. You’ve certainly done your homework on this. 🙂

  8. I’m sorry I’m so behind on reading this!! It’s a great post – I loved hearing about your process, Melissa, and I also LOVED the great practical tips. Thank you both so much for an awesome, informative post!

Replies encouraged

%d bloggers like this: