Book Marketing can be as much work as writing. You need to be able to summarize your book in two sentences (an “elevator speech) and print materials to support your book or series. Carry these materials in a shopping bag, large purse, or briefcase. Having materials isn’t enough, however, and you have to distribute them. What do you need?
Business cards. Small as it is, a business card is really a mini biography of you and should be professionally designed. Include your photo, writing genre, contact information, and summary phrase, such as “a romantic mystery.” Your photo should be current, not a shot that was taken 10 years ago. Be sure to include your website address.
Information Cards. A 5 ½-inch by 8-inch card is a good size. Your book cover, or covers, are printed on the front, and “sell copy” on the back. Ask your publisher for help if you haven’t written sell copy before. To encourage people to read both sides of the card, put “over” with an arrow on the bottom, right-hand corner of the front. Include your publisher’s name, logo, logos for the social media you use, and your website address. Inexpensive cards are available online.
Flyers. If you have art training or are familiar with computer graphics, design your own flyer. It should include your book cover, publisher, and some descriptive words. For example, the flyer for my upcoming cookbook says, “easy-fix recipes,” “real-life stories,” and “speed shopping tips.” Four-color flyers are more costly than black, but remember that color sells. To save money, print your flyer in black ink on colored stock.
Author brochures. Although I’m familiar with this idea, I’ve never acted upon it, so it’s still on my “To Do” list. I’m going to wrote the copy, but wait on printing because my marketing budget is strained right now. Tri-fold brochures are common and fairly cheap. Include clear photos only. No photos are better than fuzzy ones that frustrate readers.
A sample book. Nothing takes the place of having an actual book—something you can show top potential readers. Store your book in a plastic zipper bag. To prevent the cover from getting bent, and the corners from getting damaged, put protective cardboard over the front and back.
Bookmarks. Some publishers recommend them and others don’t. I had bookmarks printed for two of my latest books and have given out only a few. The graphic designer’s fee was more than I anticipated, and I had to pay for printing and shipping. If you have bookmarks, store them with your sample book.