"I can help you!"


I've worked for over 25 years in advertising, promotions and sales, and spent nearly 2 years as a motivational speaker for a major international company. Currently a bestselling novelist and 'shameless' promoter, I've shared my experiences and techniques as a Book Marketing Coach for nearly a decade.

Whether you're published or unpublished, I can help. My last publisher called me a "marketing guru" and "whiz", although I prefer to think of what I do as teaching, or coaching.

"Dare to Dream...and Dream BIG!"

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Promotional Tools for Authors in an Ereader World

Thank you for dropping by this blog during my Cherish the Romance Virtual Book Tour. I hope you'll check out all my stops. Don't forget to leave a comment with your email address so you'll be entered in my daily draws. Grand prize: a Kobo ereader.

Over the years I've worked with many authors during multi-author events and I've coached authors on all areas of marketing, and one of the most common questions I get is, "What should I buy for promotional tools?" I used to have no problem answering that question, but now we're heading into an ereader world, where the usual promotional tools may not be as effective.

Many of my author friends have gone all out, spending thousands of dollars on t-shirts, mugs, fliers, bookmarks, business cards, coasters, calendars, pens, baseball caps, and many other items. I wonder how many of those items were either thrown away, given away or never used.

More importantly, most authors only make a dollar or two per book--sometimes less--so it's important to weigh the cost of such items and ask yourself if it's worth buying these kinds of promotional tools. I've tried many different things over the years; I don't mind experimenting. Most of the items I mentioned above are just too expensive.

My favorite promotional tool has been bookmarks. They're useful. Or they were until ereaders became so popular. Two-sided bookmarks were excellent promotional tools. You can get a lot of info on one, including book covers, where to buy and website URL. They're the easiest thing to give out when at a book signing or special event. They're also more affordable than most of the other promo tools listed above. I suspect bookmarks won't be as effective in the future as more and more people turn to ereaders.

Business cards are great to give out during conferences or when meeting an agent or publisher, but they're not so good for readers. Most will bury them in their purse or wallet or toss them. T-shirts, mugs and even pens are just too expensive, though they're a great gift or prize, if used to encourage sales first.

With ereaders, there is less demand for authors to tour bookstores and do book signings. I mean, it's not that easy signing an ebook on a Kobo or a Kindle. :-) So I'm looking for new promotional tools, things I can give out when I meet people. Something with some value so that people don't throw it away. Something that will bring people to my website or maybe give them a sample of my work.

I've designed a different kind of business card. It's more like a coupon. On one side I can add a brief description of a book and the cover. On the other side I give them the URL to a sample online. Or the second side has a special coupon code that allows them to read one of my works for free. The entire ebook. I'll even autograph the card if someone wants me to.

I plan to give out a lot of these cards over the next few months and I'll be taking a stack of them with me when I go on a Mexican Riviera cruise in February. I bet I'll see a lot of people relaxing by the pool--with a Kindle or Kobo or Sony or iPad in hand. Stay tuned for another Random Acts of Divineness, and if you happen to be on that cruise, come find me and I'll sign your Kindle or Kobo. ;-)

Lancelot's Lady ~ A Bahamas holiday from dying billionaire JT Lance, a man with a dark secret, leads palliative nurse Rhianna McLeod to Jonathan, a man with his own troubled past, and Rhianna finds herself drawn to the handsome recluse, while unbeknownst to her, someone with a horrific plan is hunting her down.

Lancelot's Lady is available in ebook edition at KoboBooks, Amazon's Kindle Store, Smashwords and other ebook retailers. Help me celebrate by picking up a copy today and "Cherish the romance..."

You can learn more about Lancelot's Lady and Cherish D'Angelo (aka Cheryl Kaye Tardif) at http://www.cherylktardif.com and http://www.cherylktardif.blogspot.com. Follow Cherish from September 27 to October 10 on her Cherish the Romance Virtual Book Tour and win prizes.

Would you ask your favorite author to sign the back of your ereader? If so, who would that be?

Leave a comment here, with email address, to be entered into the prize draws. You're guaranteed to receive at least 1 free ebook just for doing so. Plus you'll be entered to win a Kobo ereader. Winners will be announced after October 10th.


JM said...

I began reading this post and thinking, "But I like bookmarks!" I'm glad you like them, too. :) As for mugs and such... Mugs would be good, but expensive to buy and ship. Postcards, fliers, etc are just put in the recycle bin eventually. Pens are nice, but I have a million pens. So yes, bookmarks are good for physical world stuff. But in the virtual world, you can have heaps of fun. Chapter samples, password access to short stories, 'members only' fun and contests... All sorts. The rise of internet promotion is definitely a good thing.

jmfictionscribe at yahoo.com.au

Cheryl Kaye Tardif said...

The other great thing about bookmarks is that many school libraries will accept them from authors and give them to students. Teachers too. Public libraries may also accept authors' bookmarks.

In the above cases, business cards wouldn't get very far, or many other promo items. :-)

Chap books, if printed economically, can be a great tool. Keep them small and no more than 6 pages/sides.


Anonymous said...

As a reader I like the pens and bookmarks best probably.

The little sample chapters are fun too.

I think secret pages and site areas accessed by codes from giveaways and purchases would be a great promotional tool.

Not sure I'd want my ereader signed - it could wipe off easily.

However I think having a cover "covered" in author sigs would be a very cool accessory.

Pam S
pams00 @ aol.com

Sarah Lynne said...

I am playing catch up!! I had a wedding to go to and got behind. Sometimes even stalkers take a break!!!

P.s Thank you for stalking me!!!

sarahcoulsey03 at gmail dot com

Cheryl Kaye Tardif said...

Sarah, I was getting worried because I hadn't seen you in a while. Was going to call 911 or Search and Rescue.

So glad to have my stalker back. :-)

I hope you had a great time at the wedding.


Pale Rambler said...

Practical promotional items that hang around or serve a purpose are best. Bookmarks are a great idea, if unfortunately a waning one. One of my favorites has always been the post-it notepad. Print logo & info in light shades so people can still see their own writing over them -- nobody likes a notepad with very little white space. You can get them as cheap as 30 cents each (500 min.) for a 25-page 3"x3" pad.
With luck, I will finish the rough draft of my first book by May and self-publish it sometime later in 2011. Thanks for the advice and motivation.