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    Promotional Materials for Your Self-Published Book

    "What promotional materials do you have to make your book stand out and help us sell it?" a bookstore events coordinator asked.

    Isn't it her job to promote my book when I place it in her store or do book signings? I thought to myself.

    However, I've learned it's also the author's responsibility, whether you have a self-published book or one published the traditional way, to help promote.


    Various Promotional Materials

    There are a variety of materials you can use to let others know about your book and call attention to it in bookstores. With today's computer programs you can create much of the material yourself. Also, check what other authors are using for promo materials. I've found many willing to share their ideas with me.

    Business Cards - My husband prints my business cards with standard information on the front. Often on the back (a publicity expert mentioned using the back of your business card for additional data) we include information about various aspects of my books and writing programs. These cards can be changed as I need because I don't print huge quantities at one time.

    Bookmarks - These can be made fairly inexpensively and are a great promo item. Children enjoy bookmarks when you do Young Author programs and workshops in schools. Bookmarks also can serve as a type of business card.

    Post Cards - The design may feature a picture of your book cover or simply information about your book. When you need to drop a note to someone, use your post cards.

    (As one publisher mentioned, it's not only you and the person you're sending the card to who reads it; many people along the way may handle the post card.)

    I discovered another way to use post cards to generate sales. One side includes a description. The other side has one half for address and the other half an order form. A surprising number of people return this card with an order and check for my book.

    Flyers - This item can take may forms, depending on its purpose. Use the flyers to give information about your books, upcoming programs and classes you'll be giving, and as order sheets (both for mail order and sales at schools and workshop locations). Print flyers with your picture and book signing information that the book store can hand out beforehand or stuff into each book they sell.

    Posters - These are another way to give information about your book and/or presentation. Sometimes you'll need to provide posters for your book signings. They're also good to have when giving talks and workshops. Some bookstores will make their own posters and flyers, but most welcome those you provide.

    Enlargements of Illustrations & Covers - Use these as posters for promoting your book. I've had requests for enlargements of the illustrations in my children's anthology, so have begun making these available for sale as well.

    Information Packets - Prepare an information packet to send to bookstores, book reviewers, interviewers. This includes a description of your book, a copy of press releases you send to publications, a short bio. You may include other material, like a bookmark, business card, and review copy if requested.

    These are a few ideas for promotional materials. Have fun experimenting with various ways to design these to draw attention to your books.

    Copyright © Mary Emma Allen

    Mary Emma Allen has written self-published books and those by a traditional publisher for children and adults. Visit her web site: http://homepage.fcgnetworks.net/jetent/mea.

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between by Shery Russ



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