When it comes to book promotion, most of the conversation centres around online marketing. But what about print materials? From the humble business card to bookmarks and beyond, there are lots of ways to use printed materials to get the word out about your book.
For maximum impact, printed materials should be used alongside online marketing. For instance, including your social media links on business cards and bookmarks gives readers a place to go to follow what you’re up to in the longer term. It gives them a way of keeping up with what you’re doing and allows you to sell to them later on.
In the age of smartphones, the business card may not seem necessary, but it can help you to stand out in a digital age. Where a contact in their phone is easy to forget about, a card is a visual reminder. Plus, they easily fit into a wallet, so you can always have them to hand.
Flyers are useful to drop off at bookshops and other retailers. They can also be used at market stalls as a cheap giveaway for passers-by.
Information sheets and press releases
Title information sheets and press releases are standard in the book trade. You can make your own very easily. Ensure to include your book’s title, author name, ISBN, retail price, book cover, blurb, author bio and any reviews or media opportunities you have coming up.
Bookmarks are a fantastic way to get your book in front of readers. Many bookshops have free bookmarks at their counter for customers to take when they buy something. So, if a bookshop stocks your book, send them a stack of free bookmarks for their customers.
If your book is visually engaging and has a lot of pictures, consider making posters and sending them to bookshops to display on their walls. Even if it doesn’t make it to the bookshop itself, they may put it up in their staff room or office, which is a nice visual reminder that your book exists.
Alternatively, you could sell higher quality prints and posters, either through retailers or your own platform.
These can be a fun option if you have a children’s picture book. Ask your illustrator if it’s possible to get copies of the line art (you may need to pay an additional license fee for this) and compile it into a book to sell. You can also print individual sheets to give away. Just remember to include the book’s details somewhere on the page.
Some illustrations will be better suited to colouring than others, so ask your illustrator if there are any adjustments that will need to be made.
Greetings cards, prints and more
As with posters and colouring books, you can repurpose artwork in many different forms. If your book features photographs of a particular area, consider printing postcards or producing high-quality prints to sell in galleries. These things are cheap to print and usually have high mark-up potential. In some cases, authors can make more money from these peripheral goods than from the books themselves.
It might also be worth considering things like t-shirts, tote bags or enamel pins featuring relatable content from your book, depending on what sort of writer you are.