Thursday, June 6, 2013

To Bookmark or Not To Bookmark

I am in a quandary and need your opinion.  So many of my author friends order bookmarks to give out at signings and such, but I haven't.  My publisher gave me bookmarks when I first published and whenever I did signings I handed them out.  But now that I'm independently published, I'm wondering if it's worth the expense.  I mean, I occasionally do booksignings, I speak at conferences and such, but do I really need bookmarks for people to remember me by?

For me, when I receive bookmarks from people I set them in a drawer at home and use them when I'm in a bind, but I have a Kindle so I don't use them a whole lot and I generally don't look at them for info.  So here's what I want to know:

Do you actually look at and potentially purchase books from info on a bookmark?  Do you think bookmarks are worth the money with all the ereaders nowadays?


Debra Erfert said...

I sweetly take the bookmarks when they're offered and then promptly put them away. Sometimes I immediately throw them away, especially after I've watched "Hoarders" and feel like things are piling up around me. Personally, I wouldn't waste my money on bookmarks, but if you want to put the name of your book on something, how about a pencil or pen? Or a simple keychain--something that someone might actually use.

Just a thought.

Konstanz Silverbow said...

You know, I didn't worry about it until I started blogging constantly and doing a lot of giveaways. I discovered that tons of followers LOVES getting bookmarks! It blew me away.

So with every giveaway I do, I include a package of bookmarks from various authors. And the response has been outstanding! I got letters in the mail thanking me for all the bookmarks and it has become a great marketing tool.

Lots of advertising can be done with bookmarks if you get creative with it. And if you do decide to get some, please, please feel free to send me some and I will be glad to give them away and advertise for you!

~Konstanz Silverbow

Konstanz Silverbow said...

Sorry to comment twice but I also just took a poll on my Author Facebook page, which you are welcome to check out and see what people said about bookmarks! :)

I hope that you find the answer you need and are looking for!


Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Thanks for your thoughts Debra and Konstanz. I will definitely keep checking the poll and take it all in. Appreciate it!

alison said...

I like the pencil idea! I find myself using pass-along cards, or nice cardstock clothing tags, or old hotel keycards for my bookmarks--because I am odd that way.

If you want to give away something that will REALLY be remembered, invest in a small supply of inexpensive personalized booklights to be handed out at your next publicity event.

Melanie said...

I have to say that I do love bookmarks yet seem to have a hard time finding one when I need it! When I do find them, though, it reminds me of the book and whether I need to read it or what I thought about it. My young daughter is obsessed with bookmarks. She also loves paper books better than ebooks where I'm now reading more ebooks so maybe it depends on the format people prefer to read as to whether or not they would want bookmarks. It is pretty cool to receive a book in the mail with a matching bookmark.

Janice Sperry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Janice Sperry said...

I usually finish a book the same day I start it so I don't have much use for bookmarks. If only I could write as fast as I read...

I think you should print both bookmarks and pencils and ask people which they prefer. Bookmarks are easier to mail and pencils are less likely to be thrown away. I handed out candy canes at my book signings because my booklet was called the Candy Cane Queen. :)

Jon Spell said...

I like having the bookmarks, personally. I don't know if they generate interest for everyone, but it does serve as a pleasant reminder.

I can't remember where I saw it, but I recently ran across one for "This Just In" by Kerry Blair (published 2004) It's a treasure. =)

Bonus for Julie: This looks like something you could sink your teeth into for your next non-hostage-crisis-team novel:

Just think of the research you'd have to do... ;)

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Alison, Melanie, and Janice thanks for the ideas. I'm definitely rethinking my perspective. :)

Jon, my mouth is on the floor with that article. That is a story begging to be told for sure!

Robert M Starr said...

I don't know that I've ever used a bookmark in a book (I tend to tear a corner off of whatever waste paper is handy). I've used them to market my own books, but I haven't found a way to measure the success or failure of those efforts.

I've given a few autographed copies away; again, I don't know if that generated enough sales to cover my costs on the books. But it gave me one great story to tell.

The next time I met a young lady I'd given a book to, she immediately asked if I had other books available. I told her I was working on that and asked if she liked the book she had read. She said she loved what she had gotten to read, but she hadn't finished the book. She had bragged on it so much that her mother had taken it home to read and hadn't returned it(not knowing her daughter hadn't finished it?).

I suppose any kind of advertising is valuable. But I think personal recommendations from readers are probably the most effective sales pitches. If I like a book, I tell my family and friends. I don't recommend books I don't like. I suspect most readers do similar things.

Recently, I've done a lot of reading for other writers in genres I wouldn't normally read (offering a second set of eyes to look at a new manuscript). Some of them are books I wouldn't buy for myself, but I would recommend them to someone who enjoys those genres.

And, before I recommend one of my own books to a stranger, I ask two questions: Do you like to read? (If yes, then) Do you enjoy Christian fiction? If the answer is 'no' to either question, I don't generally even mention that I'm a writer.