Oops. Wrong come-on.
I want to talk about book promotion. If you’ve been to any conferences, you’ve probably gotten the bookmarks, key chains, magnets, mouse pads, etc. I’m curious about what kind of items you keep and what you toss when you get home.
Promotion is a huge headache for most writers. Do I do it? Do I need it? What works best? What’s the best bang for the buck? What isn’t totally overdone, and what can I afford?
I’ve never done much, beyond the occasional bookmark and magazine ad. Oh, and a couple of tote bags that were totally cool. There’s just so much that can be done, and it can cost a small fortune, and truth it, it’s really hard to tell if it’s been effective.
For me, tote bags work — I’m a bring-your-own-grocery-bag person, so any sturdy bag will make me happy (and everyone at the grocery store also sees the info). Ink pens . . . nah. If I get them in a conference goody bag, I pass them on to someone else. I’m picky about what I write with, and most of the pens cheap enough to use as giveaways aren’t that great at writing. T-shirts work, if I like the art/author. I like Post-It notes. Don’t care for keychains or luggage tags. I’m torn about magnets — I like them, but about once a year, I go on this cleaning jag and get rid of everything on the fridge except the grandbaby’s picture. I like bookmarks, too — after all, if you read, you need bookmarks, right? (Though I also like dog-earing books. They just look so . . . well, read.) Calendars? Great if you give them out at the beginning of the year, but who wants to be stuck with a boxful of calendars in December?
What about you? What kind of tchotkes grab your attention and which ones make a direct trip to the circular file?