Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Promoting in Oz

Everything has been crazy around here lately. Inching closer and closer to finishing a new shifter story which I hope to submit soon but in the meantime, I've got to get some promotional items ready to send out to a romance readers convention in Austrialia. This happens in February so I still have some time but...ARGH...what to do?

I'm new at the whole promotional thing and yes, I do chats and blogs, myspace and other little things but now it's time to buy GOODIES!!!

Personally, I love hitting a convention's GOODY ROOM and collecting all the neat little things. Some I'll later toss out and others, like pens and magnets I'll keep. So lately I've been struggling with what works. Some time ago I posted about promotional ideas and we had some great discussions. One of our blogger friends suggested make-your-own magnets and I really latched onto that idea (thanks Molly). About a month ago, I hit Print123.com and found some really pretty biz cards and then I stumbled across business card magnets at my local Office Depot. Cheap, cheap, cheap. I LIKE CHEAP. It was about six dollars for 25 magnets. I picked up two packages of them. They have a peel off sticky back and I've been attaching them to my pretty biz cards.

I also ordered some oversized postcards. Yeah, I know everyone said they'd probably get tossed but in a moment of madness I ordered them anyway because my Breath of Magic cover was just too pretty to ignore. Got those in the mail the other day. On the flip side of these, I listed all my current and future releases and contact information.

So now I'm on a direction for what I'll send and the next step is PENS. I know it's cliched maybe but that's what I'm going to do. I've researched candy bars, key chains, and all kinds of stuff but I keep coming back to the basics. The aren't that expansive and all I need to decide is the color of the pen, the color of the font, and what I'd like to SAY on them. What colors do you think are more appealing? I've had my eye on a very pretty purple but the pinks and reds are nice too.

Any suggestions? I'd like to make a good impression on the Aussie readers. From what I hear they are very much into e-books in Australia and it's a growing market. It would be nice to pick up a few readers from Oz. Any new things out there that deserve a second look? What catches YOUR attention among all the promotional stuff out there?

34 comments:

Sandy said...

I made up some bookmarks too that seem to go over well. Not sure how that would work in OZ, since I'm in the states, but they seemed to like them here.

Sandy Sullivan
www.romancestorytime.com

Regina Carlysle said...

I think that's a really good idea, Sany. I've gotten on some of the sites that do those and I understand they come in postcard size and you have to cut them. Hmmm. How the heck does that work??? And how do the book covers get condensed to the right size? I've always wondered about that.

Regina Carlysle said...

Ooops. My typing fingers are TOO COLD...I mean...SANDY. LOL

Aleka Nakis said...

Regina,

My favorite thing to get as a promo item is a pen. I also like to give them. Plus, they're affordable.

Last time we went for sushi, the waitress gave me my own pen to sign for the bill. LOL I had left it there on a prior visit. Think of how many others read it... name recognition, baby:-)

However, the things people grab at are trendy at times. I gave out some skull keychains for the Eyes of the Dead. They were attached to postcards, but I wonder if the title and name registered in their mind. ???? Don't know. Hope so.

Looking forward to see what others found useful in the past. Readers, what do you like receiving?

Maryann Miller said...

I prefer pens and bookmarks over magnets when I pick up goodies. My refrigerator is too full of family items to have room for book related magnets. :-)

Other cute items I have saved include a small plastic skeleton with a toe-tag attached. That is hanging on the peg board by my desk.

Judith Leger said...

All those are great ideas. I prefer business cards, I keep them in a business card holder. With my stuff, I print a blurb or pic of cover with blurb on the back of my cards to pass out. That way the reader can have a little taste of what my work is about. Bookmarks are great too. You have some of each of your titles too!

Anne Rainey said...

I love both bookmarks and pens. Bookmarks I collect. I have tons of them. Pens are handy. I still have a pen that Janice Maynard gave out like 2 years ago.

Regina Carlysle said...

Oooh. I like the idea of the skull keychain, Aleka. My friend Anny Cook leaves pens in doctors offices, at the grocery store and things like that. They almost have LEGS. LOL

Regina Carlysle said...

MaryAnn, that toe tagged skeleton is hysterical. How cute. Yeah, I would save something like that.

Regina Carlysle said...

Hi Judith! My kids bought me a beautiful Brighton card holder last Christmas and I carry it everywhere, full of my cards of course. I love it.

When my first book was published I was sooooo damn ignorant about this stuff and got cards done with the title of the book on them. That was a mistake since I now have so many titles, it would just get crazy. So I just did generic cards this time. I really liked how the postcards turned out though. Lots of information on the back and they make good bookmarks, too.

Regina Carlysle said...

I know what you mean about the pens, Anne. I'm still using one that I picked up at a booksigning event last year. I'm going to do some for sure. Just trying to decide on a COLOR. ARGH.

Molly Daniels said...

My promo magnets have been flying off my table this year. I guess it just depends on the customer! I've also had people snatch up the sticky notes.

I found a magnetic clip from a realtor and replaced her card with mine:) I'm trying to find out where she found it. I guess I'm going to have to break down and call her!

Molly Daniels said...

Forgot to mention: I donated 2 of my pens to my favorite cafe last week. Wonder if they've 'walked off' with any potential new reader yet?

I've got 2 colors: Red, to match my business cards, and blue, with my other pen name.

Anne Rainey said...

where is the best place to order the pens?

Kelley Nyrae said...

bookmarks are my favorite. I'd like to do pens but haven't yet. Magnets are good too. Those three things are nice because they're things people use.

Leah Braemel said...

I'm trying to figure all this promo stuff out myself. (And I finally got a cover to put on the items)

I was a conference recently and came home with at least three dozen bookmarks (I don't remember by who and I doubt I'd buy a book from one, but I guess it's about name recognition.) There was a neat little sewing kit with the author's info on the cover that I immediately stuck in my purse. Magnets -well, I live in a houseful of men who refuse to let me put romance magnets on the fridge. Which means they get tossed.

About the pens - at the same conference the organizers put authors' pens in the middle of each table so we could take notes. I went through 5 pens from three different authors before I found one that worked. So make sure you get your money's worth on those.

Genella deGrey said...

I love the pens - With two writers in the house there are never enough pens around. :)

For me to pick up the magnets, they have to be either really eye-catching or sport a witty saying.

I tend to pick up things I can actually use - nail files, post-it notes, chocolate, tea - and some of my very favorites are the match books and tea light candles.

:)
G.

Regina Carlysle said...

Magnetic clips sound really cool, Molly. Let us know what you find out. The magnets with the sticky backs was a great idea...cheap, too.

Regina Carlysle said...

I'm not sure about the best place to get pens, Anne. I'm actually thinking of just going to the local Office Depo so I can actually see what the pens look like. Plus I can pay CASH for them instead of charging (a nasty habit)

Regina Carlysle said...

Good idea on the pens, Leah (and CONGRATS on getting your cover...YAY). The BICS are usually dependable. They've been around forever and trustworthy, I think.

Regina Carlysle said...

I actually checked out Chocolate last night, Genella. After all, who doesn't like chocolate. Hershey's has a deal where you can get assorted sized bars and they can do logos or whatever on the wrappers. Who couldn't forget the name of the author who gave them chocolate? I'm going to look into that idea some more for future stuff.

Anne Rainey said...

I just wondered because I checked out Vista Print, who is usually pretty cheap, and for like 50 pens it's around $130...that seems pricey to me.

Alisha Paige said...

Keychains are always favorites and for your paranormal release, you should hit Walgreens right after Halloween. They have tons of cute giveaways, dirt cheap! One of my friends passes out voodoo doll keychains she got at Walgreens! I love pens too. Those things sit on people's desks, in their purse...a little reminder of you always.

Hugs to you, Reg! I miss ya! Hey...I'm having True Blood withdrawls again...lol! Are you?

Regina Carlysle said...

Hey Anne! I thought that was expensive too. I looked at those. They run anywhere from .50 to .90 ea. at Office Depot. That's a lot cheaper.

Regina Carlysle said...

Hiiiii ALisha! Yessss big withdrawals. Can't wait till next Sunday!!! That's the cutest idea on the discounted Halloween stuff. Who'd think of that and there are sooo many paranormal authors out there who could use things like that. Cute Idea!

BarbaraScott said...

Genella mentioned tea lights. These can be picked up in quantities fairly cheaply at Bed Bath and Beyond. I wonder if they would suffer from the same drawback as chocolate. Chocolate doesn't travel well especially in the summer. If it got to Australia without melting, how would it do in the weather there? If picked up in a goody bag, I'd think a Hershey bar would get eaten quickly and the wrapper tossed.

That said, I used Hershey bars once and made my own wrappers on my computers using a baby announcement wrapper as a model. Response was 50/50. Some were loud about chocolate being inappropriate due to potential allergies, melting, etc. Others loved them, gobbled them up, and threw away the wrappers.

Barbara

flchen1 said...

That's a gorgeous cover, Regina! I always use pens and pass them on, and also love bookmarks. My personal favorite goody is sticky-notes--I definitely use those, and I figure every time I stick one as a note to someone, it's another set of eyeballs seeing it! :)

Connie Northrop said...

I love magnets and pens! The magnets go up in my office and I always need pens!

Bookmarks are cool too.

The Oriental Trading Co is great for customized stuff. Here's the address if you don't know about them:
http://www.orientaltrading.com/ui/browse/processRequest.do?requestURI=getHomePageCR&tabId=Home

lindseye said...

I also like trading cards which I have from Moira Rogers with a picture of the main character and a short blurb. Postcards are nice and sometimes book marks. I do not use anything but G2 pens and so so not tend to pick pens up.I agree chocolate does not tend to travel well and so would use for local presentations only.

Regina Carlysle said...

I worried about the chocolate melting thing.That would be best locally, I think. I was actually considering tea lights...found some at a great price at Pier 1 but didn't think about them melting. ARGH what a mess.

Regina Carlysle said...

I love the idea of post it notes!!! You're right flchen. They could get to lots of different places, like the pens.

Regina Carlysle said...

Oh Connie. I love Oriental Trading Company. Mainly used them over the years for little kid party favors and stuff like that. Must check out their goodies. I didn't think of them.

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