Friday, July 24, 2009

Book Promotion at RWA

One of the fun things I did at RWA was check out the "Goody Room" where authors drop off promotional materials for their books. I immediately noticed something.

The tables were covered with bookmarks and postcards, so many that nothing really stood out or caught my eye (well, with the exception of Lisa Paitz Spindler's Danger Gal icon bookmark and Michelle Moran's Eqyptian motif for CLEOPATRA'S DAUGHTER, because those were "familiar faces" to me). It occured to me that these are a great thing to hand out in books or send out to readers individually, but on the goody table they were simply lost in the crowd.

So what did work?

There were a few items that grabbed my attention and ended up in my tote bag.

The first was a clip magnet. t was a pretty shade of royal blue and sported a graphic of a bowtie and underneath it the words: Let us tell the world about your book, Nancy Berland Public Relations, followed by the contact information. I'll file that one away (or more probably hang it up on my refrigerator) for future reference.

The next thing I saw was something that intrigued me because it was so practical. A sealed plastic bag with a brightly colored pack of travel Kleenex, a couple small sheets of Bandaids, two packs of rubbing alcohol swaps and the business card of Zenobia Renquist, Romance Author. Another card was included for DC Area Storytellers, D. Renee Bagby, that said "Contact us about promotional materials and book signings." What a great idea, and a necessity for my purse. That went home with me, too.

Then, a little mermaid charm got my attention, and it was attached to a fan of promotional materials including a postcard for the novel IN OVER HER HEAD by Judi Fennel, as well as a bookmark depicting that and two related novels, WILD BLUE UNDER and CATCH OF A LIFETIME and her motto, "Dive into my romances." Also attached was a brochure on her novels--which are Mermen romances (now there's something you don't hear very often)--and her bed and breakfast in Ocean City, New Jersey, which, by the way, is called The Atlantis Inn and looks fabulous.

(If my dream 25th Anniversary trip to St. Martin doesn't happen, I'll probably be giving her a call!) Bottom line, she used standard promotional materials and packaged them in an interesting way, and boy, did it work.

A plastic business card holder with Author Isabo Kelly and the motto "Brings Fantasy, Love and Adventure to Life" and her website addy also went into my tote bag as a keeper. I can always use another business card holder, and besides that, Isabo was one of the panel members at the FF&P dinner, so there was a personal connect for me.

One of the things I received directly from author Jessa Slade that I thought was wonderful (though not unique, as I learned later) was a little book with the first two chapter of her novel, SEDUCED BY SHADOWS, nicely bound with the attractive cover and even a back cover blurb. The inside front cover said when it would be released (October 6) and by which house (Signet Eclipse). I bet most readers would be delighted to receive such a nicely done "preview of coming attractions" keepsake.

I later received a second bound mini-book with a slightly different treatment (it was closer to actual book size in height and width and stapled rather than having plastic binding) for Leanna Renee Hieber's THE STRANGELY BEAUTIFUL TALE OF MISS PERCY PARKER, which, by the way, got a lot of buzz at the FF&P (Futuristic, Fantasy & Paranormal chapter) dinner and a mention at at least one workshop.

So there you have the standouts (though if I had snagged one of the gorgeous space-themed t-shirts that Donna Frelick had done to promote her as yet unsold SFR novel UNCHAINED MEMORY, it would surely have been at the top of my list).

Have you seen any book promotion items that really caught your eye or tweaked your imagination? What were they?


  1. LOVE the little bound sample chapters!

    One of my agency's clients has a historical with a woman holding a fan on the cover. She gave out pretty wooden fans with her web site address on them.

  2. What a cool idea!

    Hmm, now my wheels are turning. I bet there are some neat space-related items that might make good promo materials for a SFR.


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