Bookmarks (Better than Business Cards for Authors)

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I ordered bookmarks from Overnight Prints and I’m very pleased with the results.

  • The images and text printed wonderfully (be sure to use 300 DPI).
  • I’m pleased with the quality of the cardstock.
  • The 2″ x 6″ size works for me.
  • I ordered double-sided bookmarks with rounded corners.

There are many sites that print bookmarks. I appreciated that Overnight Prints specifically mentioned bookmarks on the site (i.e. I didn’t have to choose a custom product to create something that was shaped and sized like a bookmark).

I may have supported Amazon by ordering bookmarks from CreateSpace, but CreateSpace would only create bookmarks for the book, more or less following some template; they wouldn’t allow me to create a bookmark for a series of books, for example. I wanted the freedom of design for my bookmarks.

The design for my bookmarks was created by artist Melissa Stevens (she also made my covers and website banner).

In addition, I ordered some business cards and magnets.

I’ll be using the bookmarks much more than anything else.

A bookmark is basically a business card that will actually be used.

Do you know anyone with a drawer full of business cards? Or who throws business cards away? Sure, a business card fits in a wallet, but if you receive dozens of business cards, you’re not going to have every one of those in your wallet (along with your id, credit cards, photos, and cash).

Readers use bookmarks. The ‘trick’ is to create a bookmark that doesn’t look like an advertisement. It needs to appeal aesthetically so that it actually gets used.

Now when that person finishes the current book, what will he or she do? Answer: Ask, “What should I read next?” And the answer is right before his or her eyes! Hey, maybe I’ll check out the book from this bookmark.

Don’t just stick them on windshields or pass them out at the mall. You want your target audience to find your bookmarks.

(Okay, so I know a zombie author who ‘accidentally’ left some bookmarks in popular novels like hers on a shelf in a store. I might add that this author has sold a LOT of books.)

When you interact with people in your target audience, include bookmarks. I suppose that you could even include one in books you give away through contests.

Anytime you’d be inclined to hand out a business card, consider a bookmark instead.

I’m not saying business cards are useless. I did order some of these, too, and I will use them.

When I ordered my business cards, there was an option to also order magnets of the same size. I have one sitting on my refrigerator presently.

The magnets were slightly curled upon arrival, but that seems to be natural (maybe they don’t like Louisiana heat and humidity). It’s easy to fix by adhering them to the refrigerator for a while (and since that’s likely how they’ll be used, it doesn’t matter much that they’re curled).

The magnets are somewhat more expensive and may not be as useful and effective as bookmarks, but they’re still cool to have… and I’m sure I can find people who appreciate having them.

(Despite the name “overnight,” when you place an order, you receive a variety of shipping options—the slower ones save you money.)

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Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2014 Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

  • Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
  • Volume 2 on marketability and marketing

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27 comments on “Bookmarks (Better than Business Cards for Authors)

    • Here is what I do. I go to Overnight Prints. I click the All Products link at the top of the page (it has a little dropdown arrow next to it). When I click All Products, it pulls up a large menu. Bookmarks are on the left, under Print Products. If you see something different when you try it, let me know. (It is crazy that typing bookmarks in the search field doesn’t work.)

      And thank you for sharing this.🙂

  1. We have to watch how we distribute things like bookmarks. A librarian told me that library staff routinely combing the stacks for misshelved books also flip through the books to find and discard all “foreign matter.” The rationale is that such things left between the pages stress the binding and weaken it. Bookstore floorwalkers could do the same thing. Better maybe to have relevant ISBNs printed on bookmarks and get permission to leave them at the register or circulation desk, so that if readers inquire, the shop or library can order through Baker & Taylor, Ingram, or Inter-library Loan.

    • That’s a good point. This wasn’t a tactic that I would use, but the creativity could lead to something. (As I was told the story, it was a very busy location, not a bookstore, not likely to be tidied, they weren’t left inside books, and it was a one-time whim with just a small stack.)

  2. Are you familiar with Vista Print? I’ve used them before for business cards and banners. I’m just doing a price comparison. Do you know how much Overnight Press cost? The book marks are a wonderful idea. Where do you usually hand them out at?

    • I’ve heard authors recommend Vista Print, iPrint, and others, and was, in fact, planning to use one of those services. One thing I really liked about Overnight Prints was that it was easy to find a bookmark option right on the website; some other printers don’t specifically mention bookmarks, though it can instead by done as a custom order. I liked the feeling that it was designed to function as a bookmark. But the real selling point for me was that the artist who made my bookmarks was already familiar with the specs for Overnight Prints.

      The price depends on how many you buy. Be careful: Sometimes buying more isn’t cheaper (maybe it’s because sale prices and specials vary). Sometimes it pays to monitor the price; it might drop during a holiday weekend, for example.

      I put them in books that I give out as giveaways (although a bookmark could potentially be a prize of its own), or anything I mail out. If you have a table at a reading, signing, especially a book fair among other authors (your bookmarks might turn out to be pretty popular), anywhere you have a chance to interact with potential readers. Good luck.🙂

  3. I have bookmarks and they’re great for engaging people at events and signings.

    “Would you like a bookmark?” coupled with that gentle flourish of said bookmark in their direction usually gets their attention. Then I can explain that they’re my books and strike up a conversation which is half the battle, I find.

    So yeh, I endorse you, book marks are great. I got mine from .It costs me about £13 for 500 book marks and then about £20 to get them sent over here (their European branch is based in Holland but the things come in from LAX!).



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