A question came up on one of my message boards about business cards. Well, I don't hand out business cards, I hand out bookmarks. Several people liked that idea, but had questions and I thought it would be good information to share on my blog.
Here are my two latest bookmarks:
(Click a bookmark to open a version you can print and cut out!)
I created these in Photoshop using my own art. The one on the left lists several of my books, while the other just promotes one book - Paco and the Giant Chile Plant. The one on the left I had printed at Kinkos - eight up on their 11"x17" cardstock (which kept the color pretty accurate - don't use their gloss stock). Here's what my .pdf file looked like:
What you may not be able to see here is that I extended the size of my bookmark 1/8" around all outside edges here and placed crop marks where they should be cut down. (Kinkos can do this.) This guarantees I won't have white space showing around the edges and is the most efficient use of paper. I didn't have anything printed on the back for this round.
Kinkos does a great job, but ends up being more expensive per bookmark. (And they are only as good as the person helping you, so they require a lot of hands on.) So, I searched out another printer for bulk. I've just started using a local printer, Claxton Printing.
My main reason for not wanting to go with one of the large online printing companies like VistaPrint or others, is that I wanted to be able to see a proof - maybe even swing by to have a look if I needed it quickly. (I also like to support local businesses.) Another advantage is that I didn't have to set up the file for them. I just sent them one bookmark design (as a .pdf with the image extended 1/8"" all around) and they took it from there.
They did a great job on my Paco bookmarks, and I got 500 bookmarks for about the same price I used to get 200 at Kinkos.
(I also added information to the back of the Paco bookmark in black and white which you can also download by clicking the image to the right.)
I tend to prefer a bookmark about 2 inches wide, although my heights have varied. However, I've found the shorter bookmarks easier to deal with in my purse. I also think, in the future, I may stick with a bookmark that shows several books - that way I can put it with any book I sign (I always give a bookmark when I sign a book), and it advertises my other books. But in the mean time, I've got about 400 more Paco bookmarks to give away!
The main thing with bookmarks is I'm trying to let people know about my books and drive them to my website where they can download free coloring pages, word find puzzles, computer wallpaper, etc. Hopefully, they'll visit again and again and still be around when my next books come out!
what a GREAT idea -- to use a bookmark instead of a business card! I have been using playing cards printed through ArtsCow -- a bit pricy but glossy and gorgeous -- but I also don't give out many. I love this idea and will see what I can do with it ... well, Arts Cow also has the 4x6 and 5x7 photos which I have a slew of deals on -- 50 5x7 or 100 4x6 for just the price of shipping -- which can be used to make bookmarks at about 8 cents each ... hmmm ... :-)
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