Promotion Notion Part 2- Actual info!

I decided that my last “Promotion Notion” post had some fairly valuable information buried  in a bit of a ramble, so I thought I’d revisit it with a breakdown of the information. Also- my stickers came and I have some things to talk about!


1. When making a promotional item consider the place you’re going to be promoting. If it’s an independent book store or other retail site ask THEM first if you can sell items other than your book. Some of them may say no. there are also laws regarding selling things at places that sell things, if you know what I mean. So the answer may be no. If you have tee-shirts or tote bags that you sell along with your book, this might be a good time to invest in some freebies. Also- never underestimate a drawing! Even if you can’t sell the shirts with your book cover on them consider bringing one as a drawing prize.

If you are attending a convention or a conference there are often freebie tables. That is where you want to leave items like book marks, post cards, stickers, pens, etc. If you have a table in the dealer’s room then that is where you want to have the higher ticket items like shirts, tote bags, and of course your book!

2. Don’t make too many items! We all want to think that we’ll be able to give away 100 or more postcards/business cards/book marks, but that is HIGHLY unlikely. For any given con you probably won’t need more than 40 freebies and about 25-30 of your other stock items, including your books. Things like tote bags and shirts should be limited to about 10. If you sell out- wonderful! If you are having items made through a service like Redbubble or Zazzle have postcards handy that include the web address of your store. And always link your store on your websites!

3. Consider OTHER items. It’s not all about bookmarks! At places like Oriental Trading Company you can get just about anything personalized! Everything from candy to cupcake wrappers. Find a theme  that ties into your book or brand.  Be aware though that with Oriental Trading Company there is A LOT to sort through and pay attention to the customer reviews. It’s not something you want to do at the last-minute in case you need to return the items for a refund or exchange them. You can also customize pretty much anything yourself by ordering stickers or labels from a printer like Vista Print and then sticking them on items yourself.

Now all this brings me around to the stickers I ordered from Vista Print. They are lovely! But I can tell you right now the mistake I made. I should have printed out my design to see how big the text was and how much negative space there was. I didn’t do that and now I could have made the text much larger! Always print out your design at home! 🙂

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Posted in Blogging, Writing
7 comments on “Promotion Notion Part 2- Actual info!
  1. I can personally recommend getting a ULine catalog for all sorts of stickers and packaging items you might need. Earthly Charms does jewelry with your book covers.

  2. The things I learn the hard way! Anybody need extra post cards for a book called LOVING SUNNY? 🙂 Thanks for the great pointers.

  3. Amy Reade says:

    Thanks for the post. Candy is a great idea…almost everyone loves it! Would you recommend putting your info on the wrapper, or on a piece of stock that you attach to the candy somehow? It would be cute on the wrapper, but people might throw it away thinking it’s trash.

    • chexgilson says:

      Depending on the candy wrapper you can get labels or stickers and then stick them over the regular label. If you don’t want people to throw the wrapper away you can do things like use a glue dot to stick a piece of candy to a post card with your info on it.

  4. Very informative post, especially about creating the personalized merchandise. I use Vista Print all the time for bookmarks, business cards, and post cards, but haven’t yet made any actual merchandise. My favorite thing about VP is being able to design the stuff myself. I like to play around with the font and the amount of information I put on them, as well as try different images from my book covers. I do have a bad habit of bringing too much free stuff to the few occasions I promote live, but since they are only bookmarks and business cards usually, it’s easy enough to bring them back home. Thanks for the advice.

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