There’s no doubt that book marketing can be challenging. And giving advice or instruction on how to market a book is also not without its challenges. What works incredibly well for one author with one book may not deliver nearly the same results for a different author with a different book. That is why the best recommendation of all is to start deliberately, slowly, and small – with measurable steps that produce measurable results. Then, once you find something that works, ramp it up.
For instance, some authors have a wide variety of branded and customized promotional materials at their disposal: business cards, publication announcements, postcards, posters, etc. These are typically best suited for the extrovert author – the type of writer who loves the public eye and attends book fairs, book signings, and author events. At these events, every person you meet is a potential recipient of a branded piece of collateral, especially a business card. Posters, too, are obvious in their purpose (book event signage to make your space stand out). But what about postcards? Well, stay tuned! If you are an extrovert author (or even if you aren’t), here are six great reasons to add branded, customized postcards to your book marketing arsenal:
- Invitations. If you’re attending an author event or book fair, postcards are the perfect way to notify everyone in advance. Sure, you should post the notice on Facebook and your other social media platforms, and email everyone you know, but in this day and digital age of electronic media, there’s still something about receiving a postcard in the mail that makes it stand out. And standing out is what good book marketing is all about.
- Solicitations. What if there is an event or conference that you want to present at? Same rule applies from number one. An inquiry into a speaking engagement will literally speak volumes if said out-reach arrives in the way of a branded, customized postcard with your (eye-catching) cover on the front.
- Influencers. Speaking of out-reach, a successful book marketer never stops promoting themselves, their book, and their business (with diplomacy, of course). If you’re looking to catch the attention of influence-makers (other authors, experts, bloggers, and book reviewers), a handwritten custom postcard will certainly increase your chances.
- Media Chow. Members of the media get bombarded with interview requests from self-publishing authors all the time, but most of those inquiries come in the form of email, Facebook, Linked-In, or Twitter. Imagine the impact you would have on a local journalist or DJ if he/she actually received a handwritten postcard from you in the mail, with your eye-catching, full-color book cover on the front and a short pleasant note on the back introducing yourself and asking for a short meeting to pitch your story (remember, you pitch stories to the media, not books, and not yourself).
- Follow-Ups. Many of the people you meet as a published author will present opportunities. In fact, you may not even realize what the opportunity is until later that day or even the following-week. Sure, you exchanged business cards with them, but so did everyone else. Which author is going to follow-up with an email and which author is going to follow-up with a custom postcard in the mail? And of those two, which author do you think those influence-makers are going to take the time to contact?
- Thank-Yous. With all these book fairs and author events you attend, and all these media contacts, influencers, and writers you meet, eventually it will be time to thank someone. And that’s a great time for a personalized, branded, customized postcard. You can’t give a free book to everyone you want to thank, and a business card isn’t a “thank you” (it’s a gimmee), so postcards are the perfect compromise! People typically only receive postcards from loved ones on vacation (if that anymore!), so postcards still possess a degree of intimacy while being entirely professional and appropriate. And for that, not coincidentally, your recipient will thank you, also.