Thursday, November 29, 2007
So, on the weekend I will post something about whether erotic romance and romance are separate genres (Thanks for the idea, Jill Noelle). But I haven't decided what I think about that yet, so today I am posting about promotional bookmarks.
Yesterday I opened a package full of books and out fell six bookmarks, a cover flat, a fridge magnet and a... thing. I looked at the bookmarks and my first thought was that whoever designed them, all of them, put a lot of energy into making flashy advertising but they didn't seem to be too terribly worried about making a nice bookmark.
Because that's what they are meant to be, right? But all I see is a half page of advertising squeezed into a sixth of a page worth of space. They are all covered in words in small print (8 point?), colored on the front, black and white on the back: bestselling (on almost all of them) ... new voice ... fascinating ... sexy ... riveting ... blah blah blah blah
You know what would be nice? A pretty picture and a little less bombast. These are all going in the bin. Sorry. Why would I use use something cluttered with an average of about 100 tiny, hysterical, spammy words as a book mark? A pretty picture, genre, name, and a url, maybe. Even if there was adverting on one side and a pretty picture on the other, that would be okay too.
But how could it work well as an ad with less words? Well, for a start I might actually read them and remember what I read--I have been looking at these bookmarks for about 5 minutes now and having look away to type this post I literally couldn't tell you a single author name or title from any of them. Less really is more, if only because you can use a font size that doesn't give me a headache.
And secondly the bookmark would be more likely to be used. Want to know what my current bookmark looks like? Four beads on a piece of string and no words at all. It was a promo piece from Respendence Publishing that I picked up in March and eight months later I still remember which publisher it is from. Why? Because it's a really nice little bookmark.
And just in passing, a cover flat is just a cover with no damn book in it--thank you for signing it Miss Whoeveryouwere. A fridge magnet that isn't strong enough to hold a piece of paper to the fridge (I tried) is just damned annoying. It says 'I want my advertising in your house but I am not going to do anything for you in return'. And the 'thing' is apparently meant to hang on a door knob but it doesn't fit over mine, and all that is on it is some more very small print advertising for a book. I am genuinely baffled. Why would I want to hang that on my doorknob? The background color of that one is black so I couldn't even write something on it myself.
Does anyone out there have a nice bookmark, I mean a really *nice* bookmark that advertises their wares without looking like part of a technicolor want ads page? Email me a picture. If I like it I will do you a deal: I'll buy a copy of your book if you'll send me a hardcopy of the bookmark. Show me you can make a nice bookmark, then maybe I'll trust you to have also written a nice book.