Bookmarks and postcards have become standard marketing pieces for both traditionally published and
|Your merch should be a gift to your readers, not just yourself.|
The answers? Yes. Yes. And… let’s chat.
Are bookmarks and postcards boring? YES.
As author merchandising becomes more popular, it can also become uninteresting. How can you keep your merch from being boring? <--- Click to Tweet
On the one hand:
- Merch pieces provide a quick introduction to your book.
- Merch drives traffic to an author’s website.
- Merch is easy to produce.
- Merch is affordable.
On the other hand:
Most of today’s authors fuss over the details, take pride in the finished product, set it out for everyone to see (and for a few to pick up), and then wait for huge success. But in the middle of all this, authors forget to consider two important factors:
The helpful factor. The point at which a merchandising piece meets a reader’s need and benefits them, not just the author.
The throw-away factor. The what, now? The Throw-Away Factor: the point at which a merchandising piece is deemed unhelpful and becomes destined for a reader’s “special file” (aka trash bin).
Can merchandising still be effective? YES!
When authors keep these two factors in mind, they can see more successful results with their merchandising campaigns. <--- Click to Tweet
- Don’t create a merch piece just because everyone else is.
- Don’t create a merch piece just because it’s easy and affordable.
- DO consider the other factors at play.
In order for merchandising to still be effective, it needs to be creative. If everyone else is handing out bookmarks and postcards, what else you can provide that looks different, unique? Consider these examples from some of my authors:
A poet who writes “tear-stained verse” distributes Tide-to-go sticks branded with her name and website.
A writer of medical fiction hands out ball point pens that look like syringes.
An author of Christmas novellas gives her readers holiday ornaments.
Cheesy? Maybe. Memorable? Absolutely. Creative? YES!
In order for merchandising to still be effective, you need it to be helpful to the reader. Your merch, as well as all marketing efforts, cannot be just about you. What service are you providing to your reader with your merch? What need has your merch satisfied? Whatever you think about the creative examples listed above, you have to admit they all have a practical use—and that use safely navigates around the throw-away factor and at the same time achieves the helpful factor, creating a merch piece that will be more succesful than the standard postcard.
You have a creative mind—which I know to be true because you’ve written a book—but remember to bring that creativity to your marketing and not just your writing.
Until next time,
Two factors to consider when creating author merchandising <--- Click to Tweet
Can author merchandising still be effective? Yes it can! <--- Click to Tweet
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