A Functional Business Card (aka Bookmark)

People are still reading. A lot. The New York Times still has a best-seller list; sales on Amazon are doing great; children’s books have increased in sales; and NPR has TV programs about their favorite books each year. What does that mean to you? That promoting your endeavors with a bookmark is still a great idea. Think of it as a functional business card.

It goes without saying that authors, whether traditionally or self-published, can use this valuable promotional tool and keep themselves in the public’s eye. Laurie Wallmark, author of numerous picture books whose focus is women in STEM, has had the great fortune to have her stories illustrated by some excellent artists. Her most recently published book is Numbers in Motion about the mathematician Sophie Kowalevski, illustrated by Yevgenia Nayberg. I am the lucky person who designs Laurie’s bookmarks, and this one was a real treat because I am just enamored of the art.

I chose vignettes from two of Yevgenia’s  illustrations plus Laurie’s web presence for one side, and all of her published books to date, including the book cover slightly larger, on the reverse. The result is a visually pleasing collection of beautiful illustrations, an invitation to learn about this book, and the others as well. You can do the same at Laurie’s website.

But what if you’re not an author? Is there something you do that you want to promote?

An example here is my own shop on Etsy which focuses on a growing collection of cards and other items for the French Bulldog. Any books? Not a one. But does every sold item I send out have a promotional bookmark tucked in? You bet!

And I’m hoping that buyers from my Etsy Frenchie art shop may use and enjoy that bookmark and come back and visit, even if just to check and see what’s new in cute Frenchie stuff.

One of the beauty of bookmarks? They are not terribly expensive and can be produced by any number of reputable online printers.

Another wonderful use for a bookmark is for your organization. In this regard, I’m thinking particularly of non-profits, but if the design is appealing and provides the recipient with the information and inspiration to check out a company’s website and/or social media, then it’s worth it!

Pictured here is a bookmark I designed for the Associated Humane Societies and Popcorn Park Refuge here In NJ. It was part of a larger fundraising appeal I created and I do believe that this lovely bookmark had something to do with the results being much better than the year prior. Who can resist a (shelter) dog putting his paw in your hand? Or one of the refuge tigers napping on a sunny rock?

Here’s the bottom line. Although we live in a very digital world, people are still reading. There are also some programs available for the “lay person” to create their own promotional materials. I have seen some excellent examples from some talented people, and some that are truly cringeworthy. The thing is … you want to be remembered positively. If beautifully done graphic design is not your area of expertise, don’t put out something half-baked.

Get great results with a pro … and here I am! Just contact me – I’m happy to help!

 

Bookmarks for Everyone

While bookmarks are clearly a natural fit for authors, they’re also great for all kinds of organizations, both profit and non-profit alike. As mentioned in an earlier post, people ARE still reading books!

And people notoriously love little giveaways. So why not have a bookmark made up for your shop? A bookshop? Well, a double bonus, of course, but any smaller, special interest shop will do well to tuck a bookmark in your customer’s bag. It will remind your customer of the wonderful goodies in your shop, your helpful staff, and the lovely area they visited when they found you. All that in an attractive item that is relatively inexpensive to produce from start to finish.

 

 

 

 

Pictured here is a bookmark I made up for a sweet little gift shop nearby. Sadly, this business is no longer, but the owner faithfully tucked the bookmark into each customer’s bag, a warm little invitation to “please come again” all on its own. I suggested she holepunch one end and slip in and knot a ribbon, which makes an even more effective place keeper.

What about if you’re a non-profit? What better way to keep your cause, your mission, in front of potential donors’ eyes? A bookmark can pack a lot of punch in a small space and provide great imagery that speaks volumes. I designed this bookmark for Mylestone Equine Rescue, an organization I’ve worked with for many years. It provides the basic contact information for the rescue and photos of the horses that are now looking fabulous thanks to their efforts. How simple is this? And who wouldn’t want to keep it, check in on their website, or make a donation?

Bookmarks are a great, simple, and effective way for businesses to make their mark, whether profit or non-profit. And all without breaking the bank. If you think a bookmark would help your mission, please contact me and let me know.

Bookmarks for Authors

 

 

 

I’d have to say Grace was right. And when that happens to be you as an author promoting yourself with a bookmark, she’s really on the money! Pictured here is a bookmark I created for friend and author, Laurie Wallmark. Grace Hopper, Queen of Computer Code is Laurie’s second published picture book, and she asked me to do a new bookmark for her, including Grace and her first book, Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine.

First, let me tell you about the advantage of having a bookmark as an author. Giveaways – you’ll undoubtedly be doing book signings, and you’ll want each customer to walk away with your fabulous book and something to remember you by – and how to find you via your website, Facebook, Twitter, and more. Why not invite them to learn more about you? Perhaps they’ll follow you, buy your first book, or … want you to come and do a book signing at their school or organization!  Never miss the opportunity to leave an extra – and portable – great visual impression with those that purchase your book.

And the beauty and importance of a well-designed bookmark is that it won’t just stay in the book it was purchased with; it will travel from book to book. Somewhere down the line, your book purchaser, in looking at this bookmark, may think of what a perfect gift that book would be for their niece or nephew. A bookmark can have a long shelf life all its own.

On Laurie’s bookmark, I incorporated a nice gear image as that is something she uses as a theme in her own promotions, and some special touches that pull everything together. Laurie was very happy with them, as was I. I can design for you, too, complementing your own projects, whatever they may be. Contact me if interested, or follow this blog for additional insights into how great graphic design can help you.