One of the most popular forms of traditional book marketing has been book-signing parties. That’s very nice when you have a physical book to sign and a marketing budget to pay for the traveling, but what about the self-publisher who’s publishing digitally on a shoestring budget? All it takes is a bit of imagination, a little time and effort, and an online hangout like the virtual cafe at Moultrie Creek Books. Let’s look at your options . . .
If you have a PDF edition of your book for sale on your site or via platforms such as Scribd or Lulu, your readers who have a PDF copy of your book can email it to you and you can use a PDF app with annotation capabilities like Evernote’s Skitch to write a note and sign the book. This is much easier to do on a tablet than a desktop, but will work on a desktop/laptop with a digitizer tablet or a touchpad. Both the PDFExpert [iPad - $9.99] and Good Reader [iPad - $4.99] apps support annotations, making it easy to write on a PDF document.
NOTE: An iPad stylus makes writing much easier than with your finger. It also works quite well on a Mac touchpad. You might try one on your laptop’s touchpad to see if it works there too.
Whether or not you are publishing a PDF edition of your book, you may want to consider creating a book card. A book card is a postcard-size “business” card for your book. In the example shown here, I have the book cover on one side of the card and a short description with bookstore link on the back – leaving room to sign the card. In this example, I saved the card layout as a PDF file and signed the card on my iPad using the free Documents by Readdle app on my iPad. You could also have physical cards printed for face-to-face marketing opportunities at conferences or society meetings.
I chose the postcard size for a number of reasons. First, the size gives lots of design room for cover graphics, book description and purchasing details and still leaving room for signing. Second, it’s easy to find 4×6″ postcard stock to print your own and it’s a standard size offered at print shops. And, since 4×6″ is also a common photo size, there are tons of albums available to keep them. Who knows . . . book cards could be the next new thing in collectibles!
So, if you’ve got a published book and would like to try a new angle on marketing, build your own book card, practice signing your name with your finger or a stylus, then contact me at The Bookstore Cafe to schedule a virtual book-signing party.