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My latest book design effort has just been published, and as mentioned in a previous post titled “Tosh’s Bookmark Gallery,” I like to offer clients a title-customized bookmark as a standard option.
Usefulness of a bookmark can be questioned in a number of ways. Absent the opportunity to attend a continuing series of book fairs and signings, most authors will probably slip very few of them into a signed copy and hand it to a buyer. They’re not easy to carry around like a business card unless you routinely have a briefcase or laptop bag with you. Guys can, however, put a few in a shirt pocket with the top portion visible to be ready for an opportunity to meet someone for the first time and use whatever tactic you’re comfortable with to steer the person’s interest toward your book.
As a side note, that reminds me of a cartoon with a man addressing a room packed full with an audience of admirers, all of whom have expressions of spellbound wonderment. The caption reads: “Well, that’s enough about me. Let’s talk about my novel!”
One of the common stumbling blocks for many indie-published writers is trying to escape the creative cocoon of their writing desks and come up with effective advertising copy. In my experience, the skill set required to write a novel often doesn’t translate well into writing about what you’ve written.
One of the first publication challenges is to write the back cover blurb for the print edition, which is usually the same as the description available online when a shopper is considering purchase of an eBook. On a typical paperback, there’s room on the back cover for only about 230 words to describe the nominal 100,000-word story presented inside the cover.
My bookmark designs include the front cover and room for no more than approximately 50 words, less than 22% of that available on the back cover of a novel. Adjusting the typeface and leading (space between the lines) can compensate somewhat, but attempts to cram too many words in too small a space speaks less well than fewer words with more open space around them.
Yesterday I began designing the bookmark for Geronimo’s Bones by Darrell Bryant. That afternoon while exercising on the elliptical, I used the time to ponder ideas I might be able to come up with, and by dinnertime I had text worthy of passing along to the author. We talked this morning, and here is the still-tentative but likely close-to-final result.