Promotional packs for novels

I mentioned this in my previous post. You know those fancy brochures real estate agents like to hand out, or maybe you got one with your new insurance policy. They usually have a fancy full-color photo with the insurance company logo on the front, and inside there is a slot on each face for papers, along with cut-outs for the agents business card.

You can buy those folders in different colors. Get full-size, full color photo copies of your book cover and have them glued to the front of the folder. Make sure the color of the folder compliments the colors in your book cover, of course.

You will need business cards, too. If you are promoting a book, the face of the business card should carry a reproduction of the book cover, or a head shot of you as the author. The back face of the card should have your contact info, including the URL of your web site. Don’t have one?

Get a domain name through and set one set up, or better yet, do it yourself. It’s not that hard, and you will gain some very useful skills doing it.

You will want to write up an Author’s Bio for your promo pack. Be sure to include any experience that qualifies you to write your book or novel.

You will want to have a synopsis of your book as well. Make sure it reads well.

And bookmarks, again with the book cover on the face and your contact info on the back.

I’ve seen one author who includes post cards in his promo packs. Again, the face of the card holds the cover art for the book cover and the back is, well, the back of the post card.

What else should you include? Readers reviews of your book, of course. Bookstore owners will want to know they have a fighting chance of repeat business. They do not want to sell duds. Folks tend not to return to the same store where they spent hard-earned money on a book they didn’t enjoy. Or they do come back, and let the store owner know what they think of your book.

You can’t please everybody, and the store owner knows that. But he or she wants to know beforehand that at least some readers were still happy after paying for and reading your work.

Remember, promo packs don’t just sell your book. They sell you. They tell the people you hand them to that your are organized, competent and capable. Or not.


About Gary Showalter

Gary Showalter was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He lived in Aruba, Florida and the Panama Canal Zone before joining the U.S. Army during the 1960s. Following his discharge from the Army, Mr. Showalter picked cotton in East Texas, baled hay in Ardmore Oklahoma, sold light bulbs in Los Angeles, California, and built cattle pens in Fallon, Nevada (during a blizzard, of course). After settling in Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. Showalter worked as a professional gardener before turning his hand to furniture making. In 1981, he moved to Israel, married, and raised four children while working as a furniture maker, silversmith, goldsmith, and ornamental wood turner. He served in the Israel Defense Forces Reserves for sixteen years, and when not on active duty he worked in government and private security. He has also served in senior management positions in two software development companies in Israel. During his time in Israel, Mr. Showalter published articles dealing with international terror and the Israel-Arab conflict in the Jerusalem Post, Israel national News and several political science web sites. Mr. Showalter returned to the United States in the fall of 2003, to care for an elderly parent. He published his first novel, “The Big Bend”, in the fall of 2008. His second novel, “Hog Valley”, is now in print. Mr. Showalter's third novel, “Twisted Key”, was published in the fall of 2011, and his fourth novel, "Lonesome Cove" is now available in Kindle format and should be published in paper near the end of 2012. He currently lives in Deland, Fl, where he is co-authoring "A Silent Star" with Tony Attanasio. "A Silent Star" is the true tale (though novelized, with names changed for security reasons) about the 4-person covert action team sent into Yemen to capture Osama Bin laden immediately after the bombing of the USS Cole in the Aden harbor in Yemen in October of 2000.
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