Promotional Goodies Questions

I’ve been pondering options for promotional items I could give away that would be related to The Duke and the Pirate Queen. I would really, really like some input into these ideas, so please feel free to comment at length.

Here are my ideas so far:

1. The usual suspects – postcards or bookmarks. Bo-ring, or usual because they work?

2. Temporary tattoos, which would fit in with the pirate idea. Except, tattoos of what exactly? Are they any use as promotional items if they don’t include the book title?

3. Pirate duckies. Possibly with labels stuck on, so one could then lose the labels and forget where the duckies came from. But oh so cute.

4. A single large giveaway of “pirate loot,” which would entail getting entrants to email me and then drawing a name. Would people just enter and forget? I think people would enter even if they had zero interest in the book.

5. Something else. Feel free to enlighten me on possible answers to this one.

Published by Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen’s writing showcases her voracious lifelong love of books. She reads over 120 new books each year, especially historical romance, fantasy, and space opera, and incorporates these genres into her erotic fiction. Her first erotic novel, The Duchess, Her Maid, The Groom and Their Lover (Harlequin Spice, December 2008), was translated into French and German. Her second Spice novel, The Moonlight Mistress (December 2009), was translated into Italian and nominated for a RT Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her third novel is The Duke & The Pirate Queen (December 2010). She has also published erotic short stories as Elspeth Potter. When not writing, Victoria conducts research in libraries and graveyards, lectures about writing and selling erotica, and speaks at literary conventions on topics such as paranormal romance, urban fantasy, erotic science fiction/fantasy, and the empowerment of women through unconventional means. Her daily writing blog features professional writing and marketing tips, genre discussion, book reviews, and author interviews. She also guest blogs for Heroes & Heartbreakers and The Criminal Element. She lives in Philadelphia.

13 replies on “Promotional Goodies Questions”

  1. I love the above idea of a little card with the book's cover, either as a standalone or in gift-tag size to attach to another giveaway.

  2. Pirates! Awesome!!!

    I think as much as possible you want to get your cover and title out there. The pirate duckies are awfully cute though!

    Maybe a doubloon? A token with the title on it and some sort of pirate motif?

  3. Ratphooey, using the card to attach to the giveaway is a great idea!

    Jeannie, I will have to research getting dubloons stamped…I wonder if people would keep those?

  4. Well, like Jeannie mentioned, it's good to get the cover and title "out there" – so bookmarks and postcards are solid choices. I know some readers poo-poo them, but I ALWAYS use bookmarks. The promo ones, I use until they get bent up or ratty looking, then I toss them. Or I give them away to other readers. Or I put them out in the library….well, you get the idea.

    I love the pirate duckies. I would so keep that lil' guy.

    I also am a big fan of magnets and note pads. Man, I burn through a lot of note pads and I have a nice magnet collection going here at work :)

  5. Wendy, bookmarks aren't quite wide enough for the whole cover, but they seem more useful to me than postcards (even though you can use postcards for bookmarks, I suspect many people won't).

    Sending them to libraries and bookstores is a good idea. Previously, I've only sent stuff to one bookstore, upon request, and all I had was cover flats. That was part of why I began to think of bookmarks.

  6. Hailey, I do have them on my list – a friend used them for a big birthday party.

  7. I love the duckies. Tattoos of the duckies would be awesome too.

    A custom treasure map highlighting locations in the book with the book cover image on the back would be fun.

  8. HI Victoria,

    I may be spouting an unpopular opinion here, but I'm beginning to wonder how much good these promo items do.

    I recently attended Lori Foster's event and came home with a bag full of "stuff" that I barely had time to scan. I haven't looked at it since. How much did all those authors spend of their own money just to have the stuff dumped and the bag reused? Or possibly have all of it stuck in a closet somewhere?

    I sometimes bring my promo stuff to a friend's used book store and let her doll it out a bit at a time. I think it makes a bigger impact that way. But I may be the exception. Most authors will promote only their own stuff since the competition is so fierce.

    I don't know what the answer is. Maybe I'll blog about that and see what kind of feedback I get.


  9. Ashlyn, that's been one of my worries, too – it's why I haven't done any bookmarks or anything prior to this. I've occasionally left business cards on the freebie table of science fiction conventions I've attended, and will hand those out at panels and such if people ask.

    However, this year I've had a couple of emails from bookstores, and I decided it would be nice to have some items to send them – bookmarks will work better, I think, than the cover flats (sent by my publisher) which were all I had before. I'm curious to see the results. I don't expect a big sales jump, but maybe the promo will show I am someone who can be contacted, sort of a goodwill thing.

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