Spring’s coming, and along with it are my public appearance opportunities—speeches, book signings, fun festivals. I have to admit, I love meeting readers, and I’m happy to go wherever I can to reach them. Later this month, I and other Texas authors have an event in Galveston that MSB and I are turning into a vacation. Who can turn down a few days at the beach?
But, back to the authors’ event, I had to make a few purchases to prepare. Like my table poster here. This was my favorite design, which I found on VistaPrint. One thing I like about VistaPrint is how easy it is to match items with your design of choice. My business card is the same as my poster:
I also have a full-sized, easel-mount poster of the same design, and matching pens, which I don’t carry anymore. They make great giveaways, but not at festivals and fairs where they’re given away to folks who could care less about your product. (Of course, they’re still useful at speeches. Maybe I ought to restock.) But, lesson learned: If you’re going to use pens as a giveaway, either buy less expensive pens, or be more selective where you give them away.
One of the things I noticed that didn’t even cross my mind while I was reordering is that both my posters and my business card specify Amazon. While all of my books are available at this mega-giant outlet, I’m aiming for a wider distribution in the future, so next time I renew my cards or reorder a poster, I’d better change that.
There are other sites that provide business cards and other marketing items, but I prefer VistaPrint. They have a wide range of items, they’re affordable, they ship on time, and they have an amazingly helpful staff. They also know how to make a sale. If you’re not careful, you’ll end up buying a whole boatload of wonderful sales tools, all bearing your logo. Just remember, if you’re traveling with these tools, you’ll want them to fit in your vehicle or plane. Put thought into your purchases.
One thing I couldn’t find at VistaPrint was a conference-sized table dressing. A quick Google search led me to 4imprint , which happened to be having a sale on them the day I was looking. 4imprint is similar to VistaPrint, but doesn’t seem to have the collection of goods that VP has. Still, they’re just as easy to work with.
The tablecloth was a bit more expensive because I added a logo to it, but it still was more economical than I found on other sites. I’m not sure I did a good job designing the logo, especially since I had more space on the cloth than I actually used, but I’m still satisfied with it:
You can see the dotted line on the cloth, indicating the size my logo could have been, but I think I like this too. It’ll work. (And the dotted line isn’t on the actual cloth.)
The logo was easy enough to design. I got the background from BigStock photos:
then went to picmonkey and chose my fonts and embellishments:
Add to this a few Spring table decorations, some fun, inexpensive giveaways, and, of course, my books, and I’m all set. As far as my table is concerned anyway. Among the must-haves for me is my Square so I can take credit card purchases, the Mile-IQ app to keep up with my deductible business mileage (if the new tax system allows), and, for festivals, my vendor’s license (required in Texas for certain events. Check your own state’s requirements).
Oh–and shopping bags. I found a great set of clear bags with handles at Staples, but Amazon has them too, 100 bags for $27.99. At one time I had totes made that carried an ad for my Circle Bar Ranch series, and they were great. They were also expensive. Not that I won’t do that again, but the simple clear sacks are great because the book covers show through. Automatic advertisement.
Planning on going public with your books? Let me know how you do things. I’m always shopping for new ideas.
Oh, and if you’re in the area later this month, come see me in Galveston!