Friday, March 11, 2011

Trading Up

As primarily and ebook author, I think about promotion items a lot. I'm not proud of it, but if you hang out in author circles, on lists, groups and at coffee clatches, the topic is going to come up. I've tried them all too. Bookmarks, stickers, postcards, pens, fridge magnets...I even took a tip from a website and spent a good month stuffing my promo items into junk mail return envelopes--until someone suggested they would single them out by weight and toss my goodies without even opening them.

Well so much for that good idea. I'd spent far too much of my own money to throw the things away. I didn't even like to think about it, and at conventions, I developed the habit of scooping up any extras on that promo table before leaving the event, just to save them from the garbage.

Then one of my friends suggested trading cards. Pretty, collectible, cards with my covers on one side and the book info on the other. She's pretty brilliant. I searched and designed and printed. I took my little assortment of cards to the next convention, and it didn't take long to see that there wouldn't be any leftovers to save at the end of the weekend. Eureka, they love those cards.

Last week I stumbled upon a group of romance authors who either have the same brilliant friend, or latched onto the idea through their own clever intellects. I suspect the latter--especially because their cards are better designed, more lovely, and very well produced. In the spirit of the great idea, they've also opened up the doors to any author of romance. Come play, we're excited, they said. SO, naturally I jumped on board. Go Here and see for yourself how cool they are.

They make my cards look so lame. Go Here and you'll see what I mean...I went with the easy peesy old school baseball card look. Sue me. It was fun. ;-)

The point is they are so excited! They are tweeting and hooting and spreading the word fast, and the best part is they're ready to share the fun.

So what do you guys think? Dive in there, definitely, but also, wouldn't it be fun to have an official SFR Brigade template to use as a card border? What about a little SFR Brigade seal for authors to pop into the corner of their cards?
I know you all can come up with better than I can. Do you want to play a game?



  1. This sounds like such a fantastic idea, Frances.

    And using a SFR Brigade logo is a great idea, too. You can use the one on the web site if you want, or design your own. I'm afraid I can't help in that department. I'm clueless. Cover designer Kanaxa actually designed and donated our SFR Brigade Member badge.

    Where can you have the actual cards printed up though? And are they the same size as playing cards or larger?

  2. I used my printer and did custom business cards...dont do that. LOL the link they give on the site is way cheaper and they have a template.
    You do want to make them a standard trading card size: 2.5 x3.5 inches. Then they fit in those neat little card page protectors. :) I'm working on a binder full of my collection already.
    Really fun stuff.

  3. Oh, friend's original idea was to have something to sign for folks that bought ebooks. She figured they could collect the cover for the books they'd bought. So on my site, I offer to send a free cover of the book to anyone who's bought the ebook version as a trading card. I talk about it a little on my blog this week too.

    You can do so much with this though. Im just tapping the surface.

  4. Thanks! I just added all your great ideas to my To-Do list for Crushed!

  5. Brilliant idea, Frances! I've actually heard of the trading card idea before from my friend Caridad.

    I love the idea of an SFR logo on the card. I did some postcards earlier for FL when I did signings. But the trading card idea is stellar for us epub authors.

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention here at SFRB!

  6. If anyone has ideas as far as a smaller Brigade logo look, probably wouldn't take me long to come up with something if wanted. Guess I could start a thread on the forums for more discussion.

    Do the trading card sizes do better than say postcard size?

    Right now I'm working on some accessory images to keep the ball rolling on my current idea and they'd make great postcard size give-aways (and who wouldn't want something from the Galactic Tourism Council). =)


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