I actually went the other route. I figured all I needed was a business card. Got that made and handed it out. Later, my friend showed me all her "author stuff", promo items she'd gotten from authors over the years. That's when I realized I would need to do a little more than business cards--something with the picture of my cover, for instance.
That's when I ordered postcards--three different types:
- Promo 4x6 postcards with the cover on one side and the pertinent info on the other. I'll be mailing these out to every single address I've got, including addresses on business cards. A co-worker of mine gave me that idea. He said the person who gave me the card put their snail mail address on it, so it's my duty to use it. I've started searching for business cards now.
- 5x7 book cover postcards. Just 50 (since that's the number Vista gave me free... love that word "free" has a nice ring to it). It's just something tangible I can sign that has my cover since most people get this blank look when I tell them that my book is electronic and won't be in print until Spring 2008.
- 5x7 postcards that I cut into bookmarks. One of my fellow Samhellions suggested putting the bookmark image side-by-side on the 4x6 or 5x7 postcard template and getting more for your money. I put four on a 5x7 and then do the 50 for free thing. Voila, 200 bookmarks for the cost of image upload and shipping. I invested in a paper trimmer and I'm all ready to send bookmarks off to the bill collectors (that was another idea from a fellow Samhellion. Turn a negative--paying bills--into a postive--advertising to whoever opens it up). I even talked one of my friends into including my bookmarks with her bills.
I've essentially spent my advance (maybe a little over, but not much). I wish I had $5000 to spend on advertising. That's not what I'd spend it on, but I wish I had it. ;P