Promo Folder and How to Do It

Need a new twist for promoting your book at signings? I have had excellent results from a system my wife Sarah and I developed over a series of signings after publication of my first book, Secret of the Scroll. My publisher furnished postcards with the book cover printed on one side. Using my inkjet printer, I put a plot blurb and review excerpts on the other side.

When I did a signing, Sarah would stand near the store entrance and greet customers with, "Do you read mysteries?" Those who said "yes" were handed the postcard and told, "This is the first of a series the author is signing here today." If they paused to read the card, she steered them toward me at the table. I handed them a copy of the book and told them something interesting about it.

After a few months of this, I decided to create a small folder that would give more plot information and more reviews, plus a short author bio. Also, with the second book soon to be released, I could add plot info on it as well. Using a desktop publishing program called Page Plus (there are many others available--you can do it with a program like Word, but it's a little more complicated), I created a folder that is half of an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of 32-pound HP Premium Presentation Paper. In other words, you print two to a sheet and cut it in half.

With the folder, we find that many people take them back into the store to read, then come back to my table at the front and buy a book. At least one bought it because of the bio. He said, "I'll buy a book just because you graduated from UT (University of Tennessee)." Since creating that first folder, I have changed it  to feature all three books. Here's how the full sheet for the outside of the folder now looks:




After printing the outside, you turn the sheet over and print the inside. Here's how it looks:



After printing, cut the sheet in half and fold each segment into a 4 1/2" by 5 1/2" format. It is a handy size to pass out, carry a supply around, place on freebie tables at conferences, etc. Incidentally, the book covers and the Bloody Dagger Award banner are JPEG images in the folder, which gives much better fidelity than the GIF files shown here. If you have any questions about the small promo folder, you can email me at chester@chesterdcampbell.com.