Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Bookplates the Inexpensive Way

I'm going to an event cross-country in Nashville, UtopYA Con, and one of the things that's been stressing out all of the authors attending is how many books to bring with us to sell and/or sign. Bring too few and you'll be turning people away empty-handed, and bring too many and you'll have to decide whether to pay shipping home (or take up your valuable suitcase space again).

I will be bringing my guesstimated amount of 40 books, but I still have that nagging fear that I'll run out and miss out on some fans. My solution was bookplates that I can sign and hand out, and the more I thought about it, the more I liked that idea.

If a fan has already bought an e-book of Crow's Rest, this is a way for them to have something physical to take away. Or if they're not buying my book that day (there is a very longs list of authors who will be signing, and let's face it, no one can buy every book), they can buy a copy later from the retailer of their choice and stick the bookplate in there. Voila, signed copy!

I looked around for some good prices on bookplates, but since I'm already paying for buttons to give out, as well as the transient vendor license that Nashville requires*, my budget was really tight. I wasn't able to find any that were within my budget, so I designed my own bookplates to print on my ink jet printer.

It obviously helps if you have some design skills and access to your book art, but you could make some pretty sharp bookplates with stock images. For the technical-minded, my image dimensions are 3.55x2.663 inches at 300 dpi to fit on the Avery 6464. Even with the cost of the ink figured in, I estimate that these will cost me about .15/each!

These are also great if someone out of my area wants a signed copy--instead of them sending me their copy to sign, and then me having to ship it back again, I can send them a signed bookplate instead.

What do you think? Are you going to give these a try?

*A lot of us were caught by surprise by the $112 transient vendor fee that Nashville requires to sell items, even if you're selling as part of an event like this con. Make sure you always check for these license requirements when you're thinking of selling your books out of your county (if you have a business license, you're covered in your county) because getting caught without one can mean fines.

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