The bookmarks and post cards arrived earlier than expected!
On the recommendation of my son, I used OvernightPrints.com, and I am really pleased with the products. [They really look better than these scanned images.] The process was all done online, and the company has templates that are pretty easy to use, even for me. I chose the 4 x 6 size for the postcard, and the 2 x 6 for the bookmark. The prices were reasonable, and I ordered 250 post cards and 1000 bookmarks. I could have lowered my per-piece price by ordering larger quantities, but decided not to. (I wanted to see how they came out before I found myself stuck with a a gazillion paper pieces I didn’t like.) I saved the image files, so I can reorder later.
The card stock is a nice weight and I like the glossy finish. On the back of both articles I placed “teaser” text to pique interest in the story. I’m glad I ran the draft of the designs past the marketing person at the publisher: she had me add the publisher logo and an additional web address of the parent company.
I’ll use the post cards to send to some libraries and other organizations to promote personal appearances as well as to publicize the book. Later, I’ll also use them as invitations to my book launch party for friends who may not be on Facebook (where I’ll send most invitations).
The bookmarks are small enough to keep in my pockets and purse to hand out at work, at church, and everywhere else. I’m doing a class presentation in a Children’s Lit class soon, and I’ll give them. Of course, I’ll give them out at any personal appearances I do. I may need to order more before long.
It’s exciting to do the final proofread on a book before it officially goes to press, but also a little scary. What if I miss something? What if it’s something big? Kira asked me to look especially closely at the many excerpts from primary documents to check them for accuracy, since she and her staff don’t have easy access to those. Thank goodness I had filed the hundreds of pages of photocopies-from-microfilm of the 1855 newspapers I used. They were in roughly chronological order, so that made it easier, too.
I had a little fun with the cover art and book title page art as I uploaded them into a template for postcards and bookmarks. I’ll send out postcards to librarians, independent bookstores, and some historical sites that might be interested in selling the books in their gift shops. I’ll also use them to generate some interest for school and library visits, and maybe some other personal appearances. I’ll order lots of bookmarks to give out at school visits and other events.
I still need to add more information to this website, such as contact information and info about personal appearances. [How does a writer know what to charge for personal appearances?] I also plan to add some teacher resources such as discussion questions and maybe even a poetry unit.
I’ve been doing some thinking about my book launch party. I had hoped to have it at the Steamboat Arabia museum, but I think that will be just too expensive for me. Now my best options seem to be (1) a local bookstore like Reading Reptile [A delightful place, by the way], (2) on the Park University campus [It has wonderful historical ambiance, and the campus bookstore would handle book sales], or maybe (3) the historic train depot in Parkville [right across from the campus]. At least with option #2 I’d be close to home, the venue would be free of charge to use, and I’d be able to arrange for food and drinks myself. The only possible negative is our distance from the main part of Kansas City. But having it on campus would probably mean better attendance from our friends and neighbors who live in this area, as well as faculty, staff, and students from Park. So many things to consider.
Meanwhile, I’m now less than two weeks from the St. Louis Rock n Roll Marathon. I almost feel like I’m in training for two events at once.
Okay, I thought I’d seen cover art with the new file of VFK, but it turns out that was actually the beautiful front page of the book. Kira sent the real cover art today, and it’s lovely! I spent most of the day showing it off to friends, posting it on Facebook and Google+, and just generally basking in the glow of it all.
My next big task will be arranging for business cards, post cards, and bookmarks with the new image.
And here it is: