As I mentioned in last week's post, I recently created a promotional bookmark. I slaved, tore out my hair, swore at the computer....and three hours later, voila! A finished product uploaded. When I came back from vacation today, all 200 were waiting for me at my desk. I ordered extra because I'm participating in the Baltimore Book Festival. Lots of panels, readings, and general good times surrounded by people who flat out enjoy books. Since I'm with an e-publisher, I won't be able to sell copies of my book onsite. Hopefully, in addition to all the other loot attendees cart home that day, they'll take one of my bookmarks and make the purchase from the comfort of their laptop.
But it made me wonder just how much longer bookmarks will be relevant. They are a super handy promotional piece, because they contain both the (hopefully) lure of a great cover as well as an irresistable blurb. You could fit the cover on a business card, but not a blurb...and of course, we authors hope that the blurb is what hooks a reader. However, I believe bookmarks are fast becoming obsolete. I myself don't use them. Never saw the point - easy enough to remember where I left off in a book. They always felt like a remnant from a previous century...sort of like wearing gloves to high tea. Quaint, but dated.
With the advent of ebooks, the humble bookmark might indeed fall by the wayside. Do we authors turn to postcards? You can't fit a blurb on the side of a pen. At some point do we keep them as promotional options, but stop calling them bookmarks? How do we adapt in this increasingly online world - especially when the majority of our readers come from the ebook world?