Monday, August 22

Where Do Bookmarks Fit In An E-Book World?

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?


  1. You know I'd never really thought about it...but you're right, what is next for the bookmark. I do think keeping them as a promo items to giveaway - noting your website, etc. is a good idea, though.

  2. I think I'm going to go with the trading cards this time. I'm reluctant, but they're nice and hopefully cheap and still hold all the needed information. Your bookmark looks great, BTW!

  3. What about glossy paper coasters? Hopefully there won't be any
    e-drinking in our someone's gonna have a glass or cup, no?

  4. I hope you put a QR code (it's free to make) on your book mark so it's a point and click to your ebook via a smart phone. And if your publisher is saavy, they could even allow you to set up a special discount so you'd know who used the QR code to buy or at least look at your book.

    If it's good enough for Costco, Home Depot, it should be good for authors as well.

  5. Yeah, I think the trading cards are kind of cool. I got one of Brinda's (from her guest post two weeks ago) and it's gorgeous.

    And since I'm writing for teens, they might even be cool. Who knows?

    Personally, I love bookmarks. I even make my own with my favorite comic strips (Peanuts and Rose is Rose). I've laminated some of my keepers and that's what I use.

    BTW--love your bookmarks. They're gorgeous.

  6. PS: I used cool and gorgeous twice in previous posting. Bad writer.

  7. I've been wondering about this very thing. I like Em-Musing's idea of paper coasters, but I don't know what the cost would be.