Being a self-published writer, I need creative and inexpensive ways to market my book, Yalu and the Puppy Room. I have found giving out a bookmark to be very effective.

I wanted a background color that would catch the eye. Green, purple, or blue seemed the best options that went with the yellow book cover. What I needed was a template to put everything together and found a company on the Internet called After setting up a template and collecting opinions from Lori and DiMamma, I settled on the purple for the background.

Under a picture of the book cover, I wanted a short simple line of what Yalu and the Puppy Room was about and came up with: This Golden Retriever needs to find a forever home. Animal shelters love the term forever home and I had just enough information to spark someone’s curiosity.

My website’s name, seemed easy enough to remember. Besides, was already taken (phooey!). Still, people can visit the kid friendly site where they can read the book on their own, listen to me read it from a short I made, play with on line puzzles from the book or print out black and white pictures that my artist, Tielman, drew for your coloring pleasure.

An ISBN number was the best idea I had to add some balance to my marketing presentation. When the current batch of bookmarks runs out, I will replace the ISBN number with the links for the Facebook, blog, and Twitter sites.

At the top center of my creation, I had the letter X printed. Whenever I put in an order, someone from Next Day Flyers would call asking if this was an error. Once I explained that X marked the spot for the hole punch and why I wanted the letter there, I got an “Oooh” from the people who called.

So what goes there? Why the purple, yellow, and blue ribbons. That makes my bookmarks special and those three colors work together. Alright, guys might pull out the ribbons, but moms and girls love it. When I see a child holding one end of the bookmark and shaking the ribbons or someone staring at my hand held ad, I could have a potential sale. If not, someone’s got a neat bookmark.

When I’m at events, its fun holding out a bookmark and saying to a passing child, “I know what you need” or “Did I forget to give you a bookmark?” Either option provides an instant smile.

And now for a moment of honesty, the overall goal of the bookmark is for a child to hear me read Yalu and the Puppy Room at their school, they get a bookmark, and then go home with one of my flyers yelling, “Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom” while waving my bookmark and flyer at her. Mom looks at my bookmark, reads the flyer, sees the website, and hopefully a sale takes place later that week.


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