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The other day I posted my idea to have bookmarks made with my 5 covers from my mystery series, plus a few blurbs of reviews, and a URL for Amazon. These colored bookmarks came out looking great. I tried to post a jpg of them here but couldn't get it to work somehow.

MY plan is to take this first 500 and leave them wherever folks have to wait--airports, train terminals, bus depots, doctor's offices, etc. Bitly's counts of hits on the URL will help me to separate this marketing effort from the more conventional post & run ones.

I got the idea after a man with a Kindle in the Oakland airport bought one of my ebooks on the spot. It may take a few months but I will try to remember to give you results.
 

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Sounds like a great idea. Let us know how it works out. Also, the way you'll be tracking the progress is very clever.
 

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I wasn't sure how you were going to keep track of results, then I looked into bitly.  You should be able to get really good feedback on how effective this is at marketing your books so you'll know if it's a winner or a loser.  Have you determined how many sales you need to get through this to break even?  I'm looking forward to the results - it sounds good but the sales generated are what counts.
 

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What a cool idea, Mike.  I remember that thread and your bookmark looked great.  Good luck with it.  I want one...can you leave one in Vermont for me?  :)
 

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I like the approach.  It's tangible, measurable, and inexpensive.  Driving around to all these places may cost more in petrol than the printing costs ;)  I've never been a fan of institutional marketing.  I look forward to hearing your results. 

When I worked in electronics, I once received a shoe box with a man's black leather wingtip.  A real shoe complete with a shoelace.  But it had a hole that went through the toe section and sole. It was a promo piece from Intel trying to sell us some components.  The point was, "Don't shoot yourself in the foot."  I was aghast at the waste.  I can't remember what they were hawking.  I only remember the useless shoe. 
 

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HelenHanson said:
I like the approach. It's tangible, measurable, and inexpensive. Driving around to all these places may cost more in petrol than the printing costs.
Not necessarily. Who says he has to make specific drives out to places to do this experiment? When done correctly, it doesn't take any time out of your day. You simply leave the material behind whenever you go about your regular routine.

You go to the library? You leave some bookmarks (or pens, or Romance Trading Cards, or whatever you're using) behind on the tables.

You go to dinner? You exchange the pen inside the credit card holder with one of your author pens.

You go on a trip and have to fly there? You place some bookmarks on the chairs in the waiting lounge.

It doesn't require any extra special trips. You just have to remember to always have a stock of the promo materials with you, wherever you go.

(I've just never done the tracking that he has. Brilliant.)
 

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Great idea, can't wait to hear back with some results. Best of luck!
 
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