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This Little Piggie Went to the Market . . . to Market

Hey y'all.

As you probably know, the 2012 Ozarks Romance Authors Conference is coming up. We're in our 25th year, how awesome is that?

This is my 4th year of attending. Each one is better than the next. It's the first year that I have a book to peddle. I think (fingers crossed) that The Treasure Hunter's Lady will be ready for print by then. I also think that I probably won't have time to sit down at an actual table to sell print copies. In the past, as a member of the conference committee I've been positioned at the registration table to help people get signed in, pass out goody bags and be the official name list holder for people pitching to the agents.

This year, I'm not pitching. I have plenty of things on my plate and I'm not interested in pitching anything I have. I'm not dedicated enough to a certain historical romance file on my flash drive to try to spruce it up for an agent. I thought I might be, but in the end, I wasn't.

This year I find myself with the desire to sell books. Print books (please, please, please) and ebooks. I started wracking my brain months ago for a way to engage potential readers and make my way into the goody bags without blatantly putting just an advertisement in there. That's pretty lame. So I thought, what's something that nearly everyone likes?

Bookmarks? (Initially I said no to this because I think having ebooks and bookmarks doesn't really make sense. Now that The Treasure Hunter's Lady will be available in print, I'm reconsidering that. We'll see.) Magnets? Keychains (would that not be awesome)? Then I remember that I like candy. Almost everyone likes candy. Some people don't, but we'll forgive them. I'm excluding people who can't have candy from that statement.

So I was thinking, what if I printing the cover on one side of an index card, a short blurb on the back, took an idea that someone gave me and put QR codes on it as well, plus my social links, and filled little treat sacks with candy, tied them on with ribbon and presto! Instant swag.

Yup. That's what I'm doing. Admittedly, I haven't owned a modern printer in some time. So I had to go buy one. Fortunately they're not that pricey. Just in case you haven't bought one in a while. I figured that would be the most difficult part of my venture. Actually, installing the printer wasn't that hard. Designing the back of the card was a little troublesome, but I got it. Here's more or less what you'll see on these 4" X 6" cards.

Plus, you know, candy attached. So let's talk about what it cost me to set this deal up.

Printer: $29.00 (it came with ink cartridges)
Printer cable: $15.00
Blank 4" x 6"  index cards: $0.84
Ribbon: $0.74
Hole punch: $0.97
Candy sacks: $1.99 (100 count)
Candy: TBA

If you already own a printer and you have a graphic design program, this little project is easy to do yourself. Or you can spend bukoo bucks hiring someone to do it for you. I chose the index card route because although they aren't glossy, they're inexpensive (in case someone just decides to throw my hard work away) and they fit easily into the printer.

I made the QR codes at It's free. You can change to graphic color to suit your desires. Me, I used blue at first, but in order to preserve the precious stores of ink, I changed them to black as you can see. There are tons of free QR code generators around the net though.

It actually only took about two hours from printer installation to finish to get 75 cards printed. I'm pretty proud of myself 'cause I only got mad once, but that was when PhotoScape decided to be ignorant and didn't save my work and shut down. I didn't even throw anything.

Yes, you too can do your own marketing for a relatively low price. Or you can live vicariously through me while I struggle to make a name for myself. Whichever. ;)

I know, I know. A writer should be writing and not doing this other junk. Sometimes you need a break, but in a good creative way.


  1. This is awesome. I'm considering making bookmarks too. We will see. Not sure if my nerves can take much more, lol. And yes, I really need to be writing.

  2. Being fabulous is hard work. ;) I think we should probably just take a big break and eat something sweet!


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