Yesterday, I shared the promo materials I made for an upcoming CLN event. Today, I’ll share the materials I made in my next order. I’m doing a storytime at The Red Balloon, a fabulous children’s bookstore in St. Paul. It’s in February for I Love to Read month, and I’ll be featuring BookSpeak! The problem? BookSpeak is really aimed at upper elementary kids, and storytimes usually feature much younger kids. So I want something a little interactive. Back to Vistaprint.com. One thing I like to keep in mind when I’m creating materials there is that I don’t have to use materials in the way they’re identified there. Just like I used the business card template to print out a single poem to use as an element on a luggage tag. You can look at what they have to offer and think about how else you could use each piece. The main thing I wanted to make was an activity sheet for the storytime. I used the Flyer template and chose to upload a complete design. I created this sheet that kids will take with them and use to make (with a grown-up’s help, if necessary) a mini-accordion book imagining what their own favorite book would say to them if it could. Here are the front and the back, both in full color. I’ll do one mini-book as a group activity with the kids, getting a different kid to provide the text for each page. I’ll cut it out, demonstrating how easy it is for them to do their own at home. This was the pricey piece: $14.97 plus shipping, for only 25. That’s because I uploaded two designs (created?in Photoshop) and paid for color printing on the back side. So those were three $4.99 fees. But I really want to try this. If it goes well, it’s something I will likely order more of in the future. If I had ordered 500 of them, the price would have proportionately gone way down. But I’m not ready to commit. Also for the storytime, I also made a kind of Mad Libs take-off using “Hydrophobiac,” one of my poems from BookSpeak! (Thanks for the suggestion, Randy.) Again, I’ll probably do one as a group poem and then hand them out for the kids to take home. The activity is in color on the front, and some review quotes and a few bits of info about me and my services are on the black and white back side. While I was on the site, I kind of got sucked in and ordered a bunch of?other stuff. I just couldn’t resist:>) So, I made a small car door magnet.?It was only available free in a very limited number of templates, so? It’s not pretty, but I thought using it while making an I Like to Read appearance couldn’t hurt. I got a small banner (3 feet by 1-1/2 feet) to post at this and other events:
Well, I couldn’t stop there. After all, there was more free stuff! (I know, I know.) So, I ordered a few miscellaneous things: A bit of letterhead that I have no idea what I might use it for.
Matching business cards (really just book cards?I have other business cards, which I of course got from Vistaprint, too):
And a small vertical banner (3 feet by 1-1/2 feet):
And last but not least, a bumper sticker:
This was another product with just a very few design/art choices, but one of them was a leaf, so how could I resist? Other than the $14.97, I paid only for shipping. So I got one horizontal banner, one vertical banner, one car door magnet, 25 of the accordion-book sheet, 10 letterhead sheets, 250 matching business cards, 25 sheets of the Mad Lib activity, and a bumper sticker, for a total of $36.31 (that includes the $14.97 in fees). I am easily seduced by Vistaprint, clearly. I mean, a bumper sticker? But it will make a fun giveaway or something. And the prices are so low, it’s almost like they’re paying me to order this stuff, right? Anyway, the trick for me is to think about who I might need stuff for. For instance, I would love to have some posters and/or banners that schools could hang to get kids excited about my visit and also love-to-read type banners that I could leave with libraries or bookstores when I have events there. I would want them to have my name or book title or something on there somewhere, but be engaging enough that they want to hang them. A more polished version of my BookSpeak! banner above, maybe. And it’s kind of like dress-shopping. If you only shop when you desperately need a particular kind of outfit, it’s 10x harder. The stuff I shared yesterday and today was all created under duress. I needed to order stuff that day (in each case), before some special coupon/deal expired. That’s not very smart. I need to brainstorm a list of who I want to have promo materials for and what kind of materials would work best, and then slowly build up a bunch of ideas/designs, so that when I get a great deal in my inbox, I can take advantage of it AND come out with stellar products. I’m getting there, but I’m not there yet! Meanwhile, I would love to hear what you guys do for promotional materials! Share links, tell stories, whatever you like!