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The Reader's Soap Box: Your answers to our questions about the books we all love...
Soap Box Question #9 -- Bookmark or Grocery Receipt? Imagine this scenario: you're right in the middle of a great book when the phone rings or there's a knock at the door. To save your place in the book, do you reach for a bookmark or the handiest piece of paper available -- be it a grocery receipt, empty envelope or one of those little postcards that endlessly fall out of every magazine? If your answer was bookmark - good! Please proceed to the following survey. For this month's Soap Box, NPOB would like your input about promotional goodies. We're all familiar with the goodies that authors spend mega-bucks creating - like bookmarks, post cards, fliers, three-fold fliers, etc. Nowadays authors must pay for all of their promotional materials, whereas in the past publishers provided them as incentives to get authors to write for them. Authors realize the importance of getting the word out about their new book, but are they getting to you, the reader? We'd really like to know, and we bet lots of authors will be very interested at your responses!
1) Do you prefer bookmarks to postcards? 2) Do you use them? 2) Do you save them - collect them? 3) From where do you get them? From your bookstore, write to the author..? 4) Do you pay attention to the fliers - one page type, three fold varieties? 5) Do you first learn of an author, her new book, past books from written promotionals (bookmarks, etc.) or from the internet?
--Well...I do use a bookmark if readily available, but have grabbed whatever's handy, too. No, I don't collect them. I am usually reading too many books at the same time. If I've started one that's not really holding my intererst, I may put it down somewhere with a bookmark, and then start another one. I may or may not return to the first book. Bookmarks usually fall out and I end up loosing them. Turn over a corner? NEVER..or as we say NEVAH! I learn about new books from the internet, esp. New and Previously Owned Books. I have "discovered" some wonderful authors that I would not have read if I hadn't received your emails. -- HOSTPFCLStormy -- Yes, I use bookmarks, too. I have a very old collection of some of the hottest men you can imagine. I have a favorite one done in a sepia tone of a cowboy leaning up against a fence, with one leg back, open levis,(top button) and his hat down over his eyes.....wooooweeee, I won't even use that one, just keep it in my collection to look at and drool of course. - P.W. -- I prefer bookmarks. I use & save them--collect them--love them! I get them from the bookstore & the author. I try to read the flyers as time allows. As a bookseller, I've seen a good range of bookmarks; the best ones are glossy, in color, autographed, look professionally made, & MUST fit the size of the book. No hardcover sized bookmarks for mass market paperbacks! Oh, & only the romance readers want the romance ones, usually! I personally think bookmarks are a powerful promotional tool that authors should use more often. - Helen Geng -- I use bookmarks. You have to be careful to use something that won't harm the book itself. I love to collect antique bookmarks and bookplates. - Barb Chaney -- I prefer both. I have about three or five bookmarks on each book, don't ask me why? I save them & collect them! I buy them, people give them to me & I make them! Yes, either one! All! Also, when I go to the bookstore to get one particular author, I always end up buying a book from someone new! -- Zulma Mejias --I read one of the replys that stated someone folded down the corner of a page when in a rush to get a markmark that would not slip out of the book. It is hard to believe people still ruin books by "dog earring" a corner of the page. She could use a "Post It" - they do not slip off the page & now come in various colors & sizes. - Shirely Levin -- I prefer bookmarks. Yes, I use them when I can easily get my hands on them. Yes... I save them - collect them - that's the fun part Ususally I get them from the author, sometimes I get them when I place an online order. I pay attention to the fliers if they have info about the author and I save those too. I first learn about an author, her new book, past books from written promotionals (bookmarks, etc.) or from both the internet and printed materials.- MAD -- I prefer both bookmarks to postcards. I use them for reading or swapping. I do collect them. I get my bookmarks, etc. from your bookstore and from the authors who are willing to send them to Germany. I do pay attention to the fliers - one page type, three fold varieties. Because I live in Germany I mostley get my information from the internet about a new author or book. - CN -- Just to let you know that I do not used bookmarks, what-so-ever. Everytime I place one in a book, it will fall out and I lose my place, I just simply fold over the corner. don't have much choice if I want to know where I left off. - SB -- I prefer postcards. No I do not use them - I collect them. I get them from the authors I pay attention to the fliers - one page type, three fold varieties I first learn of an author, her new book, past books from RT and author newsletters. - JS --I prefer bookmarks. Yes, I you use them. I save and collect them. I get them from ONLINE BOOK ORDERS from your bookstore, write to the author... I pay attention to the fliers - one page type, three fold varieties. I first learn of an author, her new book, past books from written promotionals most of the time, sometimes it is from picking up an old book - anything off the shelf that you find at a used book store - and reading books to be released. - PM --Yes, I use bookmarks but mine are always personal ones that I have picked up that caught my eye or ones that have been given to me as gifts. I don't save the author ones. I do read them to determine if I have an interest in the book but then they get tossed. Yes, I do read the flyers to get info the same as I do from the author bookmarks. I get my list of "to buys" from the ad pages in the new books, free flyers that the book stores produce, RT. - CM --I use what's handy!! Hunt for the bookmark, but well... I definitely use them. I save and collect them. I get most of my bookmarks, etc. from you, but I have gotten them from bookstores, authors and at the RT convention. I do not pay a lot of attention to the fliers. I first learn of an author, her new book, past books from past boooks as I get most of the new ones for reviewing or if they've gotten a particularly good write up in RT.-BC --I prefer bookmarks, easier to keep up with but I really LOVE bookplates, but few authors do those. Sometimes I save them and collect authors I read esp. if they're autographed. I get them from the bookstores (love that you guys send them with an order) and will write to the author. I really do not pay attention to the fliers - one page type, three fold varieties. I honestly more about the authors and their books from message boards that I trust their information, then next would be a toss up on promotions vs internet, leaning toward internet if it has excerpts from the books. I usually visit the site if its on the bookmark for instance.-VM --I saved all of the really pretty postcard type (and a few of the regular bookmark type) cards that I received in book order while teaching in Japan. I liked the ones that were mostly just a painting on the front, with no writing. I used them as prizes while I was in Japan, too! The cards are actually easier to use as the bookmarks are often too tall and end up getting bent or falling out of the book if it's in my purse.-- LL -- I used book marks but if I have the postcard for that book, then I use the postcard. That way the postcard and the book stay together. Yes, I save/collect them - usually try to keep them together with the book itself. It's as close as I can get to an autographed book. Autographed ones are stored in plastic covers and the rest are stored in a photo box. I request the bookmarks from authors (some sign them even without requesting them. Most of them I get in the mail. The postcards also have resulted in several book buys and author favorites. Yes, sometimes I request the fliers from fave authors--this way I can keep track of when their books are coming out without feeling I missed one. Some flyers have excerpts that have caught my interests and yes, have resulted in purchases. Lately, I learn of new authors form fan postings and internet reviews. Some have been recommended by other authors in the mailers (post and email) and a few from bookmarks at my local bookstore - MA -- For the most part they prefer bookmarks. - DK -- I prefer bookmarks. I use them. I save them for use until others wear out! I get them from you, local bookstores, card shops, and authors. I usually pay attention to the fliers....does not matter what style. Sometimes I will see one for an author I don't particularly care for, I will pitch those. I learn about new authors from book stores and the internet. I will browse and see a book by an 'unknown' author. If it sounds good, I will go home and check it out on the Net. This can then show me more books by that author or other books similar to it. That is what I love so much about you all! I will find an author who has been published for years and just discover her (Christina Skye is best example!) and then try to track down books from a series. That can be very frustrating - fortunately for me, you all almost always have what I am looking for! I always appreciate the bookmarks you all send! Most recent ones had one from an author I like - now you have me me waiting (impatiently) for her October release date - that was not well done of you! (Just kidding - didn't know she had another book coming out - THANKS!!). - KS -- I prefer bookmarks. I use them. I save and collect. I always read fliers. Everything is found on the internet if you spend enough time searching it. - JD --I prefer postcards. I do collect the nicest postcards. I usually get them in the mail from authors I have e-mailed. I do like flyers that tell me of upcoming books. Although I really like it when they send me a newsletter by way of e-mail. I can always print them out. Because I usually receive my information from authors I have e-mailed, I learn of new authors usually through the internet. I usually learn of new or upcoming books from the author's web page.-CR
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