I belong to a neat little marketing email loop. Every so often the question comes up "Should I invest in business cards? Or would I get more bang for my buck distributing pens?"
Okay. I've been used both, and here's what I've found out (by accident, and by asking around.)
* Business cards get lost or thrown away.
* One reader said that if she saw a book she wanted to get, she'd write the title on the back of the author's card.
* One reader confessed she collected authors' business cards like her mother collects Hummel figurines.
* Pens work great if they don't clog or leak.
* Pens get USED. A used pen is another chance to advertise.
* All-in-one pens are best, as opposed to pens with removeable caps.
* Get black ink. Most businesses prefer important documents filled out in black ink.
* If a pen gets left behind, someone else will pick it up and use it.
* Pens that write on that slick cashier paper are worth their weight in gold.
* One can never have too many pens.
* If you get pens in different colors, people tend to fight over a particular color (i.e. "I want the blue one!")
* GREAT marketing tip: At book signings, have the reader pick out a pen you then sign the book with, and hand them the pen as a keepsake.
Please drop your opinion whether you use one or both to promote your books. :)