In a November 2013 blog I discussed a poll conducted by USA TODAY which found that a majority of those surveyed (57%) cited their own opinion of the writer's previous work as the major factor in creating interest in a particular book for them. Opinions of a relative and friend ("word of mouth") came in second at 43%. Lower on the list were professional reviewers and other writers (each 17%), the book cover (16%) and Internet opinions by non-professionals (10%).
From this, it would appear that the most effective way of selling a book is for the reader to actually meet the author, allowing them to form a positive view of the author and their work. It is for this reason that authors attend conventions, and it also why authors (or their publishers) take big stacks of paperbacks to conventions that the author is attending, for sale. That's all very well for authors with a traditional book, but how do you achieve the same for eBook, because by the time the reader has gone home and is sitting at their computer, ready to purchase the book, they may have forgotten the name of the book, or even the author.
Hague Publishing tackles this problem by producing business cards for each book it publishes. At 7c a double sided card they are extremely cost effective. We supply the author with an initial 750, and the promise of as many more as required. In addition to being a very effective marketing tool they are also a physical manifestation of the electronic product that the author has spent several years producing. Providing something tangible to the author that an ebook may not.
In our most recent manifestation for Lights Over Emerald Creek we have also linked the card to the book's landing page via the use of a QR code on the back of the card. (The use of a landing page will be discussed in another blog.) Telstra has a nice free QR code generator.
You can get the cards from your local instant press for a price similiar to what you can get from CreateSpace ($139 for 500), or Australians can order online from MinuteMan Press, who charge only $67 for 1000 double sided 'Express Business Cards'.
Although MinuteMan allow you to construct a card on line I prefer to upload the finished artwork as a single jpg, and to assist anyone else wanting to do the same I have provided the specifications and a psd (photoshop) template if anyone wants to go that way.
One word of warning, however, sometimes the card may not actually trigger a sale for several months so you may need to be patient. I've had people come up to me 7 months after I gave them the card to say - "You remember that card you gave me for that book. Well I bought it last night."