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Friday, December 5, 2008

Killer Campaigns: Buttons

You might wonder why I'm listing paraphernalia like buttons, magnets and pencils separately. It's because for the most part they appeal to different audiences. In my continuing research on available promotional venues and their assets, I've found that certain objects are going to work better for one audience over another.

Back in the late 60s and early 70s, I stuck buttons on my jackets, shirts and school bags as if it were armor plating. I was a kid and not yet having an identity I was desperate to create one. LOL!

Buttons became a perfect outlet for me. I was shy back then--no REALLY. And I relied on the smart remarks and common slang of the day to say what I couldn't say out loud. I also discovered it was a great way to break the ice because people were always reading what I had on.

Buttons aren't nearly the fashion statement today that they were back then. Still, occasionally seeing a particularly clever caption is fun to see. And using them to shout out your book can be useful.

Given that mostly preteen and teenagers might take advantage of the button, I would suspect that the most productive use of the button might be for YA novels. I've collected a few buttons for romance and SFF books, but most of them will stay in my collection box because I just don't sport them anymore.

I do remember two particularly smart-looking buttons that I kept aside. There was one serious problem with both these very nice buttons. One had a clever saying, ostensibly about the novel. The other was a tagline the author probably used as her signature statement. But neither one mentioned either the author name or the title of the book.

All that clever marketing and they left out the most important things.

If you use buttons, give them a purpose. There isn't much room for a lot of copy so get to the point. And somewhere, even if it's in small print, list the author name, book title or the author's website. The button is there to perk interest, but it also has to do a job--promote you.

I still see buttons and magnets at some of stores catering to kids so I imagine it's still a good bet for attracting the younger crowd.

To make it profitable for you:

• Keep the copy short

• Somewhere, even if it’s on the back, make sure your name or your website is listed prominently. When someone asks where that saying is from, you want the wearer to be able to tell them.

• Nice bold colors in the background draw the eye.

• Fonts with clean lines and thick bodies make it easy to read at a distance.

• Always make sure the style and copy on the button resonates with the book you are promoting.

Buttons are a novelty and I think they are best paired up with funny novels or any YA tome.

There is a place for them. Just don't forget to tell them your name.



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