A while ago, I blogged here about the types of promotional items available to authors and wondered which were the most effective. I received great feedback from visitors to the blog. After my first foray into utilizing promo this summer, I've come to the conclusion that my best piece was a postcard with a recipe on the front.
I chose a recipe rather than using my latest book cover so I could get more mileage out of it--so the postcard wouldn't get 'stale-dated' too quickly. There's an area on the back for attaching stickers with info about my latest Super.
At the convention I attended, the cards seemed to get lost in a sea of paper promotional items on the author table and I thought, Gee, that was a bit of a bust. However, in September I attended a fabulous annual book festival in Toronto called Word on the Street. It's an outdoor event that's held in a huge park and it's all about books and is a wonderful family affair, with booth after booth of books in every genre as well as oodles of children's books and local educational children's TV programs represented. As seems to happen every year, the weather was spectacular.
This year, I was invited to sign copies of my latest Super at the Harlequin booth and had a blast. Of course I brought along my promo items and handed them out and the reaction to the postcards was fabulous! So many readers were excited about trying the recipe and then emailing me with their results. Also, the cards were very well received at the table set up by my local RWA chapter. So…they were definitely worth producing.
I'd like to share my recipe here. I made it up for a potluck my daughter was having with a bunch of her friends but for which she had little time to cook, so I produced this bread that her friends loved. Here it is:
MARY SULLIVAN'S GUINNESS IRISH SODA BREAD
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 TBS. brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup olive of canola oil
1 cup Guinness
Stir together the two flours, brown sugar, baking soda and salt.
In small bowl, whisk together yogurt, oil and Guinness. Add to dry ingredients all at once; stir with fork until soft dough forms.
On lightly floured surface and with floured hands, press dough into ball; knead lightly 10 times. Place onto greased baking sheet; gently pat dough into a 7-inch circle. Sprinkle with a little flour. With sharp knife, score large X on top of loaf.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes. Tester inserted in center should come out clean.
Optional: add flax seeds or finely chopped nuts, if desired.
This bread is great served warm with butter.
I'll come up with a different recipe for next year's version of the postcard ;-)
(My favorite part of the book fair? I didn't see anyone walking around talking on cell phones or texting. The focus seemed to be strictly on books, and isn't that great?)
I'd like to give away a copy of my November Super, THESE TIES THAT BIND. For any of you who might have read July's BEYOND ORDINARY, this is the continuation of Remington Caldwell and Sara Franck's story.