How Personalized Ecards Sell Your Books
edited: Tuesday, October 15, 2002
By Kelly Roberts
Posted: Monday, October 14, 2002
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How you can add personalized ecards to your site to help sell your books.
HOW PERSONALIZED ECARDS SELL YOUR BOOKS
by Dr. Kelly Roberts
copyright 2002, all rights reserved
A couple of years ago I had an interest in learning more about graphics. I bought several programs, tried even more, discarded a few, and ended up with some of the formats I preferred over the long run. Those same formats which took .jpg or .gif for easy-to-load graphics.
This was an interest separate from, yet linked to, all our books at Roberts Publishing, as it was necessary for me to learn more and more about what graphics I wanted for our site (which is over 100 pages in length). I found that in the process of producing numerous book covers, I kept sneaking time for myself to play with the graphics to make ecards. I then jumped on a job opening to write text or design ecards for a major ecard company which was then bought out by another company. For two years, it was a contest against myself and the others employed with this company to see who could compete or create the better ecard. I loved it. I loved it because it challenged my creative side and gave me an avenue to learn more, create more, challenge myself more. I didnt care if I made money on it or not, I just had fun making them.
Within a few weeks, I began loading several of my own ecards and posters onto our web site, just for fun. Something folks could send out to others if they wished, wouldnt cost them a thing. I made several that were the basic nature greeting, some poetic in phrase, and then when I really felt daring, I made the stupid ones. The ones that dont make any sense, arent meant to, and who cares? The kind that are supposed to leave the person receiving them pondering what it meant, why did you send it, whats wrong with you? But they laughed. And that was the important part.
I found, after two years of watching the traffic and daily page counts, which ones got the most traffic, which were the most popular, etc., that the stupid cards, the out of whack, the silly cards... they all did the best and were sent the most. Traffic jumped. And, it stayed steady.
Why? Because when you have something of interest on your site that folks want to view, theyll hang around. Then theyll come back. Theyll refer you to another. And, if you have an ecard they want to send, theyll refer you by doing so to another person. So, if you have your book listed, theyll see it. Then their friends will see it when they come to view your card they just received.
Anybody can get a ton of free ecards from numerous sites that give them away. Some folks steal them, regardless of the copyright or the rights reserved that should protect that. Thats not ok. As a writer and author, we should all acknowledge and appreciate the copyright laws and make sure what we use isnt copyright protected by someone else. If it is, dont use it or cease using it if you discover it wasnt available to use openly. One way to prevent this is to personalize your own or to have some made that are personalized. Your graphics with images and words put together to make a new product.
Granted, some may say, "thats easier said than done." Not all of us have time or equipment to sit down and learn how to do this, nor do they wish to. I did, and still enjoy it, for no other reason that it is fun to me, and I always try to seek out that which is fun, rather than what is stressful. So I offer personalized ecards, or banners, or whatever graphics that I think someone might want or need to enhance their site or book just because I have fun doing it.
I found the ecards brought traffic and kept the traffic higher simply by being available. Updating and adding new ones from time to time brought more traffic. Banners helped books as well, but many folks dont pay attention to banners like they do ecards, simply because an ecard is more than just an advertisement. It is something you can share. Something you can express with. Something you can send to another when you forgot to go to the store and buy an actual card or just wish to find something unique. And I do mean unique. I used to sell printed greeting cards a long time ago to some of the major companies. I was thoroughly fed up with some of the run-of-the-mill words that were forced to rhyme into a packaged card. Instead, I wrote what I wanted and found Calligraphy Collection bought several (in Hallmark stores everywhere) and a few to American Greetings.
Now, I dont send mine out to other companies. I create them myself. I create them for others to put on their sites. I have fun doing it because I like it. And, the best part is, I found it helps broadcast the fact that we actually have books. Lots of books. Books by over sixty authors when all counted.
So the next time youre trying to figure out what to do to help your sales, think ecards. Personalized ecards. Not some website you can stick into your own that promotes a huge selection (which most folks avoid according to our findings), but ones that express you and have your own copyright on them. You own them, no one else. You decide what you want done with them. And if you need help, send me an email and let me know. Ill do what I can, but in the meantime, just remember when your folks come to check out your work, give them something more to be entertained with. They’ll hang around a lot longer.
Dr. Kelly Roberts