Welcome to the new series of Posts from Your Archives 2023 where I will be sharing posts from the last six months of 2022 I have selected from the archives of willing participants. If you wish to be included the information is at the the end of the post.
In this post from the archives of author Jemima Pett shares how to create a bookmark as a giveaway for your books at shows and to be honest, you can leave them discreetly in other places too. My dentist in the UK actually let me leave some copies of my health books in his waiting room as well as some bookmarks, and my local pharmacist put some on his counter. They are a very good marketing tool.
Bookmarks for the Viridian Series by Jemima Pett
I was beginning to run low on bookmarks for my stall at the craft fairs. It acts as my business card, and judging by my online sales, it does have some effect. I wouldn’t say they have shot up, but I am selling more online than usual. And the increase is in the UK, so that is more likely to be down to the book fairs than anything else.
And I reckon I’ve given out around 400 bookmarks in the last year. That’s roughly 30 a show. So before I ran out (100 more or so in the box), I decided to get more – and do them for the Viridian series.
Designing a bookmark
The original bookmarks I put together to print off at home were okay, but they looked homemade. I only printed off a few at a time, and then had to guillotine them, which is what makes them look homemade, really. You can tell by the edges and the paper quality. And the finish.
In some ways my Princelings bookmark I designed once all the covers were done had the same feel. The front is good, but the back a little amateur, shall we say?
Princelings bookmarks on display
I design them all on Gimp, which I’ve been using for covers and stuff for years now (probably since I first released White Water Landings). Gimp is a free bit of software, which has some limitations. Or at least, as I haven’t upgraded it because I was scared of not being able to figure out how to use it again, maybe it now has overcome what I now find as limitations. I should explore this. But given I can’t afford Photoshop, it does what I want, and does it quite nicely. Actually it does a whole load more than I might want but don’t know how to find. And it now seems to have become Figma, so I can’t just upgrade it…
So I designed the new bookmark for the Viridian series on Gimp, using the templates provided by my printer.
Lyndhurst 5th June
I started using Solopress for my display requirements way back when I first did a banner for Princelings, and then for White Water Landings. A UK company, they give excellent service and are perfectly happy to talk through jargon I don’t understand. They were also not too expensive.
They are now pretty cheap (£35 for 500 bookmarks, inc tax and delivery). They still give excellent service, and they have a whole range of ‘green’ print options – eco-green not viridian green! The banners I did for Viridian and for the Twisty Tales were half the cost of the other two. The construction design is not quite as good, but someone somewhere who’s six foot tall and has three hands probably found it easy.
I send the files and they send back the banners within a couple of days. I have no idea how they do it so fast. Especially when I can’t get Gimp to get the files to their exact spec. They manage brilliantly.
The new bookmarks
So I turned on Gimp, found the files for the book covers and the background, put them into the template provided by Solopress, and thought it looked nice. Then I played with them for a couple of days to see if I could make them better.
Then I had a brainwave, and redesigned the back, turning the background around (which also meant flipping the addresses from left margin to right margin).
Why? If you hold the bookmark, with your thumb on the sun in the background, and turn it over, the sun is in the same place – under your finger.
I was so pleased with this tiny detail of design. To me it’s awesome. To anyone else it’s ‘duh’ I know, but little things…
These eco-bookmarks, as well as being on fully recycled paper, acid-free, veggie inks and something else (and they do a carbon fund too), also have a sheen to them which is veg-based, not plastic. No sheen is the thing I feel detracts most from the Princelings one (the other is the reverse side). I’ll be doing some new Princelings ones in the new year, I expect.
Meanwhile, I hope you like them.
©Jemima Pett 2022
My thanks to Jemima for inviting me to share posts from her archives and I know she would love to hear from you.
A selection of books by Jemima Pett
One of the reviews for The Princelings of the East the first book in the series.
We follow Fred and George, Fred who is the thinker or Philosopher and George who is the Engineer, but the totally unique and endearing thing about these two totally lovable characters is that they are in fact Guinea Pigs. But not just your average guinea pigs that eat lettuce and live in a cage, they are Princelings and they live in a castle, contribute to its fine tuning and banter with the humans.
Fred and George remind me of an English cartoon that is currently showing on Australian television called Country Mouse and City Mouse, which I recently realised is a retelling of Aesops Fable.
The two mice are intelligent adventurers who travel around, but they have different likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses which help them along in their adventures.
Similarly, Fred and George are brothers with very different talents and interests but they work together on their adventures, that’s until they get separated and have to work apart to solve the mystery of the Energy Drain.
I enjoyed this book very much and I was intrigued the whole way, itching to find out the answer to mysterious energy drain. I won’t spoil it but there may be some wibbly wobbly timey wimey shenanigans ( sorry that is a Dr Who quote which I realise if you aren’t a super nerd like me, Yes I own a Tardis, you won’t have a clue what I am talking about lol.) I loved the reference to Wozna Cola which sounded an awful lot like a certain dark coloured liquid that has taken the world by storm for about 4 decades
This was a clean read, with no violence at all which I think is such a credit to the author as I feel quite passionate about this very topic when considering if a book is for a Middle Grade audience. I would recommend this to 10+ plus due to the intricacy of the plot and there is quite a cast of characters to follow. I also feel that this story would be more appealing to boys than girls.
I like the cover, but I do wish that it had pictures of Fred and George as I think that would totally appeal to kids to help them visualise these completely adorable guinea pigs.
I am looking forward to reading the further adventures of Fred and George.
Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And:Amazon UK – Blog:Jemima Pett – Goodreads:Jemima Pett – Twitter:@jemima_pett –
About Jemima Pett
When I discovered the words ‘portfolio career’ I realised I was trendsetter – having not only a number of different jobs, but in totally different fields. These included social work, business management, computer technology, environmental research. The thread running through all of them was communication – and that continued in my spare time with writing and editing club magazines, manuals, reports… I loved words, loved to learn and to apply my learning to the real world.
Eventually the world just wasn’t big enough, and so I went back to inventing my own, as I had as a child. First came the Realms, the setting for the ten-book Princelings of the East series. It’s a feudal England run by princes in castles who just happen to be guinea pigs – although you can read them as people equally well. Then came the Viridian System, a planetary area on the outskirts of known space where a frontier mentality mixes with big business and tourism.
I wrote some shorter stories featuring characters from the Princelings series, recently published as Messenger Misadventures. This features Dylan and Dougall, and their friend Deirdre, who unfortunately did not feature with them in Book 8 of the Princelings series. Two more characters that are asking for their own book are Roscoe and Neville, who turn up in book 10.
2021 saw the publication of five short story collections. Most of these originally appeared on my blog between 2012 and 2020, but are no longer there. Several new stories appear, especially in the seasonal special Snowflakes and Shivers. I still blog short stories, usually once a week.
The third and final Viridian System was published in Feb 22. There’s a snippet at the end of that which may lead to another scifi story, but not set in the Viridian System.
How to feature in the series?
- All I need you to do is give me permission to dive in to your archives and find two posts to share here on Smorgasbord. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Rather than a set topic, I will select posts at random of general interest across a number of subjects from the second six months of 2022. (it is helpful if you have a link to your archives in your sidebar by month)
- As I will be promoting your books as part of the post along with all your information and links so I will not be sharing direct marketing or self- promotional posts in the series.
- If you are an author I am sure you will have a page on your blog with the details, and an ‘about page’ with your profile and social media links (always a good idea anyway). I will get everything that I need.
- As a blogger I would assume that you have an ‘about page’ a profile photo and your links to social media.
- Copyright is yours and I will ©Your name on every post… and you will be named as the author in the URL and subject line.
- Previous participants are very welcome to take part again.
- Each post is reformatted for my blog and I don’t cut and paste, this means it might look different from your own post especially if you are using the block editor
- If I do share a post which contains mainly photographs I will share up to five and link back to the original post for people to view the rest.
N.B – To get the maximum benefit from your archive posts, the only thing I ask is that you respond to comments individually and share on your own social media.. thank you.