Sunday, January 9, 2011

DIY Promo & a Yummy Treat

Do you have a book coming out? Does the price of promo make you want to run away screaming in fear? Well, guess what? Promoting yourself and your books need not put too much of a cramp in your wallet. There are many ways of promoting yourself without breaking the bank.

For instance, my first novel (written under Arianna Skye) was released by a small e-publisher. Even though they did some marketing, I knew I would have to pick up part of the promotional effort. I found a company online that offered inexpensive bookmarks. I used images from my book cover and designed the bookmark, uploaded the images and the company did the rest. For less than $100 I had 1000 beautiful bookmarks. I didn't stop there. I found another company online that sold tassels at wholesale prices. For less than $100, I had 1000 tassels. I then went to Wal-Mart of all places and bought beads. The beads all together cost about $50.

So, for around $250, I had 1000 bookmarks, all blinged out and ready to give to eager readers.

See how easy it can be?

And now, I've discovered that Michael's and Hobby Lobby are a treasure trove of goodies for my promotional needs. You can make all sorts of inexpensive items to hand out at events. My latest discovery is shrinky dinks. Did you know you can buy printable shrink paper? The wheels in my brain started to turn.

I took my website logo and printed up several sheets. I shrank them in the oven and came up with this:

All I need to do is add the ball chain and I have a perfectly functional key chain to give away. Please pardon the photo, it was taken with a cell phone.

Here's another neat thing I did with the shrink paper. All that's missing is the tassel.

PS: These don't make very good bookmarks. The plastic is rather thick, but still an interesting item to give away to a lucky reader.

Here's the breakdown on the key chains:
$120 for 100 sheets of printable shrink paper
$40 for ink
$100 for 500 feet of beaded ball chain (similar to the kind used for dog tags)

A little more expensive than the previous bookmarks, but an interesting promo idea, nonetheless.

See how promoting yourself needn't be a financial burden (and even a little fun)? And as promised, my favorite New Year's resolution breaking treat:

Skaarup's Kooky Key Lime Fudge (FMI:

© 1997 T. P. Skaarup, original recipe. May be copied unaltered. All
rights reserved.

1/4 cup butter or margarine (1/2 stick)
2 1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk (or small 5 oz can)
10 to 12 oz white chips
6 to 7 oz marshmallow creme or marshmallow fluff (may
substitute 2 cups of mini-marshmallows)
1/3 cup key lime juice
1/2 cup almonds or macadamia nuts (coarsely chopped)
1/4 tsp rum extract
1 tsp lemon extract

Line a 9"x9" pan with aluminum foil and set aside. Place White
chips, extracts, and nuts into Pyrex glass dish (or a 3-quart
saucepan) and set aside. Set butter aside to warm.

Heat milk at Medium setting until warm then add sugar. Bring to a
rolling boil (Medium-High) while stirring constantly with a hand
mixer (or wooden spoon). Add marshmallow creme and butter and
mix until creamy. And the Key Lime juice. Bring back to a boil for [5]
full minutes by the clock (start timing once the boil resumes).

The mixture will start to turn a little brown during the boil. If you get
brown flakes in the mixture then turn down the heat a little and
continue to stir.

Remove from heat and pour hot mixture over chips without
scraping the sides of the hot saucepan. Mix until chips are melted
then mix in nuts. Pour into prepared pan. Cool at room
temperature. Remove from pan, remove foil, cut into squares.

NOTE: If recipe is doubled then use a very large saucepan since
the marshmallow creme will expand when heated. Boil for [8]
minutes (by the clock) after the boil resumes instead of the usual
[5] minutes.

NOTE: Key Lime juice is acidic and will cause the milk to curl.
While uncosmetic, it should not effect the fudge's ability to set.


Many New Year's blessings for all!


Tanya Eby said...

Love all your ideas AND you included a recipe! Wohooo! Thanks!

Sidney Ayers said...

A blog isn't complete without a yummy treat. LOL

Maeve said...

Geez! You are SO creative. Writing AND a wizard at crafts. I am SO in awe of you. Thanks for all the tips.

Sharon Hamilton said...

Way dangerous recipe and great information, Sid. Okay, now if I haven't used all my rum with the eggnog....

Sidney Ayers said...

Thanks for stopping by, Maeve. I never knew I had the craftiness in me. LOL

Sharon, rum extract. Not actually rum. We don't want you drunk from the fudge. :-)

Rachel Firasek said...

I love these ideas! Thanks for sharing...

Pat McDermott said...

Great ideas. Very creative. Thanks for the tips!

Rebecca Lynn said...

OOoooohhh, I love blog posts with recipes. :-)

Margaret West said...

thanks for the tips.

Wholesale Promotional Product Suppliers said...

Great blog and very creative. Thanks for these tips.