There it was - a big box filled with cover flats for WHAT BURNS WITHIN - my first time seeing the cover in 3D form. A nice moment...

But for over a month, the covers have sat stacked in a pile, high on my bookshelf. I honestly have no idea what to do with them. I haven't even held an ARC of my book in my own hands yet, because all the ARCs were sent out by the publisher, so that eliminates sticking covers in with review copies I'm shipping out.

Part of me dreads asking what people do with these things. If there's a great way to use them that libraries and bookstores and readers appreciate, fine. But I won't do anything sleazy, like litter bus stops with my book covers. I'm not looking for any heavy-handed, in-your-face, stick-my-book-down-your-throat guerrilla tactics. I'm just wondering if there are things to use them for people actually appreciate.

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Some people sign them and offer them as promotional giveaways. If you want to make sure they only go to people who want them, put up an offer on your website and only send them to people who ask. Or if you're giving a talk somewhere prior to the book coming out, you might have them available for folks who might want them.
That would work (if I was doing a talk or signing event). But, alas, I'm not doing anything. I'll have to give some thought to mailings - it's a bit complicated in the midst of a divorce. (Then again, what isn't?)
Another thing I've heard of is doing a promotional gift basket, for a convention or something, including a number of authors' works (if they're willing to give away a copy of a book), as well as bookmarks and pens and such. The basket would be offered as part of a drawing. A signed copy of a cover flat would go great in that.

If you're going to any conventions, you might have some with you to offer if it seems appropriate. If you're not going, you might see if someone would put them with their own promotional items to give away at conventions.

Or, you could make pretty paper airplanes and...erm. Never mind.

Just some suggestions, anyway.
Actually, I dig the idea of making airplanes. At an event, it could be a fun contest/give-away deal - whoever makes the best/coolest/most original airplane gets...something...a free, signed copy of WBW or an ARC of your next novel, or a character named after them in the next book, etc. Y'know, something fun. Bet people would remember the contest and the book, too!
Tell your publisher to next time don't waste the money on them and give you the money they would have spent on it.
I imagine they wouldn't take too kindly to that.

I mean, there must be a history behind how this started and why...
I wonder if all publishers do this?
When my publisher sent me a jpeg of my unofficial cover, my dad printed it out and had it framed to show off to his friends. Since the jpeg was 72 dpi, it probably looks terrible, but I was touched all the same. If my publisher sends me a nice printed copy, I'll be sure and send him a good one.
grant, i think it varies. editors usually have to order extra flats, and if an editor isn't on the ball or the publisher doesn't allow for extra flats, you might not get any. I've gotten zero all the way up to 250 flats, this from the same house.
Is this cover different from your review covers? I'd put it on the review copies if it is or isn't.
i think a conference give-away table is the best way to get rid of stacks of covers. that said, i'm probably going to throw away all of the large, postcard-size covers i ordered from vista print. i never really found an opportunity to use them.
I use Vista print for business cards, mainly because they're free and they let you print on the front and back. I think postcards are a thing of the past for business and selling unless you've got a mailable fan base. Even then, most of your fans will be emailing you anyway.
I just read an article about collecting paperback covers in "Fine Books & Collections." See the current issue, pp. 61-62, On the Market section, March/April 2008. The article by Karen Edwards, a freelance writer, is colorfully illustrated.


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