Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tips for writers: displays, banners, and swag

Whenever I'm out and about people ask about my displays. I have been fortunate, finding the right things on the first try. I have been to outdoors book fairs where the wind was strong enough to knock down the tents, but my displays kept standing. Not even the postcards blew away.

I have plywood bookstands from They're cheap, and they come apart and pack flat. Easy to transport, easy to handle, and stable. (Unless you put them backwards. I've done that once, LOL.)

My postcard stand is bought at the same place. This also comes apart to a neat flat package. I've bought a little suitcase on wheels where I pack the stands and all my swag. Since I'm lazy it has to be easy to handle!

I bought my banners at Vistaprint. Below you can see photos of my large banner that is perfect for covering the front of a table, or hanging as a backdrop.

Vistaprint often have sales. Right now a small banner - which is pretty large - is only $8. I pay extra for the outdoor vinyl; it's only some $3 more and well worth it. My large banner is also from Vistaprint.

Up until now I've borrowed an easel from my daytime job to hang the small posters, but I need to invest in a stand of my own. =)

One more tip for the traveling writer is to get plastic table cloths at the party store. I always bring a couple extra, and if I'm going to an outdoors event I bring a roll of clear plastic just in case it rains, or the ground where I need to put my bags is wet. You can get a big roll at Home Depot for less than $3!

My postcards are also from vistaprint. They don't do bookmarks, though, so I get those from smart They have reasonable prices even for small quantities. Important to note: making 200 cost almost the same as making 10! Whenever you buy something printed, check larger quantities than you originally intended. You can often get an extra 100 for an additional $2.

Here you can see my plywood displays and the large banner. 

The "small" banners are quite large. I was worried they wouldn't stand up to outside
use since they're fairly cheap, but I've subjected them to both wind and rain.
I'll wear them out eventually, but for $8 (if you can catch a sale) it's not a big deal.

My pens are bought locally at the Sarasota Printery. I don't remember what I paid for them, but I caught a special and it was a matter of cents for each pen. Again, look into buying a larger quantity than you think you need. The price per item drops dramatically when you add an extra hundred or so.

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