A little something visual I'm working on as viral marketing for Flight of the Vajra:
(Design subject to change, but that's the basic idea: it's the insignia worn by the officers who amount to the closest thing the universe in the book has to a shared police force.)
Expect to see these, along with a recruitment slogan and some deliberately cryptic hyperlinks, on promo cards I'll be distributing through 2013 at whatever shows I can get to (and maybe some other places, too). Another card design will probably use the "Nature likes those ... " catchphrase as well.
One small problem with physical goodies like this is that they're, well, physical. You need to be somewhere to get them into peoples' hands, so they work best where there's a venue. Using them as blow-ins for books only works if you're already selling quite a few of them to begin with — and what with physical books going the way of the CD (or maybe the vinyl LP; I should comment on that in a future post), that barely qualifies as a tertiary-level approach.
As fun as these sorts of things are to design, I have yet to establish proof they pay off. It costs me about $60 to get a thousand or so flyer-sized promo cards printed, but despite giving away tons of them for previous books, they haven't translated into any discernible uptick in sales. It's the face-to-face stuff that works best, but there's only one of me, so that further limits what's possible.
I'll be looking into exploring other distribution venues going forward as well — and maybe setting up an actual viral-marketing subsite, even if it's only just a single page or two. Aside from the "IPS recruitment" page, there's a few others that might be fun to explore.