This April I will be selling A Tale of Two Squirrels (2013) at the Buffalo Small Press Book Fair (BSPBF). This regional two-day event is a gathering of authors, bookmakers, small press publishers, artists, poets, etc. that showcase their art and peddle their wares. This was my first year attending the event at the suggestion of fellow author Sandy Barton, creator of Abjectedly Yours (2012) and Discovery In The Woods: A St. Patrick’s Day Surprise (2014). After I was approved to be a vendor, I worked right away on getting my marketing materials together.
I applied for a half of a table at the event, so I wanted to use my space efficiently. The first thing I ordered was twenty-five copies of my book from the printers. Why twenty-five? Well, this being my first fair, I didn’t want to bring too many in case they didn’t sell. No one ever wants to be stuck with a massive amount of books to store, and if I ran out I would always have a backup plan. The plan is to have copies of my pitch sheet, bookmarks, and business cards available for when I run out of books. I also intend on saving two signed copies of my book for a drawing at the end of each day.
I normally would have gone to Kinkos (FedEx Kinkos) to get all of my printing done, but this time they didn’t offer the products I needed, so I perused the web for printing companies that did. I came across UPrinting® mainly because they were one of the first search results listed for bookmarks. Apparently they have good SEO optimization. I previewed all of their products and costs and was pleased that they offer mounted poster printing as well. Some of the benefits of using them for printing were, fast delivery time, not that I really needed it currently, low costs for small quantity printing, free PDF proofs, and templates for many publishing programs. After I downloaded my templates and setup the final versions, it was easy as pie to upload them to their site and place my order. Customer Service was extremely helpful when I had questions and reassured me with confidence.
The printing took 7-10 days and shipped directly to my door. I was eager to review the work they did, so I didn’t hesitate to open the packages. The mounted poster was bubble-wrapped to prevent denting and placed in a box, while the bookmarks were stacked in a small box and secured with crumpled paper, neither delivery was damaged.
The colors are a little off on the bookmark compared to my book cover, and much more on the poster; but I expected some variation due to using a different company for printing my books. I think I prefer the warmer hue of the poster over my book cover.
The mounted poster is very sturdy and printed directly on 1/8″ white PVC board, not flimsy foam board like other companies. I will need to either get a small stand or possibly the adhesive easel backs separately from an office supply store. At least I feel confident that it will survive the two-day event and then I can display it in my office until it’s needed in the future.
The bookmarks were the perfect size for my cover illustration and have a nice finish. I always thought bookmarks were a great give-away, they can be very artistic, display all the information you want and are extremely utilitarian. Since they were 33 cents each, I won’t mind handing them out like candy, even though I will also have candy at my display.
Overall I am quite pleased with the outcome and plan to use UPrinting® in the future. With my printing needs fulfilled, I just have to sit back, wait until the fair, and try not to eat all the candy.