Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Last Call

During my rookie year, some bright professional bulb convinced me to have bookmarks for my first release professionally printed. I was told all the real authors had them done that way, and after an unpleasant experience with my first, homemade version, I caved in and placed an order with a printer.

A tiny error messed up the first run, which the printer gave me for free, and which doubled my order. 800 + 800 = 1,600 bookmarks. At the time I didn't think that was a lot. After all, I was going to sell a million copies of my first novel. People were going to stand in line for these babies. They'd be great self-promo. Why, I probably wouldn't have enough to go around.

Go ahead. Laugh. If you've got one of my bookmarks, I know where you live.

For the first year, I gave away the little darlings whenever I could: at my signings, my writer organization meetings, conferences, libraries, bookstores, schools, and anywhere else I could drop a small pile. Second year, I convinced my writer friends to take some with them to their signings, conferences, meetings and so on. Barely made a dent in my supply; I swear the damn things were breeding. Eventually I shoved the boxes of bookmarks in a closet and tried to forget about them.

One good thing came out of it: I went back to making my own. Hell with being a real author.

After I started PBW, I found the boxes again and began sending them to giveaway winners. I tried to redeem myself by writing something original and vaguely clever on the back, but really. I have been shamelessly using you guys. All I know is if it weren't for you, it might have taken me another eight years to get rid of 1,599 bookmarks. That's right. I am down to #1,600, the very last of the bookmarks. When I give this one away, I will be free, free, free!

We must celebrate my emancipation, so in comments to this post, write something suitable to grace your first or next bookmark (or, if you plan to be smarter than PBW and skip that joy, just throw your name in the hat) by midnight EST on Wednesday, March 7, 2007. I will draw one name at random from everyone who participates and send you a signed ARC of Night Lost, or a signed copy of any of my published books currently in print (in other words, your choice.) The winner will also become the proud owner of this bookmark, signed and bearing my personal ceritification that it is, indeed, the last of its kind. Giveaway open to everyone on the planet, even if you've won something at PBW and/or been nailed by a bookmark in the past.


  1. Anonymous12:02 AM

    Is the bookmark one of the flawed versions or one of the 'good' ones? *~) Anyway, if I had to make a bookmark today, it would be generic black and white like the old soup cans, etc., and it would say: The next novel by JM Edwards III. A romping jaunt through absolutely nothing because he's better at writing about writing than writing the novel. Release date: some vague point in the future.

    *bow* Thank you all very much. JM Edwards III has left the building.

  2. Good one, I promise, JM.

  3. And I thought my plastic shoe pencil sharpeners were bad. *ggg*

  4. Anonymous12:50 AM

    In honor of this celebration, Lynn, I have prepared a speech.


    Four score and seven years ago,
    A young writer set out on a quest, a quest to make book marks.
    Some were good, some were bad, but the mix is what made it all good.
    She gave them away...and away...and away...
    But the damn things kept coming.
    She said, "I have a dream!
    That one day I will rid myself of these sixteen-hundred bookmarks."

    ...um...I'm sorry, the rest of the 32 pages...are smudged. Oh wait, the bottom paragraph on the last page isn't:

    And so, at last, the bookmarks are down to one, and Lynn can say "Free at last, free at last!"
    Thank God Almighty she is free at last.

    *Ahem* Thank you for your time.

    Oh, and I throw my name into the hat.


  5. I'd write . . .
    Have a great summer

  6. Anonymous1:24 AM

    Hrm. I, strange person that I am, would not be able to think of anything witty. I'd probably just slap on a smushed/cropped version of the cover art of the novel it was advertising.

    Actually, now that I know I'll have nothing witty to say on a bookmark, I'll just skip them and go back to writing.

    [sorry if this double-posts, Blogger's being strange]

  7. Anonymous1:27 AM

    I must join this contest, as a proud owner of one of the perevious 1599 :) I keep it next to my desk, words out... I read them almost daily as I struggle one paper at a time through my Masters degree. I loved receiving the bookmark and treasure it almost as much as the arc.

    Please enter me... My bookmark could use a friend :)


  8. My mum has been using a Groucho Marx notecard I sent her as a bookmark for the last eight years.

    It's not actually eight years worth of funny.

    Please put me in the hat, so that when genetics wins out, I have something to use other than a coffee stained, dog eared, falling-apart-at-the-join notecard.


  9. What Jason said. And I'm currently using a business card from my radiologist's office as a book mark. It mets the basic requirements...small and sturdy card stock.

  10. Throw my name in the hat....


    quote - maybe "Never let facts get in the way of really good PR"


  11. I'd want something really cheesy like "Cheese up your dreams" or something. LoL I don't know, it's late.

  12. Anonymous2:45 AM

    Throwing my name in the hat. My roomate is an author and she has a set from way back when...and they do multiply. Amazing how we can lose everything we own moving six times in two years but those damn bookmarks manage to follow us to the ends of the earth.


  13. Haha! I am in.

    If I win it, I promise to base my first book mark (professionally printed of course) on the book mark you give out... wouldn't that be cool. I promise to give you a free copy too. :)

  14. Name in hat; wow. 1,600 bookmarks. <.< Well, if you had that many books, you'd be set for life.

  15. Jasfoup looked at the bookmark. "I don't need this," he said. "The paper's thin enough to bend a corner, look."

    Harold screamed.

    The demon grinned. "I love taunting bibliophiles," he said.

  16. (Tossing every hat I own into the ring...)

    I never have enough bookmarks. My grocery lists end up being bookmarks.

  17. Anonymous6:58 AM

    My bookmark would say something like:

    Bless your heart for your support. Please buy my next one. Oh please, oh please, oh please!

    ...I really want that ARC, Lynn!


  18. Anonymous7:11 AM

    Mine would say something like,
    When there's nothing left to burn, set yourself of fire!

    aka. Keep trying, no matter what! ...I'm not the only one who read it like that, right? Right?

  19. I'm a proud owner of a PBW bookmark. I have to admit, I thought it was a rather nifty thing to do. I don't have anything half as witty to say as everyone else, but I would love another one and ARCs are always fun! :)

  20. Anonymous7:45 AM

    I don't think I'd ever make promotional bookmarks, especially after your story, PBW! I would however very much like the signed ARC. :P

  21. Anonymous7:55 AM

    Yeah, I think you've prevented me from having bookmarks printed, but I'd love an ARC of your book. . . and the bookmark of course!

  22. Anonymous7:57 AM

    Mine would definitely say: "Bookmark must be used at all times. Ignoring bookmark will result in spontaneous generation of new bookmarks." *-*

    And I should probably give my roommate back the bookmark of his that I stole and get my own. *-*

  23. ~waves hand wildly from the back row~

  24. Mine would have to say:

    You won't need this.

    Oh, the modesty!

    *scampers off*

  25. Ooo..how could I resist!

    *clink* - thats my name going into the hat.


  26. "For a good time, read." : D

    Congrats on reaching the last Stardoc bookmark!

  27. I can never pass on the chance to add to my "Sheila" collection! Count me in!!!!

  28. My bookmark for the first book I get printed will be made out of super-condensed lead, ensuring that my readers won't go anywhere until they've actually finished the book. It will probably say something like, "Read this and buy the sequel, else a plague of locusts shall bring famine to you and your children's children."

    -tosses self into name hat-

    Josh V.

  29. Count me in! :)


  30. Anonymous9:53 AM

    Let's see. "Come to my next signing! I'm giving away boxes of chocolate."


    "Bookmarks are paper
    Reading is fun
    This is for you
    Here, have a ton."

    Last, but not least:

    "Now I'm published
    A name to be
    Who knew I'd be peddling
    Bookmarks I POD'd?"

    I'll stop now. But I would like a nice bookmark. I don't mind if it's one of the misprints. Someday...it might be worth millions.

    Karen, the lurker

  31. Anonymous10:06 AM

    I'm thinking more about shape for a bookmark. My WIP, "Slanted" takes it's title from an Emily Dickinson poem about truth telling, and I think it would be funny to have a crooked mostly unusable bookmark. Okay, so I'm not as funny as you, PBW, but I would still love an ARC of your latest Darkyn novel and one of the benighted bookmarks.

  32. I have 3 of those 1600 bookmarks, signed and personalized too. I think that represents the largest collection in the whole wide world.

    But mine would say, "Be a real bibliophile. You don't need this bookmark."

    And to the lucky winner of a Night Lost ARC, you'll love that book!

    PS So don't put me in the draw. ;)

  33. Ah! Night Lost ARC!

    No I don't want that on a bookmark. I'm trying to say, just put my name in the hat.

    It's too early to be typing.

  34. "Warning: This story may make you crave sweets."

    "Non-low-carb story ahead."

  35. I don't think I could come up with anything witty. I would just do something eye catching and try to capture the essence of the book.

  36. Anonymous11:06 AM

    "I know where you live...I know where you sleep...buy my next book or you will wake up covered in bookmarks."

    Okay, that's lame, but I want that ARC. And since I'm completely, slavishly devoted to PBW, I'd love that last bookmark. ;p

  37. Well, if I'd ever harbored intentions of printing bookmarks, this post would kill them. You really should label it as a PSA.

  38. Throwing my name in the hat - I have nothing witty to say on a bookmark, I have to admit. And this entry will certainly make me think twice about making them, when the time comes...or at least 1600 of them! LOL.

  39. I too collect bookmarks (not that there are any around when I actually need a bookmark) and I would love to get the ARC, so PLEASE throw my name in the hat (or me) :o).
    P.S. Must go prepare for day job. Sigh.....

  40. Throwing my name into the hat. :).

    I tend to use post-its for book marks, folded in half so they're not sticky. As soon as I start reading I forget about the bookmark,as a consequence there are loads of folded post-its all over the house from where I've accidentally discarded them.

    I promise I would take much better care of #1600.


  41. Anonymous12:11 PM

    I love your giveaways. And the -last- bookmark.. such a noble cause ;)Definately throw my name in the hat.

    Oh, and just because I figure you would get a kick out of it. I started reading your novels BECAUSE of your giveaways. I was lurking in the background of the blog, trying to decide if I should shell out the money for a novel when threw my name in the hat for the When Angels Burn giveaway. If you remember, that Christmas you sent everyone a copy. I devoured it in a night and went out and bought every book I could get my hands on. And while I may have bought one of your novels without the generous free trial.. I also may not have. Kindness pays more then any self promo bookmark ;)

    (Come one.. who else has bought a book simply because they liked the way the author treated their readers on a forum? I know I have... )

  42. Anonymous12:15 PM

    *astonished* People USE bookmarks? I'm one of those silly people who just mentally notes what page she leaves off on (which is easy because I never break in the middle of a chapter.) But I'm a proud owner of a PBW bookmark, with a witty inscription that arrived just when I needed it... and as far as witty inscriptions go, I could use another (and an ARC, oooo.)

  43. Anonymous12:17 PM

    My bookmark: "One book to rule them all! Bwahaha"

    Count me in!


  44. Anonymous12:26 PM

    Throwing my name into the hat.

    I collect bookmarks, currently over 200. please, please, please!

    Gina S

  45. Anonymous1:41 PM

    I would love it. After 8 yrs giving them away this has got to be special


  46. Anonymous1:56 PM

    *throws name into the hat*

    I have nothing witty to say. But then I just use a piece of brand-new Kleenex or an old envelope (never mix those two up!) as bookmarks.

  47. Anonymous1:57 PM

    I'd write -

    "Beware. This creature spontaneously reproduces when left alone."


  48. Throwing my name in the hat.

    ~On knees begging for a Night Lost ARC =}=}~

  49. Who knew that bookmarks could cause so much stress?

  50. Anonymous2:38 PM

    Typical bookmarks around here:
    Post-It notes -- yes, I know they can damage the paper, but they're so convenient.
    Business cards -- usually mine, since I always have one handy.
    Chopstick sleeves -- I read at lunch, and love sushi.
    Receipts and boarding passes -- same reason.

    But I don't have so much as ONE PBW bookmark. Sob!

    Throw my name in the hat, please.

  51. Anonymous3:20 PM

    Put my name in the hat. Looking forward to it. Freedom is a beautiful thing.

  52. I would love a bookmark because my younger son "borrows" my bookmarks. I want one of my own.

  53. Anonymous4:38 PM

    I am SO in. =D

    "If not used daily, this bookmark will self-destruct."

  54. Anonymous6:10 PM

    Please I would love a bookmark and an ARC!

    "Frankly My Dear I Don't Give a Damn!"



  55. Anonymous6:19 PM

    Our mutual friend sent me an ARC, and I have been duly nailed, so don't put me in the drawing (May, I own only two, so I'm jealous of you now.)

    My inscription would be plagiarized off a bookmark I know PBW once gave to her amour: "I'm only reading this because I'm sleeping with the author."


  56. This is just too cool not to enter. If I win that bookmark, I will frame it and hang it on my wall. Or maybe I won't. I've gone through half a deck of playing cards as bookmarks so far. (I'm on the eight of spades, not that that's particularly significant.)

    Books are awesome too, of course. Especially ARC's.

    Hmm. If I embossed something on a bookmark, it would be something like "Every time you read this bookmark without buying my book, an evil librarian burns one of YOUR favorite books. Save the books. Buy mine."

    Points for originality? Not a one.



  57. Anonymous8:08 PM

    "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." -Gandhi

    Throw me into the fray. :)


  58. Only you. Only you could take the last of something and make it more coveted and valuable than the first of something.

    If I were feeling something like I'm feeling today, I'd use a phrase like the one commonly found in my blog's namesake: Gvdl uif xpsme!

    But it's not very mature, nor do I think the few people who can't figure out what the phrase means would be buying my book anyway. For those who can, it's just not an appropriate way to entice fans.

    So, I'll go with my tagline: It's all about the numbers.

    Never did #1600 sound so good.

  59. lol since I am a reader don't think i'll be making in bookmarks anytime soon. But please throw my name in the hat.

  60. *rofl* And here I thought I'd made the big mistake with the small magnets for promo.

  61. ROFL!! Thank you for this post, PBW!

    Very recently I had an established author tell me that if I wanted to do real promo I'd have to have those bookmarkers printed up. (among other things) Since my royalty checks wouldn't even begin to cover a set up fee, I figured I better just keep writing and forget about that level of promotion for the time being. Now, after reading your post, I am convinced if I'd printed those things, I'd not only still be paying for them, I'd be swimming in them until my toddler graduates college! ^_^

    Just for fun, my own personal bookmark should read:

    100% genuine promotional item (and in smaller letters) Printed on request.

  62. I am looking for a hat. Has anyone seen it?

    Ah yes there it is. (drops name in hat)

    have a great day PBW!

  63. It's late here, and I have nothing witty to add to the conversation, so...just sign me up. The ARC sounds fantastic. And of course, the bookmark does, too (I can never have enough).

  64. Congrats on gaining your freedom

  65. Anonymous12:20 AM

    ok toss my name into the hat for sure!! Would love the bookmark and the ARC. I'm currently using my daughtes bookmark. Most often I'll use whatever comes to hand, grocery store reciept, recipe card. envelope, bank statement. LOL I used to have some really beautiful bookmarks a friend made me out of wild flowers. peopkle kept stealing them and now I can't find a one!

    BAD Bibliophiles!

  66. Hehe, I do have one of your bookmarks with something clever written on the back, and I feel so honoured and privileged that you took the time to write it and send it.

    And you know where I live so you can send me free books should you so get the inclination. Hehehe...

    Anyway, one of my favourite quotes of all time is this one (and it is pretty applicable to fiction in general ^^):

    You dream things that are, and you ask, "Why?"

    But I dream things that never were, and I ask, "Why not?"

  67. Add me to the contest list. I love contests, I love bookmarks (even though they are never around when I need one!), and I'd really love to win a copy of the ARC of Night Lost. Heck, I'll even review it on my blog (I'm pretty sure it would't be a blog your agent wouldn't let you use!)

  68. Anonymous7:49 AM

    Throwing my name in the hat :)

  69. I don't think the bookmark idea is so bad.. I have a nice collection of free bookmarks and every time I read a book I will look at the bookmark.

  70. Anonymous1:29 PM

    I doubt I'd come up with anything witty to say on my bookmarks. sigh. But I love bookmarks! I'd also love to have a signed ARC from you.


  71. Anonymous2:21 PM

    Hmm. I'd probably just write "Enjoy!" Not really subliminal, but easy to remember, and short.


  72. I've got quite a few bookmarks already, but who could possibly resist the last one? I mean, really.

    My brain isn't very witty right now, but maybe that's for the best.

  73. "You stopped around here someplace, but I won't tell."

    Tossing my beret in.

  74. Since I always read more than one fiction book at the same time, plus a bunch of non fiction ones for my research, I need lots of bookmarks. :)

  75. I'm only a reader but toss my name in the pot

  76. Anonymous8:55 PM

    I would love to have #1600 not to mention the ARC or anything written by PBW. Please enter my name in the hat. Thanks!


  77. "Believe in yourself."

    My personal motto for many years.

    Erin K.

  78. I want to motivated literary procrastinators. So my bookmark would read:

    "Hey, you made it this far, might as well finish the damn book!"

  79. Anonymous11:39 PM

    Howdy, I just found your StarDoc books at my local library, and have not stopped reading them since!
    I have a lot of time to read since being disabled by a really bad fungual infection (coccidiomycosis)
    so I spend LOTS of time reading.
    BTW, I am also a Bastille day baby!! Just like Cherijo.

    I would love a bookmark! Mine would say "To the fungus among us!"

    Boozer,(just a name, not a hobby)