Wednesday, March 24, 2010

To Postcard...or NOT to Postcard

Chapter.sm A week or so ago, I tried an experiment.  The company I use to send out my emailed newsletter (at a very reasonable price) also does postcards.  I wondered how good their product was.  They allow you to send out one free postcard, so I made one for my upcoming release Chapter & Hearse.  I had a little trouble getting my apostrophes to come out, but after fiddling with them for almost half an hour, got it right.  They tell you your card will be send out within 3-5 days.

So I waited.

And waited.

And finally TEN days later, I got my postcard.

I must admit, the printing was excellent.  The card looked wonderful.  I was a bit skeptical of the timing, as the card said it was presorted first class and it took ten days for me to get it, but I figured if I set the thing up, it might be worth sending out a week earlier than planned.

Then I searched the site for the pricing.  Oh.  Brick wall here.  I couldn't find ANYTHING.  So I wrote to the company.  A day later I had a URL for their cunningly concealed price list.

Googly eyes Wow--did my eyes go boing! or what?  The cost came in at 83 cents per card (more if you mail less of them--less if you mail a LOT more).

Well, that was the end of THAT scenario.  Mind you, everything is automated.  You do the layout, they approve it, they take your mailing list, sort it by zip code, print the card, and out it goes.

I would save at least $313 by doing it myself.  Okay, that means I'd have to spend a MINIMUM of 6 hours (more likely 8) putting on address labels and stamps, but hey, $313 is money I could spend doing other promo.  And what if I hired someone to put those labels on--I could still save at least $200.

I don't have all the time in the world, but I know how to make time.  I have a feeling I'll be sticking down labels while I'm doing other stuff -- like watching TV, or on some rainy Saturday afternoon when there's nothing to do.

What else does an author have to do?  (Oh, yeah--write the books!)