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Formatting bookmarks

Crumbly Writer

A stupid question for a story site, but does anyone here have any experience with printed bookmarks? While mainstream publishers don't use them, many Indie Publishers use them as gifts for loyal customers, and thus they get the full graphics treatment.

I was aware of them, and have been considering using them, but hadn't gotten into the nuts and bolts yet. While redesigning several covers, I figured I'd try my hand at it. Only I can't figure out how to translate a 6"x9" cover onto a 2"x6" bookmark. The math just doesn't work, and you end up with small bits and pieces of your cover which don't match titles and descriptions.

Does anyone have samples of bookmarks from authors (the ones dedicated to a particular book or series), or have any clue how they're designed?

I'm not expecting to find the expertise in-house (on SOL), but I figured I'd start here and work my way up. I don't want to ask the designers, as that's where they're high-volume numbers come from, and revealing how they do it cuts into their bottom line!

If you have any, I'd love a couple pictures of the bookmark and book cover to compare how they compose the images for both.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

I have no experience with making book marks, but I do have a bit of experience with resizing images.

If you want to put a 6x9 cover on a 2x6 book mark, shrink the cover to 2x3. I have no idea what you should do with the other half of the book mark.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

I once got a bookmark from an author. It's 5" x 1.5" and laminated.

I just took a pic of it on my phone. I'll email it to you.

ETA: I sent it. looks like she squeezed two book covers on the bookmark plus her email.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


printed bookmarks


CW,

I'm not sure I understand what you're talking about with this term. Can you please explain what you mean a bit more?

edit to add: I just saw SW's post and now wonder if you mean to print out a strip of cardboard advertising your book to hand out to people as a book mark. If that is the case, the best way is to just use and image manipulation program to resize the cover image to the same width as the bookmark you wish to make, save it, add it to the top of an image canvas the size of the full book mark, and add some text on where to get the book below the cover image.

If you cut a 6 x 9 inch down to go on the top of a 2 x 6 inch strip the image should print as a 2 x 3 (cut to 1/3rd of both dimensions) thus you can have the covers of two books on the front of it if you wanted to.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

I'm not sure I understand what you're talking about with this term.


It's the placeholder in a printed book so you don't have to dogear the corner of the page. I used to use the punch card (without the holes punched in it) way back.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


It's the placeholder in a printed book so you don't have to dogear the corner of the page. I used to use the punch card (without the holes punched in it) way back.


That's what i got from your early post, Switch, but prior to reading that I was envisioning something like a printed version of an electronic watermark on the book cover itself. Thus the edit addition.

awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

Perhaps the rear cover of the book, especially if it includes a summary of the story and/or a photo of the author.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play  REP
Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


Perhaps the rear cover of the book, especially if it includes a summary of the story and/or a photo of the author.


... and for the "rear cover" of the bookmark?

Replies:   Switch Blayde
StarFleet Carl

@Crumbly Writer

any experience with printed bookmarks?


Not those, but I've made many personalized ones as gifts. I use a 1/16" birch plywood as my stock, design them using CorelDraw, and then cut them out on my laser. (I'm the oddball woodworker here that has a 70 watt Epilog Laser sitting in his office.)

Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play


... and for the "rear cover" of the bookmark?


The one I was given has a solid white back with a handwritten note something like "Happy reading."

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

The author's bibliography to date and/or a plug for the next book?

AJ

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

I once got a bookmark from an author. It's 5" x 1.5" and laminated.

Got it, Switch.

It seems they've standardized and advanced the form over the years. Now, they tend to be 2-sided, glossy, high-resolution color images. Yours was one-sided and laminated. Those I've seen online (mostly for foreign books or for books I haven't seen the originals of and thus can't figure out how they extracted the image), one side is the cover image (often taken from a full wrap-around cover), while the back contains a short story description.

I'm not sure if there's any standard for resizing the image, or whether each graphic designer just generates their own.

@Ernest
The problem with resizing the image, is taking a wide image and making it narrow distorts the image, whereas shrinking it proportionally leaves a lot of blank space. I also tried taking a spanning expanse of a wrap-around cover (so it's wide enough), only that doesn't reveal enough of the cover to be reasonable.

I was hoping for some examples so I could figure out whether there's some standard procedure used for creating these.

Also, instead of 'handing them out' at book signings like business cards, they're now printed in bulk and mailed out to regular customers to build excitement for new releases.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

I guess a picture is worth a thousand words. Here's one taken from Alchemy Book Covers and Design (who offer to create them when you commission a book cover design). This is a series bookmark (one side only).

The site is like many developing now, where struggling authors try to raise money by designing covers for other (non-graphical) authors.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

Here are some better examples, including both sides (and bar codes for easy ordering via phone).

Three bookmarks for three different romance novelists from Cover Shot Creations.

REP

@awnlee jawking

Perhaps the rear cover of the book, especially if it includes a summary of the story and/or a photo of the author.


Good idea AJ. The rear cover might be good, but don't expect to be able to read the summary without a magnifying glass. By the time you reduce the rear cover to fit the bookmark, you will probably have about 3pt (or less) font.

awnlee jawking

@REP

By the time you reduce the rear cover to fit the bookmark, you will probably have about 3pt (or less) font.


Not good for the elderly!

AJ

Replies:   REP
REP

@awnlee jawking

Not good for the elderly


And I resemble that remark! :)

awnlee jawking

@REP

Would the photo necessarily be bad? At least the wrinkles wouldn't show ;)

AJ

Replies:   REP
REP

@awnlee jawking

At least the wrinkles wouldn't show ;)


But the squint lines would. :)

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

OK, I finally figured it out. You don't show the entire cover. You simply capture enough to give a feel for the cover.

Check out the following for my next book, "The Demons Within".

The covers a bit small, and I went with the bare minimum for the description, which leaves too much blank space, but at least I know where I'm going now. I can work out the details later.

Note: Broke the book title onto two lines, making it larger, so now everything fits perfectly.

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