Monday, March 28, 2022

Favorite Bookmark #4


I remember Misty Urban making her own bookmarks, at least I thought of them as bookmarks. She’d print out a short story, flash fiction really, or a poem on nice paper then glued each one onto card stock. I managed to save few of those before she flew ahead to several versions of a regular type of printed bookmark.

Then she moved on to stylish versions of Victorian calling cards: many, many cards, as if one precious thing was never enough. I supposed the teacher in her could not stay still.

All this effort was for A Lesson in Manners, a collection of short stories that was my first purchase. It won her the Serena McDonald Kennedy Award.  

Of all the promotional pieces from Misty that I’ve saved, I like this bookmark the best because it begins with an “elevator pitch” that’s simple and comes perfectly to the point:

    "A how-to manual for dealing with

 love, lies, loss, and loneliness."

It's valuable lesson unto itself.

Monday, March 21, 2022

Favorite Bookmarks #3


I created this bookmark to go along with my first Bishop Hill mystery. The design was based on a postcard created by C. Hope Clark.

I met Clark through the Midwest Writing Center. It was the first year she taught a workshop at MWC’s David R. Collins Writers’ Conference, held annually in late June.

I bought her book and fell in love with the thought of using bookmarks to maybe, somehow, tempt readers to give us struggling authors reviews on Amazon and Goodreads sites. I think it worked better for her than me. But then, she has been quite prolific with writing award-winning mysteries, teaching, hosting award-winning blogs; ever being an inspiration to all of us.

I’m in the process of redesigning my bookmark to promote a new book and adding important new information for both books. The plan is to have it in time for the 

Bishop Hill Book Fair on April 2 at the Creative Commons at 309 Bishop Hill St. from 11-4 pm.

Update and Preview

Should have this double-sided bookmark ready for the bookfair.

Photo shows: on the left, my most current Bishop Hill mystery; and, on the right, my first mystery with an updated, and polite, appeal for reviews:

    "It's a fact of life for authors: 

We need reviews. 

Please consider posting a 

review to Amazon & 

Goodreads after reading."

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Favorite Bookmarks #2


What’s not to like about a Yoda bookmark? 


Originally, this was part of a panel of USPS postage stamps. I used the stamps and saved the decorative sidebar as a bookmark.

I and one of my Bishop Hill neighbors did our best to buy out all the Yoda stamps our tiny Bishop Hill post office had in stock. After going through my bookshelves, I came up with three more of my impromptu bookmarks in various conditions.

Can I say it? 

Yes, the force was with me.

Got a favorite bookmark? Please share.

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Favorite Bookmarks #1


Years ago, I participated in a panel discussion in Muscatine, IA. It was sponsored by Writer’s on the Avenue. I shared the table with Rob Cline and a couple of his writing buddies. He made his book sound so appealing that I had to buy a copy. We were wrapping up the sale of Murder by the Slice when he offered me a special bookmark. He treated it as something special, like it came from his personal stash, and he was almost loath to part with it.

Why was it so special? Not only did it look like a slice of pepperoni pizza, it SMELLED like one. Seriously, the top pepperoni has a scratch-and-sniff coating that still works after all these years. But then, I have tried to treat it like the gem it is.

It became my all-time favorite bookmark even if it was lacking in a few basic details. Like any printed information about the book, the author, the publisher, the ISBN number, stuff like that. I can accept those deficiencies because I’ve never run across anything like it since. And how often are writers told to use all the senses in their work? Lots. This type of bookmark just might be the perfect reminder to add a little something for the olfactory receptors. Who knows, it might help keep readers engaged … and hungry for more. 

Worked for me.


Got a favorite bookmark? Please share.