After speaking at a conference a few weeks ago, I met an author who had done something quite smart to promote his novel: He created a bookmark about it. The front had the cover, title and his name, and the back included a brief plot description, the author’s email address and website, and where to buy the book.
The bookmark included a lot of great information, and overall it looked very professional. Unfortunately, it also included a grammatical error that jumped out at me and overshadowed everything else. The error also caught the trained eye of a fellow panelist who works in the publishing industry. (For those who are curious, the author had mixed up “lay” and “lie,” an oft-confused word pair.)
By not catching this error before his marketing materials went to print, the author inadvertently gave the impression that he doesn’t focus heavily on grammar and editing, a trait that could carry over into his book. That is probably the furthest thing from the truth, but in marketing, perception is often reality. Catching grammatical errors or typos before producing marketing materials will not only ensure you create a positive impression, but it can save you the time and monetary costs of a reprint.
Try to learn from this author’s mistake. When you’re putting together materials for promoting your work, be sure to get multiple sets of eyes on them to make sure they are perfect before pulling the trigger. To be on the safe side, you may even want to get your editor to read over your text. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so you want it to be your best.
This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2014 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.