Bookmarks: design tips and examples for haiku poets

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Bookmarks are a great promotional tool for writers and poets. To create a good bookmark for your next haiku conference, you’ll need:

  • image
  • text
  • contact information (name, e-mail, website)
Bookmark by Frank Carey

Bookmark by Frank Carey

This bookmark by Frank C Carey is one of my favorite freebies. On the front, there’s a photo with a haiku. At the back, there’s a red seal, a QR code, and Frank’s contact information. The design is clean and easy to read.

The bookmark is laminated. I like the addition of the twine: the color matches the photo. Not only is the bookmark beautiful, but it is also practical and durable. It’s been, and still is, my favorite bookmark to use.  Every once in a while, I would see the address on the bookmark and visit Frank’s website, so I would say this bookmark was an effective promotional tool for its author.

(Unfortunately, Frank’s website is no longer active. He says he’s been out of the haiku game but continues to write science fiction. Considering I visited his website 3-4 times in 2 years, the bookmark did a good job in promoting him.)

Moon bookmark

I like this bookmark by Jennifer Strickland. The design is beautiful. However, it doesn’t have the author’s contact information (website, e-mail).

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Moon bookmark, by Jennifer Sutherland (HNA 2015)

I like the simplicity of this laminated bookmark, but I don’t know the name of the author.

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You can get creative with the photo and text alignment, like Margaret Beverland from New Zealand.

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Bookmarks by Margaret Beverland

Why not use a different material, like a tag made of cloth?

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Tag by Wanda Cook ; bookmark by an unknown author

You can also add more than one haiku, following this example by Claudia Coutu Radmore

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Bookmark by Clauda Coutu Radmore

Kala Ramesh created this beautiful bookmark with haiku, line drawing, and decorative twine.

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Stanford Forrester used a printing press to create his bookmarks. This means he selected each font, placed them, and aligned them in a printing press, added the ink and printed the bookmarks one at a time.

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Bookmark, by Stanford M Forrester

Tips for designing bookmarks:

  • Make it beautiful so people will keep it.
  • Add a twine so the bookmark won’t get lost in a book.
  • Create them months in advance (it takes time to print them)

Are you thinking about creating  a bookmark as your freebie for the next Haiku North America conference? I hope these examples inspire you.

In the next post, I’ll write about creating postcards.

Freebie: an introduction

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Freebie table (HNA 2015)

Freebie table (HNA 2015)

With Haiku North America around the corner, it’s time to think about the freebie you’ll bring to the conference.  A freebie is a promotional item you give to attendees at a conference. A freebie can take different forms: bookmarks, leaflets, postcards, 3D objects.

Whatever format you chose, a freebie must fit certain criteria to be successful.

The best freebies are:

  1. Beautiful
  2. Well written
  3. Good promotional tool for the author
  4. Portable

Now let’s look at each criterion with some examples.

 

1. Beautiful: does your freebie have a wow factor? A nice cover that will get people to pay attention? Is it printed on good quality paper? Color paper? Is the shape unusual?

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Leaf-shaped haiku freebie by Deborah P Kolodji (HNA 2015)

 

2. Well written: Have you included your best haiku? Is the contents free of typos and grammar mistakes?  Extra points if your contents fit the theme of the conference.

Booklets by Tanya McDonald

Booklets by Tanya McDonald

 

3. Good promotional tool for the author: have you included your name and contact information? The main goal of a freebie is promotion, so don’t forget these important details. A freebie is your business card.

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Bookmark by Frank Carey.

 

4. Portable: is your freebie small enough to fit in a luggage? Or is it cumbersome? I took a picture of this beautiful rock by Jeff Hoagland (HNA 2015). Although I really liked the haiku and the concept, there was no way I could have brought back this massive 1 pound rock in my suitcase.

Haiku Rock by Jeff Hoagland (HNA 2015)

Haiku Rock by Jeff Hoagland (HNA 2015)

In the next couple days, I’ll show you more examples of promotional items for writers and share some tips about creating a freebie for your next conference.

Do you know what freebie you’ll bring to your next conference?

 

 

My Haiku Canada Weekend 2016 Freebie

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I spent Easter Sunday cutting, folding and sewing a small comic book.

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I will be giving them away at the Haiku Canada Weekend, May 20-22, 2016, in Whitehorse, Yukon.

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Every year, I was always waiting to the last minute to prepare my freebie, but this time I decided to prepare them early so I could focus on my presentations: I will be the keynote speaker and cartoonist-in-residence at the next Haiku Canada Weekend in May. I hope you can join us!

VanCAF – Day 2

I had a great time at Vancouver Comics Arts Festival (VanCAF) again today.

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My first visitors were two members of the Vancouver Haiku Group. Then, for the next 6 hours, I talked about haiku to complete strangers (and had a lot of fun doing it!)

vancaf day 2 cartoon by Sam from Boumeries

I was “cartoonified” by the talented Samantha Leriche-Gionet from Boumeries comics. Check out her comics Boumeries. Sam will be at the Montreal Comics Art Festival May 29-31 2015.

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Jeff Chiba selling his awesome works created on post-its.

This year, VanCAF was bigger than ever, with two halls and hundreds of comic artists selling books, prints, t-shirts, doing comissions. It was awesome.

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Angela from Wasted Talent.

The VanCAF organization was awesome. There were lots of volunteers who could provide change, fill in your table during breaks, or get food and supplies. That’s VIP treatment!

It was a great week-end. Can’t wait till next year!

VanCAF – Day 1

I had a table at the Vancouver Comics Arts Festival (VanCAF) at the Roundhouse this week-end.

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It was my first time at VanCAF as a vendor. It’s a curated show (meaning they carefully review each submissions and decide who gets to go in) so I was super happy to be accepted as a fellow cartoonist.

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I had brought some of my haiku-comics:

  • Haiku-Comics (40 haiku-comics by famous Japanese masters, as seen on The Haiku Foundation blog)
  • There’s no white belt in haiku
  • Haiku: a short introduction (with cartoons)
  • How to write a haiku (mini)
  • The seven stages of writing (mini)

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I separated my table at VanCAF in two sections. This section is “Learn haiku through cartoons”. It featured my new zine “Haiku: a short introduction (with cartoons)”.

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The second section of my table was dedicated to haiku-comics. It featured my book of 40 haiku-comics, some mini-zines, and free haiku-comics samples people can take home.

Many people recognized the word “Haiku” from something they’ve learned in school, years ago and stopped by to chat and buy comics.

A few people recognized my comic strips from the monthly publication The Bulletin: a journal of Japanese Canadian Community, history + culture

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The show ran from 10am-6pm today and will run again from 11am-5pm tomorrow.  

Thanks to everybody who stopped by the table today! I hope you will try to write haiku.