The Book Publicity Blog

News, Tips, Trends and Miscellany for Book Publicists

Electronic postcards — use or not?

I was participating in a conference call yesterday when the issue of electronic postcards was raised. (Think your standard promotional postcard, but sent via email.) Immediately I gagged, thinking of my chockful mailbox that I clean out nearly every day simply so I can send messages. (I regularly archive my mail and delete large files. Somehow, it piles up. When it comes to email, “megabyte” might as well be a four-letter word.) As terms like “flash” and “audio” were bandied about, I sipped my antioxidant-rich green tea in a desperate attempt to keep down breakfast. I decided to check in with our advertising and promotions department, which has experience in the area.

The ad promo director’s response to ecards was less than enthusiastic — there are often platform problems, he said. In other words, depending on the computer / operating system / browser, recipients may or may not be able to open and view an epostcard. Possibly, bad, bad things could happen.

On the other hand, I have to admit that a well-designed ecard can provide useful information in an eye-catching format (particularly eye-catching if someone’s signed up to receive news and information from an organization). Plus, they’re pretty. So clearly, they have their uses.

Do you use ecards to promote books? Have you had a notable experience (good or bad) with them?


January 14, 2009 - Posted by | Online Marketing | ,


  1. Your response to the mention of electronic postcards is similar to mine when I receive paper postcards. My physical mailbox is clogged daily with postcards advertising events, releases, openings, etc and all I can think of is ‘what a waste of paper.’ Most of the time I don’t even know how I got on most of these mail lists, and trying to get off them proves to be daunting. With email, more often than not, at least there is a nice little “unsubscribe” button.

    As a publicist I send out weekly press kits with several pieces of paper which grates on me to no end, because I’m sure 60% of what I send out ends in the trash – not even recycling. Recently I’ve been switching to email announcements for books and events. I have seen a greater response for books with the electronic versions, but with events it’s hard to say.

    Comment by Hilda | January 14, 2009 | Reply

  2. Only to those on developed lists. Meaning, to people already somewhat interested in the topic, author, or the book.

    But, yes, that is with the recognition that many will not make the water because of tech snaufus.

    Comment by Kelly | January 14, 2009 | Reply

  3. I think if they are on topic and the person expects to recieve something from whoever then they can be effective..

    Comment by Postcards | January 14, 2009 | Reply

  4. hmm, we’re supposed to have an easy way to send such postcards by the end of the week. I see them as something I’ll be able to give to authors so that they can send to their own lists of people who are interested in their event. I don’t know how often I would use it.

    Comment by Andie East | January 14, 2009 | Reply

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