Robin K. Blum is my guest blogger today. She is going to be at PLA (the Public Library Association conference in Portland, OR) and has a free gift for anyone who stops by...and a contest for BookBitchBlog readers, so read on!
Hello, my name is Robin K. Blum, and I am the proud owner of a small literary-oriented business called In My Book, which manufactures a line of bookmark/greeting cards. Some of you may also know me as birdie from www.lisnews.org .
Whats an In My Book card you ask? Its a fundraiser for your library, its a thank you note for donors and volunteers, its an invitation to a special event, its a greeting card that goes great with the gift of a book, its a card for the members of the reading group, its a save the date card, and of course, its the greeting card and bookmark in one. If you really want to know just what an In My Book card is all about you have to see one, or better yet, hold it in your hands. Until you get that opportunity, here's the website, where all fifteen styles are shown: www.inmybook.com.
Cards may be purchased by individuals on-line and libraries and bookstores may register there to sell the cards wholesale. In My Book cards are available at over 400 outlets including the Library of Congress Shop, big & little library systems and shops and independent bookstores across the US.
The first In My Book cards were sold in May of 2000. The precursors were a few homemade, handmade bookmarks given to friends and relatives on their birthdays, usually along with books. As the idea developed, and the bookmark expanded into a greeting card, the concept and format of In My Book was born (the name was hit upon in the shower). It was clear that the idea could work if the greetings were clever and thoughtful and the graphics were appealing. It hasn't always been easy (or profitable), but I'm proud to say that this coming May will be the tenth anniversary of the company. The cards are sold primarily in independent bookstores and library stores, and by library friends groups. Here's a complete listing by state of where the cards are sold: In My Book Stores You can also buy them individually on-line.
I illustrated the first few cards myself and laminated them; one of the first was a gift for my Aunt Norma (with a book) on her 70th birthday...she's just celebrated her 80th birthday (but doesn't want anyone to know!) I obtained a registered trademark on the name In My Book and after deciding I needed a more talented and versatile illustrator (than myself), I checked out a few portfolios before I found just the right person in Meredith Hamilton, who it turns out lives less than a mile from me in Brooklyn, NY. We hit it off and had a lot of fun designing the cards together. The illustrations were copyrighted and then it was a question of finding the right paper, the die-cut & perforation, and a printer who could handle all of the above within my budget. The first printer ran off into the night a lot of the original art (a nightmare!), but subsequently I found a talented and dependable printer in Pennsylvania.
It's clear that bookmarks, the original bookmarks, (i.e., something to keep your place) belong in books. A greeting card that DOUBLES as a bookmark can be viewed and enjoyed through a whole stack of books, and will always remind the reader of the person who sent them the card, particularly if they inscribe it with a personal greeting. And these days, anything that RECYCLES has added popularity. The cards are very GREEN (but not really, they're black and white, with a red envelope).
Mine is a small business that I started by myself and continue to run on my own (with a great deal of help from librarians, booksellers, sales reps, bloggers etc.). I am happy providing a unique product that fits a need for independent bookstores and library shops. I've chosen NOT to sell to chain bookstores or Amazon as I am determined to do my part to promote small and independent businesses (like my own!). Please patronize and support your community businesses.
If you're a public librarian, and will be attending the PLA Conference in Portland, Oregon in March, stop by my booth (#536) and say "The Bookbitch sent me" and who knows what will happen - but it'll be worth your while! *
*The BookBitch knows! Stop by and mention the BookBitch to Robin and she'll give you a little gift!
I'm on a mission to spread the news to library shops, foundations and friends groups, as well as indie bookstores and used and rare bookshops. Want to win three In My Book cards of your choice absolutely free? Just stop by In My Book and comment on this blog telling us which three cards you like best, and Stacy will pick the lucky winner.
Or, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with "IN MY BOOK" as the subject. You must include your snail mail address in your email AND the three cards you like best and want to win. All entries must be received by March 31, 2010. One name will be drawn from all qualified entries and notified via email. The winner will receive three In My Book cards of their choice. This contest is open to all adults over 18 years of age in the United States. One entry per email address, please. Your email address will not be shared or sold to anyone. All entries, including names, e-mail addresses, and mailing addresses, will be purged after winners are notified.
Thank you Stacy for the opportunity to tell your readers about the greeting card and bookmark in one.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Posted by BookBitch at 3/11/2010 07:41:00 PM