Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

Author Bookplates

on April 10, 2012

On April 25, I’ll be participating in the Seattle SCBWI Inside Story at Mockingbird Books.  Inside Story is held twice yearly and is a chance for authors to talk about the “story behind the story” of the book.  There is a book signing to go along with the event, and I’ll have my postcards and bookmarks to sign for both Stained Glass Summer and Weaving Magic. However, the other thing I’ll have with me are bookplates.

What are author bookplates?

Bookplates are signed labels that are inserted inside the front pages of a book.  They can be useful for a couple different reasons.

1. Weaving Magic won’t be released until a few days after the SCBWI Inside Story. It will take a little while for the print copies to make their way out to the bookstore. So, in the meantime, I sign some bookplates and leave them with the bookstore. When they get copies of Weaving Magic they can insert the bookplates inside the book and sell the book as a signed copy by the author.

2. Bookplates are also great for long distance readers. It’s not practical for me to buy books, sign books, and mail them out to people who request. Have you mailed anything recently? Yea…the price of postage is a whole different topic….BUT, what I can do is sign a bookplate and pop it into the mail for people who request or win a contest.

So, how do you find author bookplates? You make them!

1. Design your bookplate–The first thing to do is design your bookplate. You can use the cover of your book, your author name, or any other fancy logo you want to use. If you have photo shop, you can use that to help you with the design. I love my website design, so I asked Erin at Eedee Design Studios to design a bookplate logo for me. One of the things I really like about Erin’s design is that it’s a versatile design. Weaving Magic is a YA romance which needs to have bookplates, but I write a lot more than YA romance. I’m drafting a chapter book series, I write adult romance novellas (ebook only as of right now), and then there is Stained Glass Summer and some companion tween novel ideas I have outlined which as Musa grows, will move into print. I wanted my bookplate design to be able to grow with me as I continue to write and build my career, which was also my goal when Erin designed my website–I didn’t want to limit myself to these two books or genres when we designed the website. Here is the bookplate that Erin designed.

2. Print your bookplates--Avery 8168 labels are the perfect size for bookplates and can be purchased at any office supply store.  You’ll want to download the Avery 8168 template and then insert your design into the template. Once you’ve got your design inserted into the template, print on the labels!

3.  Sign your bookplates--It’s a good idea to think of a catchy phrase to go along with your book. For example, in Weaving Magic, I’m using “Believe in the Magic.” I’ll personalize some of the bookplates, but most of them will be a standard phrase with my signature.

And that’s it! Bookplates!

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