Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Your Author Banner - One Time Investment, or Break the Bank Recurring Charge?

Happy Tuesday, good people of the blogosphere! Today, I'm talking about author banners. You know, those things you put up behind your table at conferences. I get a lot of questions about mine when I put it up because of the way I created it. Because it's come to my attention that several authors might like to do something like this, I figured I'd share here. Ready? Grab those pens and notebooks and let's get going!

So, my author banner is 2.5' x 6' Vertical and looks like this:

I got it at VistaPrint for $100 with a stand. If you wait on a sale, you can get them cheaper (from what I hear), but I needed one in a hurry for RAI this past April.

I know what you're thinking: That's so plain! There are no book covers or anything on there!

You're right. There aren't. But keep reading!

So, $100 is a significant investment, right? I thought: How can I do this just one time, and NEVER have to do it again (unless my clumsy self damages the actual vinyl)?

I went to this site: MPIX and ordered all my covers (8 of them) at 8X12 on single weight matboard and E-surface paper for a little over $60 with shipping. They were around $7 each.

If you're keeping up, that's a $160 investment so far.

Well, I needed a way to make those images interchangeable on the banner (and a way to make them stick). I headed to Amazon and snagged a roll of 75 5/8" white Velcro dots for about $10.

Now comes the fun part!

I designed my layout on the banner with nothing sticky (this step is very important). Then, I flipped the prints over and put the dots on the four corners (the soft side, not the hook side), and then I stuck the hooked side to the soft and removed the covering from the adhesive.

Keep up, this is the MOST important part.

Very carefully, I flipped the first print over and stuck it to the banner where I wanted it.

Then, I detached the dots from one another and removed the image.

I then attached new hook dots to the soft dots ON THAT IMAGE and repeated the process twice, putting it where I had the other two laid out.

Now, my banner has dots that will hold that image in three places, but I want to be able to stick any of the images anywhere.

I then attached soft dots to ONE of the patterns on the banner and removed the adhesive cover. After lining up a new image and gently pressing it down, I had a second image that would fit ALL THREE places on my banner. I repeated this action until all my images had soft dots on the corners.

I used the soft dots on the images so I can stack them and not worry about them scratching one another.

*****IMPORTANT: I know it's time consuming to do it this way, but if you just stick dots on willy-nilly, there's a chance they won't line up with the ones on the banner. Take the time to do it right.

My banner can now display ANY of my covers, and I don't have to spend another $50 (banner with no stand) each time I want to update it, just $7. Here's a picture:

Total investment: $170

If I ever change my branding (colors or WriteJoMichaels), I'm screwed, but I like it enough that I plan to stick with it forever.

You can leave space at the top, bottom, or wherever! It's your design. Do with it what you will.

I'll get into those nifty little stands that are holding my books next week. They're my favorite EVER!

What do you think? Will you try it?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!



  1. I think you're a freaking genius!!!!!

    1. Thank you! Just trying to save the masses money! :)

  2. You know how much I love this and am so thrilled to have done my banner this way. You are all kinds of awesome. <3

    1. All the awesome things! <3 Miss you!!!!

  3. That's awesome but I don't understand why your Vista Print Banner was so expensive. Mine, same size, full colour was just £26 ($45) Do Vista Print need pulling up on this price differential; it hardly seems fair.

    1. I got the stand, too. :) You may have also caught them on a half price sale. I missed it. Had to pay full price because I was in a pinch :-/ LOL

  4. I love this idea! I've already had my banner designed to accomplish this idea (the designer saw your banner at UTOPiA). Would it be too much to ask to see how the dots or hooks are on the banner?

    1. Sure! I can update it tomorrow with pictures! :D Hey, trend setting! LOL


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