Question: Any Ideas for Something to Send to E-Book Readers and Audiobook Listeners?

Many people have written to me to request a bookplate. (Wondering what a “bookplate” is? You afix the bookplate, which I personalize and sign, on the first page of your book. It’s a way to get a book signed by an author when you can’t meet in person.) I’m happy to send you as many free personalized bookplates as you’d like. Many people ask for just one, many people ask for a bunch — for a book group, for gifts, for a Bible study group, and the like. Just email me at gretchenrubin1 at gmail dot com. Be sure to include your mailing address, because these are actual physical items that I’ll mail to you (anywhere in the world).

Here’s my question for you. Many people have written to say that they’d like a bookplate, but because they’re reading the e-book version, or listening to the audiobook, they don’t have a place for a bookplate.

I’d like to be able to offer something to these folks, too — but what? Please help, suggest ideas! Ideally, this item should be…
— inexpensive to produce
— small and light enough to mail in an envelope with regular postage
— useful and/or fun
— something I can sign (this isn’t necessary)

My first thought was a book mark, which satisfies those conditions — but seems quite unsuitable for someone with an e-book or audio book! Yes, of course, they have other books they read, but a bookmark just doesn’t seem fitting.

Any other suggestions? Or is a bookmark a good solution?

* I love visiting Dan Pink’s blog. Always so much interesting material there.

* Yay! I just heard that The Happiness Project is #1 at the airport bookstores! I find that news especially gratifying, because for some reason, I’ve always had a particular fondness for airport bookstores.
Order your copy.
Read sample chapters.
Watch the one-minute book video.
Listen to a sample of the audiobook.

  • David C. Cleveland

    How about a postcard of your book cover signed by you on the front? It’s something to be displayed and an instant collectors item.

  • Denise Graveline

    What about stickers? You can sign them, and people can put them on their laptops/Kindles/whatever. has great options…

  • Derek Dawley

    How about a wallet sized outline of the book or happiness tips card… I know I’d love to have a little reminder or something to trigger the thoughts I had as I read the book…

  • A magnet would be neat! The person can put it on their refrigerator or some other metal surface. You could use the book cover and have a place for your signature. The other ideas sound neat too… postcard, tip card or sticker!

  • Suzanne

    I would say stickers…or a trading card, which has become popular with the romance set. You could have your cover on the front and tips on the back….

  • Lydia

    magnets, those business-card sized ones. Put something CRITICAL from the book on it – the one thing you wish everyone would take away. That way they can put it where they can see it when they need it. 🙂

    • gretchenrubin

      These are great suggestions. I’m writing down all of these!

    • Armychic73

      I was just going to suggest magnets and then I read your post. Great minds think alike! 🙂 I once wrote to an author who in turn sent me an autographed magnet (of the front cover of her book). I have it on my refrigerator right now. I also like the idea of printnig a Happiness quote on the magnet and signed by Gretchen!

  • I recently saw a video about a new app that allowed authors to digitally sign a page and then e-mail it to a reader who can insert that page into their e-book.

    • gretchenrubin

      Wow! How does that work????? I just watched the video, going to try to learn

      It would be fun to be able to do that — but I’d also like to be able to
      send something. Perhaps because so much is digital now, it seems
      particularly nice to get an actual tangible thing in the mail.

  • Aubrigail

    I was thinking a postcard, too…maybe a list of happiness tips (personal commandments, 4 truths, etc.) and a spot for your signature…something that could be framed and displayed…

  • Dominc

    Stickers…definitely stickers. You can attach them safely to any device…or book…or your children. Whatever makes you happy.

  • Heather

    A pen. Who doesn’t love a good writing implement?

  • Siadele

    A bookmark or a postcard would be great. I’m an e-reader and I still have real books that a bookmark would be handy for. Not stickers, they’re too tacky. I wouldn’t put a sticker on my kindle.

  • Sktbaker

    What about a pin, like we used get for bands? Or some sort of happiness patch that could adhere to their ereader cover/ case.

  • @elizabethcraft

    Gold star stickers. 🙂

  • Maybe a skin, like they make for phones and laptops and readers. It wouldn’t have to cover the whole device–it could be small enough to affix to a corner, but it would have a quote from the book along with your signature.

    • gretchenrubin

      To make something to put on the device, like a skin or a sticker, seems
      so…braggy, as my six-year-old would say. A physical book is just one book,
      but a reading device is like someone’s entire bookshelf, so it seems
      overreaching somehow.

      • Caroleann74

        I wouldn’t think of it like that at all…I would be proud to have something like that on my Kindle! I think generally people are proud of the things they like and that are important to them. If having a personally signed item from you is important enough for someone to request it, I don’t think there would be any hesitation to put it on their device. I talk about your book all the time, so having the sticker might provide a valid reason for it coming up in conversation without it looking like I’m getting paid to plug it for you…ha ha! 🙂

  • Sowmya

    Sticker seems the best. Slightly raised rather 3-D sense

  • Ellen

    I wonder how expensive/difficult it would be to produce some kind of screen saver that features an inspirational quote or a tip about happiness that changes every 15 seconds? Or maybe it’s a computer desktop calendar that offers a little bit of actionable advice every day?

    • gretchenrubin

      interesting idea!

  • Simon

    How about a brightly coloured postcard (or even a couple!) with a happiness quote on it… something people could leave around their work area to inspire them? Just a thought…

  • Marnie

    How about a book plate with adhesive that a person could affix to their e-reader – it would be a wonderful reminder of their own happiness project or your happiness project every time they read on their e-book reader.

  • Adam Shehata

    There are some great ideas here! What about a top 10 questions and their answers audio file (like an afterword) for audiobook readers? It would be free to download and free to distribute…

  • Laura Broder

    Magnets or stickers!

  • How about those window static stickers that affix to glass? There could be an image from your book cover–say, the little blue bird–and a white box for your signature. The static sticker would mount cleanly on any e-reader, and be removed with no damage. It could be a corner triangle design, or a horizontal box.

    • gretchenrubin

      I love those window stickers. Great idea.

  • jocelyn

    A mousepad??

  • Zoe

    How about a card (business card-sized that would fit in a wallet) where people could write their personal happiness commandments?

  • A card with a happiness quote on it, signed by you?

  • on her mary way

    Fridge magnets!

  • B Pratt53

    Hi Gretchen,

    I think it has to be a magnet of your blue bird (from your vids). With your sig., of course.

  • I would love a postcard or sticker! What a great idea, and so cool that you want to connect with readers this way.

  • Karen H. Phillips

    I vote bookmark. Use pithy quotes from the book or other happiness quotes & great images such as from your Moments of Happiness emails! I scatter bookmarks around the house, because I never know when I’m going to need one.

  • vitabella

    I would love a postcard or sticker! What a great idea, and so cool that you want to connect with readers this way.

  • I love the idea of a postcard or a hand signed card.

  • Cindy

    I was going to suggest magnets too – but a business card would suffice. Try Moo cards – and then you could put different inspiring pictures on one side and your signature on the other.

  • Caroleann74

    Magnet, sticker, or skin are definitely my favorite ideas! And I’m so excited that you thought of this and brought it up! Ever since you first mentioned the signed book plates on your blog I have wanted to email you and request one, but since I have the e-book and not the physical book I kind of wondered what I would do with it. Honestly, I would most likely put it on my fridge…so maybe the magent idea is the best one!

  • Anna

    Develop an iphone app please that can give a daily tip or thought!

    • Christy

      you can sign up for the daily email above as a start.

  • Liz

    Gold star magnets with a good quote (one of the paradoxes!) and your signature

  • sandra

    I don’t suppose you saw the postcards Karen Walrond (or her publisher) used for “The Beauty of Different”? They were lovely, but the only downside is that I actually sent mine to someone! So maybe two postcards??