Conference season is approaching so I figured this would be a great time to talk about SWAG. So many questions surround this one topic.
How much money should we spend on swag?
Will swag get your book noticed?
Is paper swag effective?
Here are my thoughts and opinions as an author and reader.
For me, bookmarks are still the best. They are cheap and can get your book noticed. U-Print has the best pricing and has great quality. As a writer, I carry those suckers around with me everywhere and hand them out to everyone. I gave a stack to the lady who does my hair, the laundry mat, the library, and all my friends to give out.
As a reader, I have a stack from other authors that I use as a wish list. I go through this pile when I want to purchase a new book. Since there are no Barnes & Nobles close to me, this is a great way to shop.
Other cost effective swag ideas.
I’ve seen booklets with the first 2 or 3 chapters printed out which is great but can be expensive.
Business cards with your book cover and info on the back is also a great economic way to get your info out there.
Postcards are awesome. I’ve even had a few authors mail me postcards right before their new books came out. It was nice getting something other than bills in the mail. You have to have your newsletter set up to gather your reader’s addresses. Which reminds me…I need to fix my sign-up sheet 🙂
I made little chocolates with my book cover on them. It was easy. I just printed out my cover on paper and cut them to fit around Hershey Miniatures. They were cute and who doesn’t like chocolate?
What swag will get your book noticed?
You have to be very creative here. Think out of the box.
In my story, I have a genie pop out of a tampon box and curse my heroine. So I bought trial size boxes of tampons for about 40 cents each. I placed a box of tampons, a chocolate, and a bookmark in a bag and tied it with a pretty ribbon. I spent about 60 cents total on each of them. I made 200 to put in the goody bags for a reader conference. Everyone got a kick out of them and I will be forever known as the author who gave out tampons. People were talking about them and they read my bookmark to see how the heck tampons were related to my story.
Your ideas don’t have to be as drastic, but it helps to be unique.
Here is a picture of some of my favorite swag. I love the sticky notes. I use them all the time when I read a book to mark awesome passages or great dialogue. This pen is super cool because it has a stylist on the end. The chip clip is heavy duty and has a magnet on the back. I use this coaster every day when I sit at my computer. These are on the expensive side of swag but I use them constantly. I’ve bought books from the authors because of this.
Expensive swag should be used for your readers as a thank you. You can hand these out at book signings when they purchase your books. Some other expensive swag ideas are wine glasses, reusable bags, or even a fan with LEDS.
What is your favorite swag? Which do you find most effective? Please comment below.