#MidWeekPOV #wwwblogs To Swag or Not to Swag ? That Is the Question.

Side One of My Current Bookmark

You’ve written your book. It’s published and selling. Hopefully well. As part of your marketing strategy, do you have printed materials and other goodies with your name and book title on them? Do you offer any of them as give-aways on your blog or website? Do you have freebies to hand out at author events or book fairs? And on the other side of the coin, are you the kind of event attendee who picks up material from various vendors–in this case, authors?

I confess, I do both. I like having little gifts to share with people, and if they have my books listed on them, all the better. I can’t afford to do anything huge, but I do have bookmarks, postcards, and my favorite, custom tea blends in little keepsake tins with the book cover and my name on them. (Perfect for stashing paper clips or stamps, on a desk, or for use as travel tins for things like aspirin. They can even be refilled with tea. Imagine!)

I am doing an average of two presentations a month these days, and I enjoy setting up my table with things for folks to browse through afterward. While I’m signing books, it gives those waiting in line something to do, and if they leave with a handful of bookmarks, I hope they’ll share them. Maybe I’ll gain a new reader that way.

So, what’s your opinion on swag of this sort? Do you give any away? Do you pick up things at other tables? All of the above? None of the above? Why or why not? As always, inquiring minds wanna know! πŸ™‚

Side Two of the Same Bookmark


14 thoughts on “#MidWeekPOV #wwwblogs To Swag or Not to Swag ? That Is the Question.

  1. I haven’t gone the “swag route” yet–but I might, if I ever make print books. First, I need to get my eBooks in the best condition possible. It’s my goal for 2016. After that, I’ll look into bookmarks, fridge magnets, and possibly mugs. At least the items would be useful, like the ones that you offer as gifts.

    I know some authors who’ve had luck with “cover ornaments” at Christmas. That might be fun, too! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I think it does work better for print books, except for online giveaways. Maybe as gifts for those who sign up for your newsletter, or something like that? Especially if you love your cover design. And I think cover ornaments are a very cool idea!! I’m going to have to look into that! Or maybe something small for a keychain?

      Once you have print books available, doing local fairs, or one-on-one Meet The Author events, becomes more interesting. You’ll have books you can sign and sell at the events. I get a thrill every time I can get a signed book from a favorite author, and I’ve found my local readers can get just as excited. It’s SO much fun to sign a book, stick a bookmark in it, and watch while folks look through my custom teas, pulling out things that mention their favorite characters, like Willow’s Soothing Chamomile, Hunter’s Mango Green, Sarah’s Favorite Earl Grey, or Gunnar’s Assam Blend. They get a kick out of it, and honestly, so do I. The teas, of course, cost way more than the bookmarks, but the little “advertising” tins last a lot longer, too. So I always bring a small basketful along.

      Good luck with getting your books cleaned up. It is SO hard to catch every error, try as you might, even with betas, proofers, and an editor. *sigh* I’m sure you’ll move on to print as soon as you feel good about that, and you’ll have fun. Nothing makes my day happier than glancing up to my bookshelf and seeing my books arranged there alongside my favorite authors. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: #MidWeekPOV #wwwblogs To Swag or Not to Swag ? That Is the Question. – cherylanne57

    • Well, that’s a start. Bookmarks and postcards are rather small, and the postcards aren’t real pricey on VistaPrint. The bookmarks ARE, and I do better having Nicki (my graphics designer) get them for me. But I do find folks snatch them up, and I try to encourage them to take a couple, so they can share with friends. πŸ™‚ Nice to see you today, Judith!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Having a bit of a difficult time at the moment, Marcia> Fell and torn ligaments in right ankle. Supposed to stay with foot up but how? With so much great stuff to share? Have to sneak to my study when husband out . hah!! Lol. Jx

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oh, I’m so sorry to hear you had a fall, Judith! Man, I hate when I fall, though I haven’t injured myself nearly so bad as torn ligaments. You must be miserable, especially trying to keep that foot elevated, like you should. I sincerely hope it heals very quickly, and you are able to get around normally again. Please keep us posted as to how you’re doing! Good luck!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m with you on this (now there’s a surprise πŸ˜‰ ).
    I have giant bookmarks to give out – by that I mean things called ‘rack cards’. They are designed to fit in display racks (which I don’t have), but are the perfect size for my paperbacks – they fit right inside to use as bookmarks, yet are large enough to stand out very clearly on the tables of flyers you find at conventions and conferences, and big enough to fit the whole book blurb on the back without making the type too small. That way, people can read and see if they really think it’s their sort of book before they bother taking them away, and are more likely to remember why they picked them up in the first place, when they get home.
    I only went that route as I couldn’t find traditional bookmarks at a sensible price, and these are really reasonable, from Vista Print, shipped from Holland.

    Liked by 2 people

    • We do seem to approach a lot of things the same way, don’t we? πŸ™‚ I LOVE the idea of the rack cards. People use my postcards as oversize bookmarks, but rack cards would be fun. I’m going to check them out VistaPrint, for sure. I got one of their banners for my table, and it turned our very nice looking. But I should have gotten a vertical one, and a stand, I think. This one is for the front of the table, and I’ve never figured out a good way to display it. Got a Florida Author’s Fair coming up in April, and I’d like to have something figured out by then.

      Rack cards. Heading over to look at them tonight! πŸ™‚ Thanks, Deb!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I love your idea of the tea tins. At readings and events for my novel No More Mulberries I’ve taken along bowls of dried mulberries which provide a talking point and people are keen to try them – maybe I should take the time to put them in little bags (or tins). Something I’m thinking of doing but haven’t yet is printing Afghan recipes for food mentioned in the book on one side of a book mark.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The tea tin display was mobbed today at a reading I did. And each one is a little banner for my books, so I’m happy to let them go. I make my custom blends on Adagio.com. They have FABULOUS teas of their own, and then you can mix teas and flavors and little inclusions like dried apple bits, or tiny chocolate chips, or marigold petals, until you create something all your own. Then you upload your image, and VOILA! Custom teas!

      I love the idea of dried mulberries, and I DO think little bags tied with ribbon or jute would go over well. And if you could find a source for small tins, even better. But you could print labels for the bags, with your book cover on them, and that would be one way to go. Good luck, Mary!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I polled my mailing list about bonus items recently. What they prefer, in declining order or preference is:

    Free short stories – 54%
    Signed paperbacks – 42%
    Bonus scenes and character interviews – 28%
    Swag – 26%

    Of course, these percentages refer to nurturing existing readers online. Marcia’s use of swag to lure in new readers at events makes a lot of sense for those more extroverted than me (which, face it, is everyone). Still, I’ll be sticking to bonus short stories for the foreseeable future. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think your polled info would work great from a website or blog, especially. At an event, you might run into trouble with short stories, bonus scenes, and character interviews, though. I imagine someone as clever as you could think of a way around that, but obviously, they lend themselves better to online things. And that’s GREAT, too. I don’t do enough of that, for sure.

      I did an event today, where I was supposed to present a 30 minute slide show, and then do Q&A, but their equipment failed. Since I didn’t have a top hat and cane, I decided dancing was out. So I had to wing it. I read a selection from A Boy Named Rabbit, and then an extended Q&A, and it went fabulous. I was having fun, and the group was, too, and they mobbed my table afterward. I’ve never sold so many books at one event before, and they were loving the teas and bookmarks, too. And since we had all become old friends by then, they were buying 3 and 4 books at a time. It was GREAT! The swag does help at these things, I think, but if you aren’t comfortable doing them, then doing what you mention above sounds about perfect. No one answer for every writer, that’s for sure.

      Thanks for weighing in, Aimee. Always a pleasure to hear what you have to say. I should have known you’d done a poll on this. You are SO smart!!! Have a great evening! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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