Swag. Do You Have Some?

I know many of you don’t meet the reading public as often each month as I do, as I try to build a local readership, but I suspect most of you do attend book fairs and other author-related Meet & Greets from time to time. My cover designer extraordinaire, Nicki Forde, just brought me my newest bookmarks, and I had to share, because . . . gorgeous! Plus, she had the brilliant idea of putting a call for reviews on them this time, and I’m so in love with them, I couldn’t resist showing them off. Take a look at the bottom left of the front of my WRR series bookmark above. How clever is that?

Here’s the flip side with all my contact info. The bookmarks are 7″ long, so larger than they show up here, and very easy to read.

And, of course, she made me one for the Riverbend series, as well. *Happy sigh*

I do give away several other things at each event. Most of you know, I have several (19 or 20) custom tea blends named for characters in my books, and I give away small sample tins of those. People seem to love them, and the best part is they are a perfect size to hold paperclips or other small desk items after all the yummy tea is gone, so they hang on to them. With a book cover graphic and my name on them, it’s good advertising, though not something you want to send out en masse. They’re pricier than bookmarks.

In addition to these two items, I have postcards and brochures, which usually get grabbed up pretty quickly. My brochures, also designed by Nicki Forde, are so beautiful, I had to share them with you, too. They include all my books (so far) with blurbs, a bio, contact info, and some colorful photos. They also include info on how to book a Meet the Author ecotour, which I dearly love doing.

I can’t say for sure what the dollar return is on these things, but I figure anything that puts my name and book titles in front of potential readers is a worthwhile investment. And they make people smile, always a good thing.

So what about you guys? Any freebies for your readers? Do you give them away at places other than Meet & Greets or Trade Shows? Do you mail them out with ordered books, or take them to local bookstores for display? I’d love to hear what you are doing and what seems to work.

Let’s talk swag!

29 thoughts on “Swag. Do You Have Some?

  1. Awesome swag, Marcia! I have bookmarks and rack cards that I hand out. I’m actually in the process of creating new swag with postcards and more bookmarks. I’m also thinking about doing a brochure. People seem to really love the bookmarks. Your collection is beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree that people love these kinds of things. And even if they aren’t buying books that day, they are more likely to remember to check you out on Amazon if they’ve got a bookmark or postcard with your name on it. Thanks for your compliments, too. I’ll pass it along to Nicki. 😀 And I’m glad to know you are a swag kinda gal, too. 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have Zilch. Zero. None. Only up to publishing book #3 and was hoping to be inspired for something different. Still waiting for the inspiration to hit. 😏😕😊

    Your bookmarks are beautiful and the tea tins – too cute! 👍

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Felicia. Because I am out and about chatting with readers pretty often, I’ve had some sort of freebie or other from the start. My first bookmarks just had the cover of the book on the front, and my contact info on the back. I just wanted to be sure folks had something to take home after the presentation, in case they didn’t buy books. I can heartily recommend doing some little thing, even if you change it to something more memorable later.

      As for inspiration, I think sometimes we have to make our own. It doesn’t come by often enough by itself. 😀

      Glad you liked my bookmarks, and the tea tins are SO much fun. I put out a basket of them, and people go digging through it like mad, looking for one that sounds good to them. 😀 Adagio Teas is such a cool website, and their teas are divine! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I never saw a tea tin as a swag option. Great idea! Your swag is lovely.

    I use bookmarks. I also use sticky notes, pens, and magnets, but these less often, as they’re pricier. These are more like prizes than giveaways.

    The brochure has me thinking, though… That’s a great idea. (So are the tins.) You’ve given me a lot to think about.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been thinking about pens and mugs, too, but as you say, more for a giveaway. The brochure is especially important for me, as I want to encourage people to book a Meet & Greet, Reading, Signing, or slideshow presentation, and there’s a paragraph on there letting them know I’m available for those things.

      The tea tins idea came about because someone in each of my books is a tea drinker, and Willow Greene is obsessively so. (You’ll remember, the Painter brothers made several jokes about the gallons of tea they felt obligated to drink.) I was already enjoying Adagio Tea’s wonderful products, and when I saw you could create your own blends, get sample tins and put your own image on them, well . . . it was a no-brainer for me. 😀

      So many ideas out there! I hope we hear from lots of folks! (Making note to self on putting together a give away bag/door prize). 😀 Thanks, Staci! ❤


  4. I love your bookmarks and tea tins. I want bookmarks like yours. What company did you go through to make your tea tins? I do have swag I giveaway. I have magnets of my book covers, key chains with cute charms, book thongs which is a thick ribbon with pretty sparkling beads and charms and rack cards.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rebekkah, as a confirmed tea drinker, myself, I’ve been buying tea from Adagio.com for some time. Their teas are wonderful. Then I noticed they would let you create your own custom blends, and use your own labels on them, both in larger bags, and for the sample tins. So I immediately started creating my own blends named for characters in my books, and then used my cover art on the tea tins. Voila. Cute little giveaways folks love. They are pricier, as I say, so I don’t go crazy with handing them out. (No throwing them to the crowd from parade floats, or anything. 😀 ) But they are worth it to give someone a keepsake that lasts. Take a look at Adagio’s website, and you’ll see what I mean.

      I like the idea of the magnets, and may invest in a few of those. A book cover at eye level on a fridge has got to be a decent reminder. Thanks for sharing!! You reminded me, I got some cute tiny little charms with my book covers on them, and I was going to make a pair of earrings out of them. They could go in a giveaway bag, too. Unless, of course, I end up wearing them, myself! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. For The Peacock’s Tale I only have Postcards with the cover on it with some bulleted features about the book. I find I can fold the postcard like a small folder and this is easy to carry with me. I love the idea of reminding readers that review would be nice! I have enjoyed the tea tin and Willow’s Soothing Camomile tea I received at one of your talks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Marie! I’m so glad you enjoyed Willow’s chamomile tea. (She’s still pouring cups of that for everyone she decides needs to calm down! 😀 ) And I’m happy to know you’ve kept the tin. I think postcards make great swag, though I’ve never tried folding any of mine. I have signed them for readers, though, especially those who told me they were planning to buy the ebook, instead of a print copy. That way, they still got something signed. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and sharing, today. ❤


  6. I love swag! I have bookmarks, with the two series featured on opposite sides. Also, I’ve done mint/candy tins, tote bags, mugs, blank notebooks, and dishwasher magnets as giveaways for launch parties.

    Love the idea of tea tins!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oooh, lots of good ideas there, Kass. Thanks! I think swag helps pull folks over to one’s table, too, in addition to being fun for them to take home. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas that have worked for you! 🙂 ❤


  7. Your bookmarks are great. A friend designed mine and I love them. They are perfect for handing out. I keep some in my beach bag and have handed quite a few out at the beach and at the pool. People are always reading at these places. I just say,”Would you like a bookmark?” And then add, “These are the books I have written.” I have made quite a few sales that way. I also created a postcard with the cover of the book on the front and a black and white drawing of the cover on the back, perfect for colouring. Popular with the kids, my target audience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Darlene. What I love about these, in addition to the overall look, is that extra line requesting an Amazon review. I’m really pleased that Nicki added that. And I, too, give out bookmarks when it feels “comfortable” to do so (and not pushy). I leave them on the magazine tables at doctor’s offices, and things like that, too.

      Now your idea of the coloring page is fantastic! *me, wondering if moms would let their kids color pictures of demon dogs* Hahahaha. Seriously, with the right cover, that’s a fantastic idea. Never would have thought of it in a million years. THANKS! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love the brochure and I might try to do something like that. I’ve not done much at all int he way of swag and really must get sorted out. I do have postcards showing front covers and purchase and contact info, which I slip inside books at events.
    I was a writer-in-residence in a vintage caravan during and art & craft event and offered people dried mulberries to munch. I think I probably did more for the compnay which sells the mulberries than I did for selling books but it was fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love the dried mulberries idea. That’s the kind of creative tie-in that draws people to your table, though you do have to interact with them to keep them there. (A sign, maybe, saying “Ten Free Mulberries for Every Book Purchase?” Hahaha.) Brochures are especially handy if you want to let people know you are available to speak at their group or function. And it’s a good way to get a bit in about each of your books, and yourself. But it all helps, I think. Glad this is encouraging you to consider your options, Mary! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Beautiful swag Marsh. Sadly, I don’t get to events hardly ever. I have rack cards, book marks, magnets and a few posters made up from way back when I published my 2nd book, lol. I”m working on book 6 now. Perhaps I should get with the program, lol. Love your tea tins! 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Deb. I love them, too. I don’t get to many “big” events, either, as there aren’t too many in this area, for some reason. (You’d think there’d be some kind of book or writing convention or show in the Orlando area all the time, but there really aren’t too many.) I do have an Author’s Fair coming up in October at a local library, but it’s not huge and is mostly local authors. That’s the only book fair kind of thing I’m doing. The rest are all readings, slideshows I have put together, and visits with local book clubs. So maybe 20 or 30 in the audience, once 60, but I like being able to talk to the group on a face to face level, and it has done wonders for my sales.

      Plus, for me, it’s a reward for my hard work. It makes me very happy to meet readers face to face, have some Question and Answer time, and share some things that make the laugh. My local readers are very, very good to me, and they are so much FUN. You should give it a try. I’m telling you, when your spirits (or your body) start to flag from working so hard, this is the best boost you can imagine. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • PS, I’m speaking to a local chapter of the DAR in a couple of months, and at a philanthropic group this fall. Also a local chapter of AARP, and a few more like that. These folks contacted me with invitations, because one of their members suggested they do so after attending a presentation at a museum or a tea at DeBary Hall. It seems to be building on itself. Yay!


      • I can imagine how rewarding it would be. I’m so bad with getting out, sometimes I feel as though I’m turning into a closeted writer, lol. I know I have to dip my foot in the water eventually and then I”ll be hooked. 🙂 Good on you my friend! 🙂 xx

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oh, trust me. I understand the desire to stay at home. In fact, I have a mild form of agoraphobia, and I have to force myself to leave the house now and then, when it really kicks in. BUT. These events are different. They make me HAPPY to be going out, because I enjoy them so much. The feedback I get inspires me for weeks afterward. Once you try it, you’ll be hooked, I bet. 😀

          Liked by 1 person

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