Monday, March 14, 2011

What an author can do with SWAG

We interrupt our normal weekly post to GUSH about SWAG!

That's right. SWAG, as in "stuff we all get": freebies.

I decided to gush about it today mainly because I just recieved some swag tid-bits from my clients, Natalie Zaman and Charlotte Bennardo, for their YA debut, SIRENZ (Flux, June 2011).

These ladies are kind of awesome. Just LOOK at what they put together:


____Book tie-in keychain!---->

Ignoring for a moment my obvious obsession with cats, these are some SUPER fun and SUPER cute ways to promote your book.

A lot of authors don't realize the fun potentials in creating swag, but there are actually quite a lot. Common promotional methods include pens with the author and book name on it, bookmarks, and tote bags with the book cover or some other book tie-in. You know, the kinds of things EVERYONE has a million of but will STILL pick up just because they're free.

These more common items are effective enough, but the best swag items are creative. Take this item I picked up at an RWA conference:

At the time I picked it up I wasn't engaged, but a few months later when I was, you bet this went back on the door - and has stayed there - quite proudly and permanently. It's fun either way though, engaged, single, or otherwise, and that's what makes it good swag: it will be picked up....and USED. And USED=REMINDER of you and your book!

Make sure and clear whatever you want to do with your publisher; there are certain things they may not want you to do, depending on how they plan on promoting the book (i.e., if they are branding you as a fun, sexy author, and you want to make a dark, goth keychain, probably not going to be so thrilled about it, and you may have to change/lighten up your image).

But seriously...have FUN with your promotion; it will totally pay off.


  1. I'm really curious what book that door hanger is from.

    I really wish more authors did clever buttons like those. I have several from various museums on my bag and only one from an author, I constantly get asked about them and wish I had more authors to plug.

  2. These are great ideas, and how effective! Not to mention sneaky, which is always exciting.

  3. I've been seeing a lot of great swag items from debut authors lately- totally fun!

    And I love that door hanger!

  4. I've seen a ton of fun Merch. Buttons and bookmarks have been the most popular lately. Books have to be promoted so we might as well have fun doing it! Besides, these are the things people remember. And who wouldn't want to talk about that key chain, right? Totally a conversation starter!

    Maybe if I had that door hanger, my four little princesses would actually take me serious when I tell them I need a minute :)

  5. SM - good point! I didn't realize you couldn't read the writing on the door hanger. It says: "Bewitching Stories -" :)


  6. LOVE the door hanger--so naughty ;) Contest for said SIRENZ swag coming soon to celebrate unveiling of book trailer! Wheeee!

  7. I thought by engaged the door hanger meant busy. Like, don't bother me...I'm engaged. But I guess soon to be married would work, too. lol.

  8. Making merchandise sounds like fun! At least I think it would be fun, even though a lot of authors don't like the idea of having to market themselves and their book. The more creative the better!

  9. Thanks for the great post. Another thing to consider is the web-front for the book title or series title. I've had web addresses reserved for over a year (auto-renew with PayPal). (OK, I just need to finish my latest edit, then it's off for another round of querying). I think I've got some great Merch tie-ins. Just moving slowly so I don't mis-step.

  10. I seriously never thought about this. But you're so right! You could have fun with this! (I'm so happy I'm an Advertising major) it means when I am published I'll known plenty of people who design things like this for a living :)!

  11. Good and another post from you admin :)