Limecello recently did a blog post titled On Author Promo & Swag that I found really interesting. And timely, of course, since I’ve committed to going to RWA Nationals for the first time this year. Considering how much it’s going to cost my family to vacation in NYC, though, I won’t be doing swag. Given a choice between my family having a meal and providing paper bookmarks to promote my digital-only books, I’m going with food.
It’s a really good post, though, so you should go read it. And read the comments, too. Lots of good stuff in there. A few highlights:
Pens are always good too – everyone can use more pens, but don’t get the super cheap ones. The ones that don’t work even before the first time. Readers discard, and sometimes even notice what really cheap swag there is out there. People gravitate to the nicer pens – the ones with grips, sticky tabs, high lighters, etc, more than the traditional old school Bic types.
My problem comes when the swag contains more than the author’s name and/or their tagline. I have children, people. How am I supposed to use a post-it to remind my kids to do their homework if I blush just looking at it.
I’m fine with bookmarks, magnets and such, but not anything scented.
Seriously, there’s some good stuff there. Go read!!
Since I still read some paperback books, I do use bookmarks. I like them when I’ve won a paperback book from an author. They make sense then. Otherwise, I love pens with author names and/or website address on them. Also, if the author is promoting a particular series with that set of pens, that can be added (like Devlin Group or Red Rock Pass from Moira Rogers). I also love magnets but only if they’re appropriate for children to see. I currently have Crossroads and Crux from Moira Rogers and Sugar Creek and Whisper Falls from Toni Blake.
I read it. All I could think was “OMG do you know how much that stuff costs? I can’t afford that!”
Not to mention the cost it would take me to import it (shipping and tariff) and then to take it with me on a plane back across the board or just using the uber-expensive Canada Post. So yeah, I guess I’m going swagless too.
…make that border, not board.
I heart you, SS
[Also, Leah, if you wanted to do pens or whatever, couldn’t you just order it and have it be shipped to the hotel? O_o]