Most authors will agree that the creative part of the job is where we excel, the business and marketing side, slightly less. It’s lovely when the two can meet in the form of SWAG – Shit We All Generate. I’ve invited some published authors to share with us their secret to swag… little freebies that can sell a book longer after the author is no longer standing in front of a prospective reader. In order to create great swag, you have to be crafty – in more ways than one.
Finding something that represents your book and hasn’t been played out by a million authors before is difficult. What’s your swag?
Here’s a look at the shit *cough* I meant SWAG I’ve generated over the past two years. My favorite, hands down, are the playing cards and the charmed bookmarks.
How much money per piece did your swag cost out of pocket?
Oh gosh…that is a tough question, and one I am not sure I want to know the answer to. Overall, my cost for swag has gone down with each book I release because I’m getting better at figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Here’s is a guestimate per piece (with shipping):
Playing cards $5.00
Charmed Bmarks $.40
Dog tags $.75
Do you find that swag helps you stand out at an event? Does your swag draw people to your table at an event or conference?
I do find it helps. At large events where readers are talking to several dozen authors, it is nice to be able to hand them a piece of swag, something that will hopefully remind them of me and my books when they are looking for something to read. As for whether swag draws them to my table…maybe, or it could be the giant candy bowl I always put out!
What do you think of big item swag pieces versus cheaper, yet more easily discarded swag like bookmarks?
In my mind, bookmarks are a staple item. I give them away conferences, signings, school visits... heck, if you talk to me for five seconds about my book, I will give you a bookmark LOL. It’s an inexpensive and easy way to get information about your book into the hands of readers. That said, I do like big swag, particularly if it has some subtle connection to my book. The more expensive swag, however, I save for exclusive giveaways and readers who seek me out at events/ festivals to talk about my book and the characters they love.
What’s the most clever / best swag by another author?
The DUMPLIN’ Box by Julie Murphy. Such a unique and fun way to give away ARCs, and I love how each item speaks to the book.