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.