Swag: I Want My Book Cover On Everything

by | Mar 7, 2017 | writing

I just had the privilege of celebrating my nine year anniversary with my husband. Yes, it’s been a wonderful, eventful nine years. And I wouldn’t trade him for anything in the world. And I will share an example of why. He knows me so well. As evidenced by the present he gave me: book swag. But not just any swag. Take a look:

Yes, those are bracelets of all my book covers, including the one that will be coming out in the next few months. Isn’t he super sweet and thoughtful? I think so, too!

When I first published, I was just like anyone else…I wanted swag, swag, and more swag…I wanted it all! But that can get quite pricey. So, you have to be really choosey. What’s the biggest bang for your buck? I started with bookmarks and postcards that I could hand out easily at conferences and whatnot (and, of course, business cards). At this point it was all about what I could justify to pass out. The bookmarks were wonderful. I handed those out everywhere. I continued to order bookmarks for every book I published.

Then I added notebooks and notepads. Which quickly turned into some playing cards (for myself). And magnets for my friends and family. I had caught the swag bug. But I was really making stuff for myself, not so much to be passed out…unfortunately. This is not so much the point of swag. But I didn’t care at the time, I wanted my book cover on everything. I was a newbie author. I was proud of my cover!

So, I turned my thinking cap on…what could be passed around that would interest people in my book? Maybe entice them to buy? Then I heard about these handouts that were basically the cover and the first chapter of the book. That, I needed to check out. So, I had some done. They were fabulous. Great pieces to hand out. I even put the blurb for my next book on the back. No harm done, right? I might even interest them in that book as well.

And so I got carried away again. Why shouldn’t my stationary be my book covers? Of course, it should be! So every book cover up to that point became a piece of stationary. It’s a disease, I tell you. It gets in your system and you can’t hardly stop it.

That brings us to bracelets. And I’m now researching pens. My goal is to have swag bags–reasonably priced bags that I can pass out at conferences and other functions which would include some of these things (pens, my business card, the one chapter pamphlet, and other things I might think of).

What do you think? What is your favorite piece of swag you’ve gotten from an author? As an author, what is your favorite piece of swag to have? To pass out?

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Sara R. Turnquist